Board of Health

Public health in Polk County and the activities of Polk County Health Department are governed by the Polk County Board of Health/Board of Supervisors, which appoints members to the Board of Health Advisory Committee. The Board of Health Advisory Committee provides guidance to the Board of Health/Board of Supervisors and also has powers to make decisions on disputable issues such as air quality, environmental, and animal control. Decisions made by the Board of Health Advisory Committee on actionable items can be appealed to the Board of Health/Board of Supervisors. 

Polk County Health Regulations and Ordinances

Unless otherwise agreed upon by the Committee and noticed pursuant to Iowa Code §21.4(1), meetings of the Board of Health Advisory Committee shall be held at 8:30 AM on the 3rd Friday of each month in Room 120 of the Polk County Administration Building, 111 Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA.

Contact Information:
Attention: Heather Flaherty
Administrative Supervisor 
1907 Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 875-5815

Dr. Jennifer Olson

Dr. Jennifer Olson

Dr. Jennifer Olson is a board certified family physician that practiced for 25 years in Carlisle, IA.  She became the President of MercyOne Central IA Medical Group in October 2021.  

She was trained here locally with her undergraduate degree from Grand View University and her medical degree from Des Moines University. 

When not working, her focus is on family, friends and yoga. 

Tom Newton

Thomas (Tom) Newton

Tom Newton joined Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield as the Vice President of Network Engagement January 31, 2011. 

Newton, former Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), is responsible for engaging Wellmark’s provider community – working with hospitals and physicians to better understand their business challenges, developing new programs, and building a strong foundation of quality health care in Iowa and South Dakota. 

Newton holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and political science, and a master’s degree in public policy, both from the University of Northern Iowa. He is also a graduate of the State Health Leadership Institute, a program of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


Reylon Meeks


Reylon Meeks

Reylon is the Nurse Manager for Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. In 2005, she became the first female fire chief for the city of Pleasant Hill. Located just east of Des Moines, Pleasant Hill responds to approximately 650 calls per year and is a provisional paramedic level service. Pleasant Hill gained national attention in 2002 as EMS Magazines’ Gold Award winner for volunteer service of the year. Reylon has taught a variety of EMT classes, and is currently holding a paramedic class through DMACC. Reylon was named the American Red Cross Hero of the Heartland in 2004 in the fire division and most recently was chosen one of one hundred Great Iowa Nurses for 2005.

Anne Bacon

Anne Bacon

Anne Bacon began her work as executive director of Red Rock Area Community Action Agency in May of 2015. Soon after, the agency merged with the Des Moines Community Action Agency to form IMPACT Community Action Partnership. Anne is a passionate social justice advocate with a keen focus on the issue of poverty.

She received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Public Administration from Drake University. She has also completed over 30 credit hours in Community and Economic Development at Pennsylvania State University. Her professional experience includes work within the Community Action network, the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and Bidwell Riverside Center. 

Anne and her family make their home in Ankeny, Iowa.

Rick Kozin

Rick’s entire professional career (of almost 40 years) was committed to building healthy communities. This involved work as a community organizer in 4 states, as the executive director of 4 non-profit organizations, and he worked 17+ years at Polk County Health Department (the last 5 as the Director) until his retirement in 2018.

Rick received his BA in Political Studies from Adelphi University (Garden City, NY). And he received an MA in Government from Georgetown University.

Currently, Rick serves as a mentor to Mid Iowa Health Foundation’s HealthConnect Fellows. He's also a Voluntary Counselor for the State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), and he serves on the Board of Directors for The Pet Project and Al Exito.

Although originally from the East Coast, Rick and his wife Laura have made Des Moines their home for the past 25 years. Their current household includes one dog (Mookie) and one cat (Salome).