Dan Pekarek
Director, Joplin City Health Department

Daniel Pekarek is the director of the Joplin City Health Department. He has been with the department for 29 years, starting as an environmental health specialist and working in that capacity for approximately 10 years. Since that time he has been the department director providing oversight and direction to department operations.

After the May, 2011 tornado, primary health department responsibilities were guided by pre-existing emergency operations plans. These responsibilities included:

  • Staffing of the emergency operations center while providing assistance and guidance for health related issues in the city.
  • Assisted the American Red Cross in establishing their sheltering facility, including providing supplies from department as well as coordinating animal control staff to assist with pet sheltering needs.
  • Worked with various animal control agencies and organizations to implement emergency pet collection and sheltering operations for over 1,300 pets displaced by the tornado.
  • Worked with other mutual aid partner agencies to implement a traveling tetanus vaccine administration plan, providing over 17,000 tetanus vaccinations to residents and workers in the tornado affected area.
  • Provided food safety inspections to damaged food facilities and temporary food facilities operating in the city.
  • Worked with American Red Cross shelter officials to implement infection control procedures in the shelter facility.
  • Implemented mosquito control operations in the tornado damage zone.
  • Provided various environmental health services, including assisting other agencies in providing air monitoring services in the tornado zone.

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