The Perspective

Diana Lindquist: Twenty-six years and counting

Administrative secretary Diana Lindquist joined the health district in 1986. Ronald Reagan was president; the USSR still existed; Summerlin wasn’t finished; Otto Ravenholt was the chief health officer; and Diana Lindquist was Diana Lange.

Diana’s first position was as a Clark County Health District health cards clerk. (Yes, that was her title.) Health cards consisted of a massive rolodex file that was about the size of a desk. Every individual who renewed a health card had to be located in the file. The records were meticulously kept. A push-button device moved the file through the alphabet.

Since then, she has held several district positions. She became a clerk in the nursing division where she spent half her day with four other women in the “clerical pool” and spent the other half of her day at the Chest Clinic. The Chest Clinic? Now it’s the TB Treatment and Control Clinic. “We would get calls sometimes from women looking for mammograms,” she said.

In 1986, there was no Office of Epidemiology or Solid Waste program. HIV/AIDS was still new, and the STD clinic was called the VD clinic (and VD was a problem then too).

A minimal IT department meant that all of her work was done manually—whether it was filing a health card, typing a memo, distributing information to staff via interoffice mail, or delivering board books. Back then, only a handful of people had computers or access to them.

She has worked with four chief health officers. Diana remembers swing sets in the courtyards; district family picnics, handling paperwork for pre-marital blood testing; the cafeteria; and Mr. Bill, the rabbit who lived in a courtyard area that was later converted into an IT office.

Diana also remembers that in the late 1980s or early 1990s, Dr. Ravenholt held an HIV/AIDS 101-type lecture to provide information to staff about the new disease that was making headlines. “It was helpful. We were probably going to start the clinic then and people needed to know about it (the disease),” she added.

Since her tenure began, public health has evolved with better infectious disease reporting and the ability to manage outbreaks, and computer technology. Some programs have come and gone while others evolve into something else, like the old Baby Find program that is similar to the new Nurse/Family Partnership. But, she said, although information is gathered so quickly and new issues arise all the time, people still need immunizations and health inspectors still do restaurant inspections.

These days, Diana is married with children who are now adults. The health district provided her with opportunities to work in different areas and learn where public health fits into the community. She enjoys being part of the Administration team because she enjoys the variety of her day. “It’s the hub,” she said.

We hope you have enjoyed our final issue of the "Retro Perspective," which commenorates the health district's 50th anniversary. Look for new issues of the "Perspective" in 2013. We wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

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