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Mercer County Health Department Is Back On College Street

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Susan Murphy, Genia Warner and Cathy Akins of the Mercer County Health Department pose outside their newly refurbished office on College Street.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Mercer County Health Department is back home on College Street. On Monday, the health department reopened their offices on College Street. Since August 2022, they had been operating at the former offices of Haggin Primary Care on Linden Avenue while the old office went through reconstruction and repairs.

Public Health Director Cathy Akins still had empty moving cartons in her office when the Harrodsburg Herald stopped by Tuesday. Asked to describe the moving process, Akins had one word: “chaos.” She praised her staff for the job they’d done.

“They’re adaptable and they’ve done a good job,” she said.

The College Street—also known as the Dr. Frank Whalen Building—was dedicated in 1999—and Akins said this is the building’s second renovation. She said they’d added offices upstairs about 15 years ago. During the most recent renovations, they changed the layout of the waiting room downstairs, creating new offices and adding glass doors, which Akins said helped make the building more HIPAA compliant.

Akins said one reason behind the renovation was the possibility of leasing out space on the second floor to a sister agency.

“Our intent is to rent the space upstairs,” she said.

The health department’s mission is to provide preventative health services, health education and environmental health services to the people of Mercer County. The clinic, which offers immunizations, pregnancy services and family planning among other services, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Akins said they may be able to increase the services they currently offer, however some of the details have not been worked out. She said Women’s Care of the Commonwealth, which provides obstetrics and gynecology services, will resume operating at the health department one day a week next Tuesday.

“We’re happy to have them,” Akins said. “It’s a great partnership.”

Akins worked at the health department for 18 years before being named interim director in 2020. She was named permanent director in 2021. Akins, who also serves as the environmental program manager at the health department, received the John W. Poe Award in 2021 for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now she add moving operations twice in one year to her resume.

“We weathered the storm. It’s nice to be home,” she said. “We hope to start the year strong.”

The Mercer County Health Department is located at 900 North College Street. For more information, visit, call the clinic at 859-734-4522 or the environmental department at 859-734-2229 or their Facebook page.

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