Multnomah County is relocating its health department from 423 SW Stark St. to Northwest 6th Avenue and Hoyt Street in Old Town/Chinatown.

But the new building will continue to bear the name of pioneering former County Chairwoman Gladys McCoy.

McCoy was the first black member of the Portland School Board, the first black member of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and the first black chair of that board, a position she held from 1987 until her death in April 1993 at age 65.

On Feb. 25, Commissioner Loretta Smith introduced a resolution naming the new county health building, currently in the planning stage, after McCoy.

Smith, the only other black member in the county commission's history, noted that February was a particularly appropriate time to recognize McCoy's many contributions to the community because it is Black History Month.

She noted that her staff had conducted an "archaeological dig" to unearth the original documentation naming the current county health building for McCoy more than 20 years ago.

"This is a very emotional resolution for me," Smith told the audience.

The board approved the resolution unanimously.