The Department of Community Medicine formerly known as Preventive and Social Medicine was established in January 1966 under the leadership of Dr. R. Bhaskar Rao as Head of the Department. He developed the teaching and Practical training programme and set up the Departmental Museum.  Dr. B. Sridhar Rao, took charge as HOD from June 1968, Dr. A. S. Wantamutte was HOD from 1996  to  Oct. 2009 & Dr.(Mrs.) Vijaya A. Naik was HOD from November 2009 to July 2012 & Dr.S.M.Katti was HOD from August 2012 to May 2016. Since 1st June 2016 the Department is under the dynamic leadership of  Dr.(Mrs.) Padmaja R. Walvekar. The department   has organized several scientific programmes including one National Conference of IAPSM and two KACH state conferences, nine CMEs, three Workshops & one Symposium.

        Since 7th April 2004 three Primary Health Centres namely Kinaye, Vantamuri & Handiganur have been undertaken by the College under ‘Public – Private Partnership (‘Arogya Bandhu Scheme’), by Govt. of Karnataka’.  Similarly Three Urban Health Centres namely Ram Nagar, Ashok Nagar and Rukmini Nagar of Belagavi have been handed over to J.N. Medical College from 1st December 2011 by State Government. The total administrative management of these PHCs & UHCs is done by the Department of Community Medicine under the leadership of  Dr.(Mrs.) N. S. Mahantshetti, Principal, J.N. Medical College, Belagavi. Apart from Govt. facilities, the institute has provided facilities like additional infrastructure, interns & PGs hostel with mess facility, Telemedicine, supply of free medicines worth of Rs.1 lakh per health centre, per year etc., Because of all these, Kinaye PHC has adjudged as one of the Best PHCs in the district by the State Government.

          For the year 2009 the Department was awarded as Best Performing Department of J.N. Medical College, Belagavi.