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 & Dr.(Mrs.) Padmaja R.Walvekar from 1st June 2016 to 29th February 2020. Since 2nd March 2020, the Department is under the dynamic leadership of  Dr.Shivaswamy M.S. The department has organized several scientific programmes including one National Conference of IAPSM and two KACH state conferences, ten CMEs, seven Workshops & two National seminars.

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. Since 1st July 2017 we have under taken administrative management of two PHCs namely Kinaye, Vantamuri & two UHCs namely Ashok Nagar, Rukmini Nagar. The total administrative management of these PHCs & UHCs is done by the Department of Community Medicine under the leadership of  Dr.(Mrs.) N. S. Mahantashetti, Principal, J.N. Medical College, Belagavi. Apart from Govt. facilities, the institute has provided facilities like additional infrastructure, interns & PGs hostel with mess facility, Special Clinics, Psychiatry Services – at Kinaye PHC, Specialist visits, supply of free medicines worth of Rs.1 lakh per health centre,  per year etc., Because of all these efforts in the year 2014-15, Kinaye PHC and Ashok Nagar UHC were adjudged as “The Best Performing PHC and UHC” 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.