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Kansas And Missouri Are Losing Their Public Health Officials

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Kansas Health Institute
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Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino resigned as Shawnee County, Kansas, health officer in December 2020 after the county commission modified emergency orders he had assigned.

According to an AP report, 1 in 8 Americans live in a county whose health department leader has left the job during the pandemic.

Stress of the job compounded by backlash of communities has made these positions untenable. Gianfranco Pezzino says backlash was inevitable "when this became ideological," citing divisive sentiments in regards to masks and other health mandates.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.