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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.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.