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Ohio Health Department Director Amy Acton Steps Down


Governor DeWine announced yesterday that Dr. Amy Acton will step down as director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and begin serving as his chief health advisor effective at the end of business today. Lance Himes, who previously served as ODH’s director, was named interim-director.

“Let me say how very grateful I am for Dr. Acton’s selfless and tireless service to the people of Ohio as our Ohio Department of Health director,” said Governor DeWine. “It’s true that not all heroes wear capes.  Some of them wear a white coat embossed with the name Dr. Amy Acton.”

In her new role, Dr. Acton will take a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing health and well-being for all Ohioans. In addition to advising on health issues, she will continue to focus on the COVID-19 crisis.

Dr. Acton served as director of the Ohio Dept. of Health for about 18 months. Her calm handling of the COVID crisis earned respect for her. But she has also been criticized for some of the decisive actions she took to slow the spread of the pandemic.

“This was not a job that I ever saw in my life, and when I got that call to serve, my hope was to really create a space for the health and well being of all Ohioans. It became so clear to me that our governor is deeply passionate and I’ve seen that — I’ve been able to witness that from this unique vantage point.”

She thanked many people and agencies for their good work and for helping her in her work, and said she looks forward to continuing to keep Ohioans healthy.

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