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Springfield-Greene County Health Dept. Director Clay Goddard announces retirement

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited News Release/KY3) – After 25 years with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Director of Health Clay Goddard introduced his retirement on the finish of February.

He will take a place of Senior Director of Public Health Transformation at Missouri Foundation for Health. In this function, Goddard will draw on relationships with native and state public well being leaders, data of Missouri’s public well being system and nationwide greatest practices to maneuver Missouri towards a mannequin public well being system.

The function will enable him to make a bigger impression on public well being transformation statewide, however his focus will proceed to be centered on advocating for higher public well being supply for communities like Springfield.

“Clay has been a consummate professional throughout his career in public health and certainly throughout the course of this unprecedented public health crisis,” stated Springfield Mayor Ken McClure. “His steady hand, compassionate leadership and brave decision making throughout the pandemic has not only provided me with support as Mayor, but also undoubtedly saved lives. I wish him the best and am very thankful he is staying in the state of Missouri and continuing to focus on ways to improve community health.”

Goddard started his public well being profession as a school intern on the well being division, and though he had initially supposed to pursue an Air Force fee, he discovered public well being to be his calling.

“I knew within a week I’d stumbled into the career I wanted for the rest of my life,” Goddard stated. “Public health is the perfect intersection of public policy and direct outcomes—you get to help people and see the result of that play out in their lives and in the health of the community you serve.”

If you had requested Goddard what accomplishments he was most pleased with earlier than the pandemic, he possible would have pointed to plenty of milestones the division reached underneath his tenure—and he would have burdened his satisfaction within the crew that achieved them. Those accomplishments embody the division incomes nationwide accreditation, the passage of Springfield’s Tobacco21 ordinance, and the profitable Regional Health Assessment and Community Mental Health and Substance Use Assessment.

City Manager Jason Gage credit Clay with being an distinctive chief throughout very difficult occasions. “The community is in a great place moving forward, thanks to Clay. I have 100 percent confidence in our ability to provide continuity of services throughout the rest of the pandemic because Clay has empowered a very talented team of dedicated public servants at the Health Department. While we will miss him, we certainly support him as he continues to do important work statewide,” Gage stated.

Goddard felt that now, as vaccine distribution turns into the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel signaling an finish to the pandemic, supplies a possibility to step right into a broader function to assist deal with the challenges public well being entities face throughout the state.

“Being part of our community’s response to this pandemic has and always will be the highlight and great privilege of my career. I have been so profoundly encouraged by how our community came together in such difficult circumstances, but I think I am most proud of how the staff of the Health Department rose to the occasion, under intense pressure, often pointed criticism and sometimes unbelievable odds, to prove just what top-notch professionals our community is lucky to have. The most difficult part of this transition, for me, will be saying goodbye to staff who have become like family. I have said for years that our staff are second-to-none. They have proven that time and time again this past year, and I leave our community in more than capable hands,” Goddard stated.

“Clay’s leadership during this pandemic and beyond has been a great asset to our community. His steady hand for over 25 years at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is appreciated and commended,” stated Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon. “While we certainly congratulate him on these next steps for which he is uniquely qualified, he will be missed.”

Goddard’s final day with the division can be February 26. Springfield-Greene County Health Department Assistant Director Katie Towns will function performing director upon his departure. The metropolis of Springfield will then start a search to discover a everlasting substitute.

To report a correction or typo, please electronic mail digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.

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