The spokeswoman for Missouri Governor Mike Parson says there are now finalists for the position of state health director.
Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones spoke to Capitol reporters Wednesday morning in Jefferson City, after the governor signed COVID liability legislation. She did not elaborate on how many finalists there are.
Robert Knodell, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, has been serving as acting director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) since April, when former director Dr. Randall Williams resigned.
Governor Parson has emphasized that he’s looking for a candidate with both a medical and an administration background, and has said the next state health director will have an opportunity to rebuild the department.
The governor says the new state health director will be hiring a deputy director, adding that millions of dollars in CARES Act funding will help DHSS.
“So it’s going to be a tremendous opportunity to actually rebuild that whole department,” Parson told Capitol reporters in June.
Missouri House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Stephens (R-Bolivar) has praised acting Director Knodell. Chairman Stephens doesn’t expect Knodell to be the permanent DHSS director. Stephens has predicted that the next director will have a bureaucratic and a medical background.
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