Amy Acton leaves DeWine adviser role for new job

Former Ohio Health Department Director Dr. Amy Acton is leaving her role as the governor’s health adviser to return to the Columbus Foundation in a new role.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Acton’s departure during his Tuesday afternoon news conference.

“While it saddens me that she will be leaving my office, she has assured me that she is just a phone call away and will be available to continue advising us as we move through this pandemic,” DeWine said.

Acton — admired by many for her plain talk at press conferences and mocked by others for her orders closing down parts the state’s economy — stepped down unexpectedly June 12 from her role as director of the ODH. Until now she has acted as DeWine’s chief health adviser.

Acton will join the staff of the Columbus Foundation Sept. 1 as its first Director of Kind Columbus. The special foundation initiative is “dedicated to spreading the words and actions of kindness as a defining value for our region,” the foundation announced in a release.

Amy is one of the most empathetic, caring people you could ever meet, and that became clear to people throughout Ohio during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic” stated Douglas F. Kridler, president and CEO of the foundation. “She is ideally suited for this work, and for our aspirations for it.”

Acton was working at the foundation as a community research and grants management officer when she was recruited to the position of director of the Ohio Department of Health.

“I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve the governor and the people of Ohio. For me, it was a privilege to try to be of help to the awesome team in the Department of public health and our extraordinary governor and lieutenant governor, and to help give people a connection to each other, as we did all we could muster to save their lives and the lives of others,” Acton stated. “I am pleased to be returning to The Columbus Foundation to lead this investment in kindness as a valuable tool for community healing and progress.”

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