COMMUNITY GEM: Greene County woman shows ‘relentless compassion’ for those in need

Christina Conover of Cedarville has been nursing director of Clark County Combined Health District in Springfield for nearly 20 years. Others say her efforts there serve as an example of someone who goes above and beyond.

She started her career there in June 2002 as a public health nurse, and transitioned to the administrative side three years later.

Conover was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by longtime friend Amy Hager, of Beavercreek, who said Conover contacted her family to make sure they were vaccinated, and helped them set up the appointments.

“Christina spends countless hours addressing public health issues in Clark County,” Hager said. “COVID soared to the forefront of needs in 2020, and Christina works days and nights to make sure testing and vaccination sites are accessible to everyone in the community.”

Conover’s husband, Randy, who also nominated her as a Community Gem, cited her “relentless compassion and work ethic to help others.”

“She recently received credit for her work in allowing the district’s first accreditation,” he said. “Over the last two years she has managed to stay away from burnout and instead she has worked countless hours to help battle and prevent COVID.”

Conover said she is “definitely honored” to be nominated as a Community Gem.

“I think it’s a unique sort of honor when family and a friend recognize (your efforts),” she said. “So often in these sorts of situations, particularly in the COVID response, family and friends somewhat get pushed to the side, and so a nomination is reaffirming that there is a support there at a whole level that I don’t know that I had ever thought about.”

Conover said being part of a public health department means getting to work with “a great team of people” who provide services.

“When there’s a gap in the system or the community, we collaborate with each other, but also with other agencies and other community members to try to rearrange systems for better outcomes and better opportunities for our community,” she said. “The opportunity to work at a job where you have the ... impact at a community level is just not to be taken for granted. That is truly just a privilege. I can’t believe that I’m this lucky.”

Public health is not about providing health care, she said. It’s about providing health care when there’s a gap.

In addition, family life keeps Conover busy supporting her daughters’ many interests, including 4-H goats and chickens, business development and cake decorating projects, piano practice, play rehearsal and other extracurricular activities.

Randy Conover said his wife’s work day can last as long as 12 or more hours, but when she does arrive home, “the phone is not ignored.”

Hager said Conover is “a hands-on practitioner” who covers the realm of roles from direct care to education.

“Her willingness to help extends her reach beyond community borders through the Lions Club,” she said. “In this time of staffing crunches, Christina fills gaps by directly addressing emergency needs even on evenings and weekends.”

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