Young people ready for the next public health challenge
CHARLESTON, W.Va. –Dr. Sherri Young, Executive Director and General Manager of the Kanawha-Charleston Department of Health, has many recollections of his time as head of the state’s most populous county through health challenges.
Much of it has to do with COVID-19, as months after Young took the job in 2019, the global pandemic has struck. Young recalled memories of the job and what it took to fight the virus Tuesday 580-LIVE on 580-WCHS. She announced on Monday that she would resign from her post.
“At first, we didn’t know anything about COVID. We had to build this while we were flying. We had to find out what this virus was. How to test it, how to treat it, how to keep people safe. Are we wearing masks, are we not wearing masks, ”Young said of how proud she was of her team, on Health Command Day 485.
Prior to being appointed to the post on July 1, 2019, she said she wanted to give back to the community and have a purpose after surviving a household explosion.
She said she was more than able to do this during her time with KCHD, working on health issues such as vaping, children in hot cars and flu shots before COVID-19 arrived. .
Since the start of the pandemic, Young has said she takes great pride in practicing community medicine.
“One of the most rewarding things I have been able to do in COVID is to work with homeless shelters. Literally going out into the streets, going under bridges to heal wounds. Go out to tent cities. Vaccinate these people. I want to continue doing community medicine, ”Young said.
Young said community medicine will be at the center of his post as deputy chief medical officer for West Virginia Health Network at CAMC. She said it is a responsible care organization (COO) position that is patient-centered, physician-led care to try to keep people safe at home.
.@ DrSherriYoung2 speak with @HoppyKercheval to step down as Executive Director and Chief Public Health Officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Department of Health. LOOK: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/HQqZLDFCwB
– MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) June 29, 2021
Young also noted that his proudest moments at work were seeing cars lining the streets for COVID-19 tests and vaccination clinics. She said the first time she administered a COVID-19 vaccine, she “cried like a baby.”
Kanawha County Commission Chairman Kent Carper said Monday that Young had been recognized nationally by ABC News, The New York Times and Time Magazine for her unprecedented efforts to save lives across the county. .
Young will remain in office until the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health can find a replacement.
She continued to encourage the public to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if they did not.
“If you are vaccinated eligible, get this vaccine,” she told 580-LIVE. “Not just for yourself, but for your obligation to the people around you. People who cannot get vaccinated, people who are too young to get vaccinated.