KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha-Charleston Department of Health announced that Dr. Sherri Young, DO, FAAFP, Executive Director and Chief Health Officer, is leaving the Department of Health to take up a new role.
Young has guided the county’s health officials through the pandemic for more than 450 days since the virus was first discovered in Kanawha County March 21st, 2020. She also helped direct the Unified Health Command, which includes the KCHD, Kanawha County Commission, the City of Charleston, and the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, which the KCHD said was founded on March 2, 2020 to hand-in. to work – liaise with communities, first responder agencies, and hospitals in the county to tackle the then approaching pandemic.
Through Young’s leadership, the KCHD says, Kanawha County became the first in the state to begin testing patients in long-term care facilities for COVID-19 in an effort to contain mass outbreaks in the facilities. She also led the KCHD’s efforts to get COVID-19 vaccinations into the arms of the county’s residents as soon as possible, and organized large-scale vaccination clinics at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.
“When I became Executive Director and Chief Health Officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, I never dreamed that we would face a pandemic that would affect the whole world. We lost so many lives in this devastating situation. I think I did everything I could to guide the health department through the pandemic and to advance it successfully. I enjoyed my time at the health department and my focus on saving lives. I was offered an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up, and that’s why I’m leaving my position. I will remain in office as Interim Chief Health Officer while the board looks for a new health officer, ”said Dr. Sherri Young, Executive Director and Chief Health Officer.
She was employed for the first time at KCHD on July 1, 2019. She remains as Interim Health Officer until the Executive Director and Health Officer are hired.
“Dr. Young has been my student, friend, and colleague over the years. She is an exceptional person. She did a remarkable job as chief health officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department,” said Dr. Art Rubin, president of the KCHD Board of Directors. “No one worked harder than she during this pandemic. Dr. Young devoted more than 450 days to managing the pandemic, working 18 to 20 hours a day most days caring for the citizens of Kanawha County Her service to the city and the district is unshakable, and we are all indebted to her. ”