Director reflects on two years of COVID

Rebecca Johnson had been on the job as director of the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department less than a year when the pandemic arrived. As public health officers across the state left their posts, she and her staff dealt with threats, vandalism and hateful comments in order to keep the public safe.

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March 11, 2022 - 3:25 PM

Rebecca Johnson is director of the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Departments. Photo by Tim Stauffer / Iola Register

Two years ago, Rebecca Johnson was still learning the ropes of becoming the new director for the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Departments when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.

The health crisis made for a steep learning curve and thrust the naturally quiet Johnson into the spotlight.

“I’ve told myself throughout this pandemic to try to stay strong, because that’s what our residents need,” Johnson said. “I keep thinking that if I can make it through this, then I can make it through anything.”

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