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Springfield, MO

Health Department director to retire

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Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Kevin Gipson plans to retire next month after 24 years with the organization.

Gipson, who was named director in 2004, plans to work his last day on Nov. 9, according to a news release.

“Kevin has earned a reputation as a straight shooter and the voice of reason,” City Manager Greg Burris said in the release. “His roles both within the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, statewide and nationally speak to his level of expertise in his field and the high regard in which his peers hold him.”

When Gipson was serving as assistant director of public health and welfare, the Health Department helped lead the creation in 2003 of the Jordan Valley Community Health Center. The federally qualified health center provides primary, dental and prenatal care, among other services, to low-income patients and others.

Gipson served as a member of the committee that applied for a $650,000 grant to start Jordan Valley, and he remains a board member.

“We were convinced it was needed and unapologetic about it. And it’s been wildly successful,” Gipson said in the release. “I think that’s one of our big success stories and still is.”

Gipson, 57, joined the Health Department in 1993 as an epidemiology services coordinator. His past experience includes work as a disease intervention specialist with the Missouri Department of Health.

The city plans to announce Gipson’s succession process in the coming weeks, according to the release.

“It’s time to pass the baton. It’s time for new ideas and for new people to take over. We have great staff who are able to do that,” he said in the release. “Any job of a great leader is to replace yourself — that should be your No. 1 priority.”

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