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2020 Health Care Champions Administrator: Lisa Marshall

Taney County Health Department

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Less than a year into her new job as director of the Taney County Health Department, Lisa Marshall says the coronavirus pandemic changed everything about the position and organization.

The department provides pertinent information to residents and the many visitors of the Taney County community – a role more important than ever during the pandemic, she says. Partnerships were forged with the local chambers of commerce to ensure businesses see the agency as a credible information resource. Industry specific toolkits were created, along with health and safety plan reviews for businesses reopening.

“This has allowed us the ability to be responsive to our community and assist them in taking precautions to keep our visitors and residents safe,” Marshall says.

Social media usage and website updates also are being amplified amid the crisis, she says. Video updates addressing pressing concerns and up-to-date information are posted at least twice weekly, with a following of over 2,000 viewers.

“We took special efforts to respond to frequently asked questions in a relatable and reassuring tone, so our community would know where to look for credible and reliable information,” she says. “In doing so, I tried to be the calm voice in the midst of the storm.”

Marshall says the prospect of constant improvement motivates her, noting there are always areas for personal and professional growth. She’s been an employee of the Health Department since 2016, becoming assistant director in 2018 before assuming the top spot the following year.

“As a leader, it is my responsibility to empower and motivate those around me to do better and be better,” she says. “This translates into creating a work environment and culture of continual improvement, accountability and service to our community.”

Part of Marshall’s professional development came from graduating in 2018 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute. She says the yearlong course helped identify how her value system and leadership strengths play into her actions as a leader. It’s particularly aided her decision-making and leadership abilities during the pandemic, she says.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there isn’t a public health professional that hasn’t been taxed, worn down or stressed,” Marshall says. “Knowing ahead of time how I would react in this state has been a lifesaver.”

While working with Marshall, Branson Mayor Edd Akers says he’s seen her servant leadership as a key to the community viewing the Health Department as a trusted resource.

“Though Lisa does not personally see patients in the Health Department, her leadership and commitment to caring for people is evident in all she does and through the level of service and commitment displayed by her team,” he says.

Even when not dealing with a pandemic, Marshall has placed an importance on relationships to build bridges between people and organizations. She points to a collaborative tobacco cessation program that included multiple partners to train specialists and offer courses in the community. The program’s success led to the passage of a clean indoor air ordinance in the city of Branson, she says.

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