Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard is retiring to take a job with the Missouri Foundation for Health.
Goddard plans to exit the Health Department at the end of February, according to a news release. He's transitioning to senior director of public health transformation for the St. Louis-based health care organization.
Goddard has been among the most high-profile local government officials as the city and county respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Being part of our community’s response to this pandemic has and always will be the highlight and great privilege of my career," he said in the release. "I have been so profoundly encouraged by how our community came together in such difficult circumstances, but I think I am most proud of how the staff of the Health Department rose to the occasion, under intense pressure, often pointed criticism and sometimes unbelievable odds, to prove just what top-notch professionals our community is lucky to have."
Goddard’s last day is scheduled Feb. 26, after which Health Department Assistant Director Katie Towns will serve as acting director. City officials say a search process will be launched to find a permanent successor.
At the Missouri Foundation for Health, Goddard will work with local and state public health leaders to implement national best practices for public health systems, according to the release. The Missouri Foundation for Health's mission is to "eliminate underlying causes of health inequities, transform systems and enable individuals and communities to thrive," according to its website.
Goddard has worked more than two decades with the Health Department. He has appeared in regular livestreams since the city started to institute measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
Goddard is scheduled for an Aug. 17 live interview for Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know editorial series.
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