Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Frankovich's Last Remarks as HumCo Public Health Officer

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 5:16 PM

Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich finished her last day as the county's top health official with nothing but gratitude for the community.

When Frankovich was announced as Humboldt County's part-time public health officer Jan. 30, she had just moved to the county from Michigan. It was her 41st day on the job when she declared a local health emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During her tenure, she received backlash as well as praise for her efforts to stem the pandemic's spread in her adopted home.

Throughout the past seven months, Frankovich has been at the forefront of the county's COVID-19 response, from answering the questions of local news outlets to updating local officials and the community on where the county stands.

On Sept. 2, Frankovich announced her resignation as the public health officer, calling it a "difficult decision."

“It has also become clear that this level of commitment will be needed for the duration of the event. I was happy to accommodate this need in order to help the county swiftly respond to the pandemic at the outset but now I need to make good on some promises to my family," she wrote in her letter.

In her last media availability today, Frankovich began by saying that she felt grateful for having the opportunity to serve as the county health officer.

"I have found out the hard way that the fastest way to learn what is at the core of your new community is to face a pandemic together. I don't recommend this approach, but the gift is seeing the incredible heart of this place, the way most of us have recognized this as the moment to put into practice the things we teach our children about kindness and the responsibility we all have to one another and as hard and exhausting as this has been, I would do it all again because it has been a privilege to do important work and to do it alongside and on behalf of the people that I respect and admire," she said in the video.

Frankovich will continue to work at Humboldt County Public Health as a part-time supporting deputy health officer role beginning Dec. 14. Deputy Health Officer Josh Ennis will fill the health officer role in the interim, with the  Humboldt County Board of Supervisors slated to approve the county's next health officer next Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Watch Frankovich's last media availability as the county's public health officer below. 
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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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