Director, KIND Columbus and former director of the state of Ohio’s Department of Health
While many were surprised by the state of Ohio’s fast, proactive response to the arrival of COVID-19, those who know Dr. Amy Acton certainly weren’t.
Tapped as the director of the state’s Department of Health, she advised Governor Mike DeWine. In the process, she quickly became the trusted face of the crisis for people inside and outside Ohio, and even a star.
People bought bobbleheads and candles bearing her likeness as well as “Save Us, Dr. Acton” T-shirts. While other states were still scratching their heads, Acton and DeWine earned kudos for swiftly implementing prevention policies.
But as the political battles around COVID shutdowns intensified, there was also intense criticism — some of it anti-Semitic. Republicans, for their part, called her “Dr. Doom.”
She stepped down three months into the crisis and is now director of Kind Columbus, dedicated to spreading words and actions of kindness as a defining value.