Goedeke appointed acting health department director

Jonathan Riley

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Janis Goedeke, who served as Crawford County public health officer for 28 years before retiring in 2017, has returned to the county health department as acting director following the announcement that Rebecca Adamson would step down effective Friday.

“Her tireless contribution to leading the Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic was outstanding, as well as her leadership in working at the Health Department for over 10 years,” the health department said of Adamson in a Facebook post, adding that it wished her the best.

In addition to serving as health department director, Adamson also previously served as public health officer — with responsibility for issuing public health orders in addition to managing the day-to-day business of the health department — until June, when she resigned and was replaced by Dr. Tim Stebbins and Dr. Linda Bean as public health officer and deputy public health officer, respectively.

In August, Adamson, Stebbins and Bean were honored for their work in handling the coronavirus pandemic over the past several months with the Spirit of Pittsburg award, presented by the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

Goedeke assumed the role of acting director Monday. Before her retirement, her career included overseeing programs covering multiple Southeast Kansas counties. She has served as president of the Kansas Public Health Association and received recognitions including the Kansas Public Health Association Dorothy Woodin Award and being named a Public Health Hero of Kansas by the United Health Foundations and a Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce 2017 Woman of Distinction.

“She will lead the agency until the position can be permanently and appropriately filled,” according to the department’s Facebook post. “She has broad experience in dealing with previous epidemics and will work closely with Dr. Stebbins and Dr. Bean as Health Officers in keeping the community as safe as possible and as open as possible.”