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Acton leaves DeWine administration

COLUMBUS — Former Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton has left the administration of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

The Columbus Foundation, where Acton worked previously, announced on Tuesday that it had hired Acton as director of their Kind Columbus initiative, effective Sept. 1.

“Dr. Acton will be the first Director of this special Columbus Foundation initiative, which is dedicated to spreading the words and actions of kindness as a defining value for our region,” a statement from the nonprofit said. “Among the current programs that will be consolidated within Dr. Acton’s purview are the Foundation’s Gifts of Kindness and Acts of Kindness funds and investments, as well as the grantmaking to support kindness throughout our community. Further expansion of Kind Columbus is planned and will be led by Dr. Acton.”

DeWine wished Acton well upon her departure.

“Fran and I want to thank Dr. Amy Acton for everything she did for the State of Ohio, “DeWine said in a statement. “Her knowledge of and passion for public health helped position Ohio well as we faced the early stages of COVID-19. We wish her well in her new position with The Columbus Foundation.”

Acton was a daily presence in the media for the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state and won praise nationally for the state’s early efforts to battle the virus.

She resigned her position as head of the department on June 11, following backlash from anti-shutdown protesters and members of the Republican Party in the Legislature against restrictions in place to limit the spread of the virus. Some of the protests had taken place outside her home in the Columbus suburbs.

Lance Himes became interim director of the department, while Acton remained as a chief health advisor to DeWine after the resignation.