OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Dr. Lindsay Huse, the lone finalist to replace the retiring Dr. Adi Pour as Douglas County Health Director, was in town Wednesday.
Huse is a Gering, Nebraska native with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2019. For the past five years, she has been the state supervisor of public health nursing with the Wyoming Department of Health.
The Douglas County Board of Health interviewed Huse during their meeting Wednesday morning.
President of the Board, Chris Rodgers said beyond credentials and experience, they are looking for someone who can connect to the community. He added that Huse exhibited those qualities in her interview Wednesday.
"She had a humbleness and ability to listen and definitely understood the role that public health played with the community at large. You can’t do anything in public health by yourself," Rodgers said.
During Wednesday's panel, Huse explained that public health plays a bigger role in the overarching community that connects to many aspects such as housing, employment and more.
"In order to ensure that everyone is able to pursue happiness there has to be able to be a base level of health that everyone can achieve and that really is the basis of public health, to be able to address that foundation to ensure that the environment that we’re all living in, regardless of who we are is an environment that is conducive to obtaining health," Huse said.
Huse told the board she believes the county is due for another health assessment as the needs of the community have probably shifted over the past year or so due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She said if hired, she'd first like to build relationships and trust both within the Health Department and the wider community. She would also like to continue to work on the COVID response.
Another priority of hers would be to address racism and health disparities. She added that while that has always been an issue, COVID has widened those gaps.
"It’s absolutely imperative we continue that work. Our populations of color are still experiencing poor health outcomes at rates much higher than white populations are and that is absolutely something that has to be addressed and worked on," Huse said. "Mental health for sure is going to be something at the top of my list as something we need to look at both for our staff within Douglas county and in the population large because we've been through a really traumatic time."
Watch the meeting below.
On June 9, a Douglas County Board of Health emergency meeting will be held to vote on hiring Huse. Six days after that, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners will also vote on her hiring and contract.
Dr. Huse says her first priorities would be to 1) build relationships ships and trust within her staff and community and 2) to tackle racism within public health.— Alyssa Curtis (@AlyssaNCurtis) June 2, 2021
Tonight the community will have a chance to meet with Dr. Huse. If you have questions you’d like to discuss with her, email them to Commissioner Chris Rodgers.— Alyssa Curtis (@AlyssaNCurtis) June 2, 2021
The board will meet next week for an official vote on Dr. Huse.