St. Louis City health director to retire Friday, acting director appointed
The director of the St. Louis City Department of Health, Pam Walker, has announced her retirement after eight years in the position.
In that time, she has overseen health initiatives, a citywide, secondhand smoking ban, and major changes in St. Louis’ healthcare landscape — including the closure of Connect Care, a clinic that provided urgent care and specialty appointments to people without insurance.
“Pam was one of the people totally on point when ConnectCare closed,” said St. Louis Regional Health Commission CEO Robert Fruend, who also sat on the committee that helped move the clinic’s patients to nearby facilities.
“When they closed, they had about 3,000 appointments on the book, and we went patient by patient and made sure everyone got rescheduled somewhere,” Fruend said.
Walker will continue her involvement with the Youth Violence Prevention Plan, a regional effort to support young people and reduce crime, which is intended to last until the summer of 2016.
A spokesperson for the city said Walker alerted the mayor to her retirement more than a month ago, and that they mutually agreed on the date of her exit.
In a news release, Mayor Francis Slay said he was “grateful” for Walker’s leadership “on everything from heat to the latest dangerous flu strain to her dedication in providing the best care for animals in our City.”
Slay appointed Health Commissioner Melba Moore to serve as acting director of the city’s Health Department. Moore has served as a commissioner for 14 years, and is a Certified Public Health Administrator.