Before COVID-19 had claimed the lives of more than a handful of Americans, Dr. Amy Acton, the first woman physician appointed to Ohio’s top public health position, boldly proposed an aggressive shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of COVID-19. While her leadership put Ohio ahead of most other states in responding to the virus, she became the target of protestors and legislators who sought to limit her power while engaging in personal attacks against her.
"Dr. Acton embodies strength, truth, humility, and heart. She is driven by a conviction that everyone deserves the opportunity to be healthy, and this was certainly evident in her leadership during the COVID pandemic. Dr. Acton was a speaker of truth - even when that truth seemed unlikely, was ugly, needed to be spoken to power, or was professionally risky. People are drawn to her sincerity, compassion, and extraordinary ability to relate to others. Her intelligence and passion for public health made her a successful convener and her genuine empathy made her a trusted and natural public spokesperson. And, what you see in her public persona is exactly what she is outside of the spotlight. It was an honor to serve with her, learn from her, and to know her." - Joanne Pearsol, former deputy director, Ohio Department of Health