Parson taps Donald Kauerauf to lead Missouri health department


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Donald Kauerauf has been tapped to lead the Missouri Department of Health and Services.

Governor Mike Parson made the announcement Wednesday at the state capitol. He also unveiled a statewide COVID vaccine incentive plan at the news conference.

Missouri had been without a full-time health director since the resignation of Dr. Randall Williams in April. Robert Knodell served as Acting Health Director in the interim.

“Don is no stranger to state government and has more than 30 years of experience in public health and emergency management with the state of Illinois,” Parson said. “It is obvious that he has a firm grasp on public health issues and the COVID-19 crisis, and we are confident in his ability to lead DHSS.”

Kauerauf served as assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health from 2016 until his retirement in 2018. He recently chaired the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.

“I’m looking forward to working with public health agencies, healthcare providers, and communities to build upon the great work that has been initiated in Missouri to address the current COVID-19 situation,” Kauerauf said. “At the same time, I’ll work to make available critical preventative programs and services to increase the health and safety of all Missourians.”

Kauerauf holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health from Illinois State University.

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