Katherine Wells elected to board for National Association of County and City Health Officials

Katherine Wells
Katherine Wells(Katherine Wells)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 8:46 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock’s Public Health Director now has seat on the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

The association allows health directors from across the country to bring local needs to the attention of the federal government and the CDC.

Wells was elected by her peers to represent Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico for the next three years.

“I’m proud that the leadership that I’ve taken in Lubbock, and the support I’ve had from the Lubbock community has allowed me to take on these additional opportunities and take on a national leadership role, not just the local one,” Wells said.

Wells says she is looking forward to bringing national attention to rural public health needs.

“Public health officials across the nation, they may not understand what’s really needed in the smaller communities. A lot of people pay attention to our big cities like New York, Houston, Dallas - all get lots of money for public health, but we need to make sure that we fund our local health departments that really serve a large percentage of our population,” Wells said.

Wells will also be able to share success stories in our region with the rest of the country, including Lubbock’s success in vaccinating, not only the city, but surrounding counties in an efficient manner.

“People were very interested in our vaccination efforts. Really surprised when I said we could vaccinate 3,000 people a day. We’re...a medium-sized Health Department, so people asked how do you do that? And I talked about our partnerships with the hospitals and fire,” Wells said.

During the NACCHO meeting, Wells says they spoke to CDC directors and national public health attorneys to debrief the past 18 months and discuss what happens next

“How are we going to support public health moving forward, but also make sure we’re still monitoring COVID, still providing vaccines, still providing that education, but also move forward with other initiatives? Where does that balance come in? When do we start making that change,” Wells said.

Wells says Lubbock is seeing a rise in COVID cases after the Thanksgiving holiday, which is in line with national trends.

Although Omicron has not been detected in our area, Wells says we will likely see a rise in cases when the variant arrives.

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