Jan 20, 2022 - News

Top Minnesota official for pandemic response to retire

Kris Ehresmann

Kris Ehresmann. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Department of Health

A seasoned Minnesota health official who has played a central role in the state's COVID-19 response is stepping down.

What's new: MDH infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann announced Thursday that she will retire in February after a long career in public health.

Flashback: Ehresmann has been a regular presence in the state's COVID-19 briefings for the past two years. But before that, she was a key figure in public health crises ranging from the 2017 measles outbreak to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

What they're saying: "Kris's expertise and ability to communicate complicated public health messages with clarity and compassion has made her an invaluable gift to the residents of Minnesota," Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota, said in a statement. "She will be truly missed."

What's next: Ehresmann's last day is Feb. 2.

  • Emily Emerson, current assistant director of the state's infectious diseases division, will step in as interim director while a national search for a new leader gets underway.
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