PARK HILLS, Mo. (KFVS) - The St. Francois County Health Center Director left her job after she said she was the target of threats and harassment over the past eight months.
”Ya know, I had to ask myself the question of ‘is this really worth it,’” said Amber Elliott, former St. Francois County Health Department Director. “I’ve heard of a lot of, ya know, implied threats or harassment over the past eight months. It’s more directed towards me.”
She said with what she experienced during her time with the health center, the safety of her two young kids is the most important to her right now. Her last day was Friday, November 20.
“You can treat people with respect and professionalism and caring and kindness without becoming really nasty and personal attacks or involving people’s families when they’re just trying to do their job,” she said.
Another hurdle Elliott said she faced at work is misinformation about COVID-19.
“People just, they refuse to believe the truth, at hand. And I think it’s really hard to fight misinformation when, ya know, people do have a distrust in government or the CDC. And ya know It’s hard to fight misinformation with facts when they just won’t believe the facts,” she said.
Moving forward, Elliott thinks it’s important to hear what’s happening to public health professionals and frontline healthcare workers across the country. She also said they need to hear support too.
“We have the power in the community. This is a public health problem, and it is a community solution, and so we need our communities to back us,” said Elliott.
Elliott told the Washington Post she’s taken another nursing job and will continue to fight the virus in her community.