Leon County School Board Chair calls on district to appoint Chief Medical Officer

Headlines

By WTXL | July 27, 2020

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County School Board Chair DeeDee Rasmussen is calling on the district to appoint a Chief Medical Officer ahead of the start of the 2020-21 school year in August.

In an announcement made on Monday, Rasmussen contended that the school district needs a medical expert to help lead COVID-19 preparations as well as provide support to students, teachers and other staff members.

“Our staff has done a yeoman’s job, but the skills we need to address a pandemic are beyond our current capacity,” Rasmussen wrote. “After consulting with multiple professionals in the medical community, I believe we need the consistent expertise of a medical professional, at least for the foreseeable future.”

Along with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Rasmussen is calling for a multi-disciplinary team of medical experts to serve in an advisory capacity to support the CMO and advise the school board as well as Superintendent Rocky Hanna.

The full responsibilities of the CMO position may include, but aren’t limited to:

• Reviewing and advising on Leon County Schools’ reopening plans;
• Ensuring the implementation of CDC guidelines;
• Assisting in the revision of LCS policies on communicable diseases, procedures for leaving and returning to work/school after testing positive, self-reporting, parental notification, etc;
• Working with the Leon Health Department, FSU and others on contact tracing;
• Working with LCS legal and risk management staff to address employment issues like medical leave, self-reporting, ADA compliance;
• Keeping up with evolving scientific protocols to ensure aggressive protection measures are in place to protect students, teachers and families from the potential spread of COVID-19;
• Coordinating appropriate testing and response efforts in schools;
• Supporting accommodations for special educational or medical needs;
• Providing safety and sanitary training for school officials; and
• Assisting LCS in its communication with families, students, teachers, and the community at large about Leon County Schools’ efforts to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

“Our students and families deserve to have an expert health professional leading Leon County Schools’ effort to reopen,” said Rasmussen.