Home » Alaska public health czar Dr. Anne Zink to resign

Alaska public health czar Dr. Anne Zink to resign

by John Jefferson
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Dr. Anne Zink, who was a public face of Alaska’s pandemic response, is resigning as the state’s chief medical officer.

Zink plans to continue working full-time in the role until early April, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

An email seeking comment was sent to a state health department spokesperson by The Associated Press on Monday, a holiday.

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Zink called her time as chief medical officer an “amazing experience,” but said “it’s just time to to make a career change and do some other new things.”

Her plans were made public last week by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who during an address to lawmakers thanked Zink for her work.

Zink, an emergency room doctor, was appointed chief medical officer in 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic. She was a regular fixture alongside Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy at news conferences during the early stages of the pandemic, and the two became the public faces of the state’s response.

Zink earned praise for her steady approach and for providing information in an understandable way. But she also became a target for those critical of COVID-19 vaccines and other pandemic-related measures.

She told the newspaper she also wanted to avoid leaving too close to an election.

“Most of the previous chief medical officers have transitioned at non-governor election times. And so that has always been my goal — to transition at a time not associated with elections, just to try to keep this position as apolitical as possible,” she said. Dunleavy was re-elected to a second term in 2022.

Zink said she planned to spend time with family this summer and would likely pursue work in the field of health data. She plans to continue working shifts at a Palmer hospital.

Read the full article here

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