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Public ‘interviews’ candidate for Douglas County Health director

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Typically, a candidate might go before a handful of decision-makers, and maybe meet some potential colleagues. But Dr. Lindsay Huse, the lone finalist for the Douglas County Health director job, also took questions from the community.

The public didn’t stop at Omaha Public School headquarters to ask questions — they submitted them — so it was a bit surreal with only a handful of people there Wednesday. They asked about everything from Huse’s thoughts on access for those with disabilities, to her philosophy on preventing discrimination.

One key message is, public health doesn’t work in a silo. The department can’t solve its problems by itself, it needs the community to collaborate.

Earlier, Dr. Huse, a Nebraska native and currently a supervisor of public health nursing for the Wyoming Department of Health, took questions from members of the county board of health. She said that, for a community to be happy, it must also be healthy.

“I think racism is one of the biggest threats to the public health system, and I was thrilled to see that a declaration has been made in Omaha to address that issue,” she said. “If we aren’t offering health and a way forward for everyone, then we are never going to be a healthy community.”

She said addressing racism meant “addressing barriers to economic growth, barriers to jobs and safe, affordable housing. All these things have to be in place in order for a community to be as healthy as possible.”

Dr. Huse also said it’s important to remember COVID-19 is still present, but that’s only part of the equation when it comes to a healthy community. Mask mandates were controversial, she said, “but they worked.”

On Thursday, she is scheduled to meet the staff at the Health Department and with DCHD Director Dr. Adi Pour, who is retiring this summer after 19 years on the job.

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