Dr. Amy Acton back home at the Youngstown Jewish Community Center
During the beginning and at the height of the pandemic -Youngstown native Dr. Amy Acton found herself in the crosshairs of history.
Sunday, July 31st 2022, 7:16 PM EDT
During the beginning and at the height of the pandemic Youngstown native Dr. Amy Acton found herself in the crosshairs of history.
The former Ohio Health Director came home to speak at the Jewish Community Center, a place and community she loves.
Dr. Amy Acton who is Jewish shared some of her lessons learned, and how our country can move forward as we learn to live with COVID-19.
"It's a joy to be back home. I grew up here. The JCC where I went to preschool here and this community was so with me during the pandemic," said Dr. Acton.
21 News asked about her background.
"I did have a rough childhood. I grew up right here around the north side of Youngstown. We moved a lot as a child, even spent some time in winter in the snow in a tent, so I experienced a lot, I was fortunately removed from that, and in the 7th grade moved to Liberty and had an idyllic education that allowed me to become who I am," said Acton.
She tells 21 News enduring chaos and hardship made her good in a crisis.
We asked about the continuing pandemic and new boosters that will be more effective on the new strains circulating in the population now.
"The scientists are saying we are living to learn with this. This mask is not my favorite thing. The good news it makes a huge difference to go out and get vaccinated," emphasized Acton.
"I have colleagues who have been working on the new boosters that they will be bringing out. I'll be looking forward to getting that myself," said Acton.
We asked her about what she is doing now or will do in the future.
"I will continue to fight for public health. I'm working on a wonderful new nonprofit in Columbus which is creating huge green and blue spaces, because one of the great things we have learned during the pandemic, one of the pearls we rediscovered was nature. Nature is for everyone and there is no partisanship in it," added Acton.
"I will be doing a little writing, eventually some more teaching, a lot of advocating that we have a 911 style commission nationally to study what we can learn from this, what we got right, what we could have done better," said Acton.
Acton added, "I think our leaders in the next pandemic need more than virologists and epidemiologists. They need theologians, historians, medical anthropologists, social scientists and business leaders, and supply chain people that all have different perspectives that can help us live a more human life and be the world we want to be," emphasized Dr. Acton.
"This is a common enemy. My message is we need grace, a little more mercy, more than ever as we get through this," said Acton.
Dr. Acton added we can not be complacent but must help create or weave the world we want to live in and added she has great faith in Youngstown, this region, and Ohio.
"Y-town is so in me. The people, the love, there is something here!" said Acton.