Former director of the Ohio Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton will be speaking at Youngstown State University's (YSU) Centofanti Symposium on Oct. 4.

Called "The Leadership we had is you," the event will be at Stambaugh Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. where she will be discussing leadership values and her time as the head of the Ohio Department of Health during COVID-19.

As the first female physician appointed to the role of director of the Ohio Department of Health, Acton proposed aggressive measures to slow the rate at which COVID spread during the early days of the pandemic.

These measures made her a lightning rod for criticism from some who opposed state pandemic policies which included closing schools, limiting social gatherings, and mask mandates.

She also became a figurehead in the push to end the pandemic with her daily press conferences that provided the public with news and updates regarding it.

These moves and the controversy surrounding them earned her several accolades and nods from national media organizations like the New York Times. In 2021, she earned a Profile in COVID Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

According to a news release from YSU, Acton has taught at The Ohio State University's College of Medicine and Public Health and at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital's Research Institute.

She previously directed Project L.O.V.E. in Columbus, an initiative of local hospitals to Love Our Kids, Vaccinate Early.

She also worked for the Columbus Foundation as a community research and grants management officer.

The Centofanti Symposium is a branch of the Center which features nationally recognized speaker speakers on topics regarding the needs of vulnerable populations. Past speakers of the Symposium include: W. Kamau Bell, Soledad O’Brien, Gloria Steinem and Ben Carson.

Admission to the lecture is free, but tickets are required.

Tickets are available at the Stambaugh Auditorium box office or online.