Wed, Jun

Kathy Moore Director of Public Health Muskegon County Talks Candidly About Our Time in COVID

Muskegon Metro Area News

With anything we do here at the Muskegon Channel, we like you to get to know a little more about all of our guests up front so we can connect you to them on more than just a "talking head" level.  The people that make up Muskegon are friends and neighbors and while we're a big enough city to have just about everything we need, we're also small enough to know that those around us are "just people" too and that all of who we are and what we do comes in to play when we're making things happen in town.  In the case of Kathy Moore, we really didn't have the luxury of the "get to know you" phase of things.


We got pushed into the COVID end of things in a big hurry.  On our end at the Muskegon Channel, all of our live equipment was sent to the Public Health Office because we needed to be ready in an instant to broadcast urgent messaging if needed and it was the best use of our resources as a public service.  We also had to form working relationships with the staff on hand to help record PSA messages that would compliment the weekly updates that come from the "remote" shows Andy and Kathy were recording via the web.  We had to figure out how to get them on TV, online, in social media and get them seen by so many as possible in a world flooded with messaging around the subject and more over, flooded with all of the accompanying noise that ensued fro every angle.  We had a short time to get a lot of work done and the pleasantries had to be shelved for the time. mkg county public healthMuskegon County Public Health Online

Now that the stay at home order is past, meet Kathy Moore the human.  Kathy is pretty awesome.  Not only does she serve as the Director Of Public Health, she's on the Board of Muskegon Community College, she serves on the Board for Senior Resources in Muskegon. member of Rotary and more.  She's been with the County for years and years and has worked her way up to where she is now by her stoic work and devotion to those in the Muskegon she serves. Kathy, all of us never imagined that what was to come with the COVID mess was ever anything people would see in our lifetime, but it happened on her watch and ready or not.  A quiet job of coordinating health care, working grants, helping where needed and lending her multiple talents to other organizations that needed it, she was thrust into the spotlight.

Trying to take a drink out of a fire hose became the "norm" as it did for so many.  Kathy remained calm, on point and kept her message clear.  She was very much on the ball when it came to the Black community in Muskegon who had a very high rate of infection and mortality early on in the pandemic and assured that the message got to them urgently.  She had to set aside pretty much any of her personal thoughts or feelings throughout the entire process.  She had to bend and flex as orders came from Lansing as fast as they did.  Kathy helped organize and pull off enormous COVID testing events in vulnerable communities, events that had to come together in under 24 hours or not happen at all.  They were remarkably successful thanks to the hard work and leadership of Kathy and others.  Add all that in and the fact that, she had to not only absorb everything from every direction like all the rest of us, she had to keep it all together and make it make sense for us.  Trial by fire?  To say the very least.

As the tumultuous time was coming to a close, word came to us that Kathy was going to miss a Wednesday update with us and there wasn't much of an explanation.  So much exposure to so many with the virus.  So much pressure from every direction.  So much outside expertise and so many who may or may not listen.  Did Kathy finally cave?  No, she didn't.  It was an even sadder moment.  It was even harder to talk about with a newly found friend and someone who I have grown to respect and admire a great deal.  Meet Kathy Moore, the human, today.   


Easily, one of the hardest interviews I have ever had to do.  I think Kathy deserved so much more for her work than what happened.  We've all heard of the front line workers, and they have all had incredible roles in what it took to get us past the "stay home" part of all of this.  Kathy is an amazing example of leadership, passion, and living an others centered life.  For her to share her story today, even with the ending the way it was...shows that it's a role she was born for and that what she stands for is the greater good for all of us.  She set the bar for other counties across the state when it came to the management and implementation of what needed to happen to protect all of us, from those 10 feet tall and bullet proof to the meekest and most apt to suffer the ultimate loss.  We look today to one of the best there is in Kathy Moore with gratitude and the returned grace and compassion she's given all of us.