Kansas City Health Director Dr. Rex Archer announced Tuesday he plans to retire at then end of this summer.
Archer, head of the city’s heath department, said his final day will be Aug. 1. He said he and his wife originally planned that he’d retire in December 2020, but Archer stayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Archer has led the department for 23 years.
Dr. Archer completed his medical degree at the University of Kansas, and his General Preventive Medicine Public Health Residency and Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Michigan.
Lucas presented Archer with a proclamation from the city for his service on Tuesday. The city said it will begin a nationwide search to fill the health director position in the coming weeks.
“Not everyone has the opportunity to come back to the city in which they grew up to serve,” Archer said. “I wouldn’t trade these past 23 years for anything. But I need to make clear that nothing improves in public health through one individual. It’s the entire team; it’s the Health Department; it’s our elected officials, media and other partners. When we decide to work together we can make a difference.”