FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City Manager Greg Burris has appointed Assistant Director of Health Clay Goddard as director of health for Springfield-Greene County effective Nov. 12.
Goddard has been with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department since 1996, starting as an intern and continuing his public health service in a variety of roles.
“It is an honor to be following in the footsteps of two local public health legends, Harold Bengsch and Kevin Gipson,” Goddard said. “I am humbled by the opportunity and excited for the future of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. Our staff are second to none in their commitment and talent. I look forward to the great things we will do together.”
Goddard takes the reins of the Health Department from Kevin Gipson, who Oct. 9 announced his impending retirement after 24 years with the department and 13 years as director.
“In 1996, a young graduate student named Clay Goddard walked into my office requesting an internship. I made the decision to hire him and have worked side-by-side with him ever since. He has developed into one of the most respected public health leaders in the state of Missouri. He not only is a great leader, but an even better human being. I could not be prouder to leave this department in his hands,” Gipson said.
Goddard’s education includes a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Missouri State University. He is a graduate of the Missouri Public Health Leadership Institute and Leadership Springfield. Goddard served as director of the City’s Information Systems Department before returning to his passion for public health to serve as assistant director of the Health Department. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member with Drury University.
Goddard is the current president of the Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence.
He is a member of the American Public Health Association and National Association of City and County Health Officials. He serves on the board for Community Partnership of the Ozarks and co-chairs the Community Investment process for the United Way of the Ozarks. Goddard is also a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Goddard and his wife Cindi reside in Springfield and have three college-age children.
"It is my pleasure to appoint Clay Goddard as the new director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. Within public health circles. Clay's reputation precedes him,” said City Manager Greg Burris. He works well with, and is respected by, other community leaders both regionally and beyond. We're fortunate to have someone of Clay's caliber ready to step into this role – he will hit the ground running. I look forward to working with him in this new role."
For more information, please contact Springfield-Greene County Health Department Public Information Administrator Kathryn Wall at 417-874-1205 or [email protected].