Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Columbus Foundation’s new Kind Columbus initiative and former director of the Ohio Department of Health, received the 2020 Alumni Medalist Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association Sept. 24, for her leadership in navigating the state’s response to COVID-19.

Acton was recognized during a virtual ceremony, along with eight other distinguished award recipients, according to a news release.

In addition to this highest honor from the alumni association, Acton, who holds a master’s degree in public health from Ohio State, received national and international attention for her response to the pandemic.

According to the release, Acton “elevated the needs of public health and secured resources throughout Ohio to effectively slow the spread of the virus. By sharing personal stories and guiding with empathy, she educated the citizens of Ohio during daily press conferences, urging them to take preventative measures. Through her efforts, she positioned Ohio to serve as a model for many other states across the country.” 

This year’s award winners are:  Dr. David E. Schuller, a 1970 medical school graduate who received the Dan L. Heinlen Award; Duane Elliott Reynolds, a 2004 master of health administration graduate who received the Diversity Champion Award; Jeffrey M. Wittmann, a 1980 bachelor of science humanities graduate who received the Josephine Sitterle Failer Award; Dr. John R. Raymond Sr., a 1978 bachelor of science psychology graduate and a 1982 medical school graduate, who received the Archie M. Griffin Professional Achievement Award; Neethi Johnson, a 2019 MBA graduate who received the William Oxley Thompson Award; Elizabeth Banbury Germain, a 1982 bachelor of science communications graduate who received the Ralph Davenport Mershon Award; Dr. Brian L. Amison, a 1997 dental school graduate who received the Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award; and Ohio Staters, Inc., which received the E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Award.

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