Missouri health director resigns

Dr Randall Williams Missouri Department Of Health

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri’s health director resigns. Governor Mike Parson announced Dr. Randall Williams’s departure today.

Former Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Williams as the Department of Health and Senior Services director in 2017. Governor Parson accepted a letter of resignation from Dr. Randall Williams earlier today.

Williams helped lead the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and is leaving amid the vaccine rollout.

“Dr. Williams has been a huge asset to Missouri, especially this past year in dealing with COVID-19,” Governor Parson said. “We greatly appreciate all the work he has done for the people of our state and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Parson says he’s naming his deputy chief of staff, Robert Knodell, to be the state’s acting health director. Parson says Knodell has also been leading the state’s COVID-19 response. But Knodell doesn’t have a medical background as Williams does.

Mr. Knodell has served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Parson since 2017.

“As Deputy Chief of Staff, Robert brings valuable knowledge and leadership experience to our team and the entire state of Missouri,” Governor Parson said. “For more than a year, he has also played a leading role in Missouri’s COVID-19 response efforts, and I am more than confident in him to take over as Acting Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services.”