Mayor Slay Appoints Melba Moore Acting Health Director as Pam Walker Retires from City Government

Pam Walker has served as Mayor Francis Slay's Health Director for 8 years.

April 1, 2015 | 2 min reading time

This article is 8 years old. It was published on April 1, 2015.

Over the eight years that Pam Walker has served as Mayor Francis Slay's Health Director, alongside Health Commissioner Melba Moore, the leading indicators of health have improved across the board in the City of St. Louis:
  • Overall mortality rates have decreased 14 percent;
  • Heart disease mortality decreased 26 percent;
  • Incidence of the top four types of cancer has decreased by an average of almost 10 percent;
  • Deaths due to stroke have decreased 36 percent;
  • Diabetes deaths have decreased 11 percent;
  • Infant mortality is down 7 percent;
  • Childhood lead poisoning prevalence has fallen by 80 percent;and
  • Incidence of gonorrhea is down 30 percent.

"Pam Walker has dedicated her life to public service, and I am grateful for her leadership on major public health issues on everything from heat to the latest dangerous flu strain to her dedication in providing the best care for animals in our City," Mayor Slay said. "Melba Moore will build on Pam's work to continue to address other health challenges such as health disparities and obesity."

Under Walker's leadership, the Health Department efficiently and effectively managed health issues through strong partnerships, such as:

  • Seamlessly transitioning STI and TB services for patients when Connect Care abruptly closed. In partnership with others, the Gateway to Better Health and the Affordable Care Act provided access to health care to as many as 50,000 more people in the City;
  • Receiving state accreditation (and currently undergoing national accreditation) for the Department;
  • Developing a Community Health Assessment and a Community Health Improvement Plan;
  • Instituting programs to assure the humane treatment of animals, including the shuttering of the old dog pound on Gasconade and opening a new modern facility on Clark Street, strengthening partnerships and hiring qualified veterinary staff, decreasing euthanasia, and increasing intake and adoptions;
  • Implementing a Citywide secondhand smoking ban;and
  • Increasing physical activity in schools and daycares through the Department's Let's Move St. Louis Program, which has received national recognition. 

"It has been an honor and a privilege to work for the Mayor and the citizens of St. Louis. Together we have made great improvements in public health in the City, improved our residents' quality of life and saved lives," Walker said.  "We have a good management team in place in the department and the good work will continue."

Walker's last day isApril 3, 2015. Melba Moore then will serve as Acting Health Director. Moore, a Certified Public Health Administrator, has served as the City's Health Commissioner for 14 years and worked hand-in-hand with Walker.

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