Representative Jeff Coleman, District 32
Donald Kauerauf Selected to Lead Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
On the same day Gov. Parson unveiled the state’s new vaccine incentive program, the governor also announced the new director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Donald Kauerauf, who previously served as the assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, will lead Missouri’s public health efforts beginning September 1.
Parson said, “Don is no stranger to state government and has more than 30 years of experience in public health and emergency management with the state of Illinois. It is obvious that he has a firm grasp on public health issues and the COVID-19 crisis, and we are confident in his ability to lead DHSS.”
Parson noted that Kauerauf has more than 30 years of experience in state government and has served in various senior leadership positions in public health and emergency management. During his time with the Illinois Department of Public Health, he developed a statewide structure to improve communication between the Department and local public health agencies and directed the development and implementation of the nation's first statewide pandemic influenza exercise, among other accomplishments.
“I’m looking forward to working with public health agencies, healthcare providers, and communities to build upon the great work that has been initiated in Missouri to address the current COVID-19 situation. At the same time, I’ll work to make available critical preventative programs and services to increase the health and safety of all Missourians,” said Kauerauf.
State Offers New Funding to Combat Crimes Against Children
The state of Missouri is enhancing its efforts to combat crimes against children and to support agencies that provide services to crime victims.
Gov. Parson recently announced that $2 million in grant opportunities will be made available to assist local law enforcement and prosecutors to combat crimes against children, which rose in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional $2 million in grant opportunities will be available to support crime victim service agencies, which have reported increases in service referrals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parson said, “The last two years have created hardships and strained resources across the nation, but the reported rise in crimes affecting children and the difficulties experienced by agencies that provide vital services to crime victims is most concerning.”
He added, “These new grant programs will allow us to better investigate and prosecute criminals who victimize children and support domestic violence service agencies and child advocacy centers who serve our most vulnerable citizens and help bring criminals to justice.”
The two competitive grants will utilize funds previously allocated to Missouri from the federal Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program (CESF). The grants will be administered by the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
The funding opportunity for the Crimes Against Children/Sex Crimes Grant is expected to open August 1, 2021. Projects may include hiring additional staff to investigate, prosecute, and detect crimes against children.
The funding opportunity for the Victims of Crime Grant is expected to open September 1, 2021. Projects may include providing resource assistance to domestic violence service agencies and child advocacy centers and aiding other entities serving victims from vulnerable populations adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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