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Dr. Amy Acton shares message of support on National Doctors' Day

On National Doctors' Day, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton shared a message of support for her colleagues.

Dr. Amy Acton wasn't aware that Monday was National Doctors' Day until it was actually happening.

But even as Governor Mike DeWine paid tribute to her, the Ohio Department of Health Director's mind was on her colleagues and the state's battle with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

"I have the honor of wearing this white coat, which I know has become a little bit iconic," Acton said as she closed her presentation during Monday's daily press briefing. "But it became very clear to me that I'm wearing a symbol of all my friends and colleagues and your family members who are out on the front lines. I'm thinking about you a lot -- more than I can express because I've spent many years on the front lines and sometimes feel frustrated that I can't just come in there and work alongside of you in doing this bigger picture planning. But this white coat represents all of you."

Acton, who has drawn praise for her calming presence and demeanor over the course of the past month, then turned her attention toward the toll that Ohio's fight with the coronavirus has begun to take on the medical community.

"It's Doctors' Day, we're losing people and these deaths, they're starting to be personal," she said. "I know we lost an E.R. nurse, I just learned this news yesterday, who was working, again, a younger person who has a family, working alongside our colleagues and our colleagues had to help her when she got sick. I know we lost someone from one of our health boards, one of the board of health members, and all of this is personal, it's becoming increasingly personal to all of us and so I just want to let you know that I'm wearing this coat and I'm thinking of you every day that I put it on."

As of Monday, Ohio has had 1,933 confirmed coronavirus cases, 475 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 163 ICU admissions and 39 deaths. On March 23, a stay-at-home order in Ohio set to last until at least April 6 went into effect.

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