Shawnee Co. Health Officer pay raise approved

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 6:41 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County Commissioners voted Thursday morning to raise the pay for the Shawnee County Health Officer, Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino.

Under his current contract, Dr. Pezzino receives a base pay of $4588 a month, or $55,056 annually.

“Dr. Pezzino has been an invaluable asset to Shawnee County during our response to COVID-19,” stated Linda Ochs, Director of the Shawnee County Health Department. “His knowledge and expertise has helped us to mitigate the spread and ensure that both our healthcare and public health infrastructures have not been overwhelmed.”

Commissioner Aaron Mays said finding a replacement health officer would be nearly impossible.

“There is no doctor that is willing to work 40 hours a week for $4,500 a month. There’s zero doctors in the world that would take that job,” he said.

Pezzino will now be paid hourly, instead of a base salary - health department officials say the change makes his pay eligible for reimbursement through the CARES Act.

He could earn up to $45,000 for the next six months - his prior salary was $55,000 for the whole year.

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