Officials approve pay raise for Shawnee County health officer during pandemic


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Commission approved a pay raise Thursday for Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino for his work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The contract amendment will change the Shawnee County health officer’s pay to $125 per hour for up to 60 hours per month, instead of a base salary. During their meeting, the county commission said this would alter his pay from $4,500 per month to $7,500 for the extra hours he has worked.

Shawnee County will receive reimbursement for the pay raise through money from the CARES Act and the state’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas initiate, both designated for coronavirus related expenses.

Shawnee County Health Department Director Linda Ochs, who helped pass the amendment to his contract, said the agency didn’t know what Pezzino would be facing going into the pandemic.

“Dr. Pezzino has been an invaluable asset to Shawnee County during our response to COVID-19,” Ochs said. “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.”

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