Departing Kane Health boss Jeffers gets high praise from chairman ahead of retirement

Lauzen: 'You’ve done great stuff for 532,000 people. We will miss you dearly'

GENEVA – Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barbara Jeffers, who has shepherded the county through the last eight months of the coronavirus pandemic, is retiring, effective Dec. 1.

County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen praised Jeffers at Tuesday’s County Board meeting.

“I just wanted to take a moment this morning to thank and have you (board members) thank and recognize all the good work that Barb Jeffers has done,” Lauzen said. “She is a delight. First of all, her personality is bigger than life. It is just lovely. You are just a wonderful, magnetic person.”

Lauzen said she had invited him to one of her staff meetings and found that “her team loves her and they support her. It’s spectacular and she’s very deserving of that.”

“The other thing you should know about Barb is she’s always on the job. It couldn’t have been a harder seven-eight months on 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Lauzen said.

“Something came up a couple of Saturday nights ago about eight o’clock and it required that I call Barb because we were going to need some help. The sheriff called and we needed to work out a problem. And I called Barb,” Lauzen said.

“You kind of cringe while you’re making that call. And Barb answers the phone – joyful and happy and professional: ‘Hey Chris, how can I help?’ She and her husband Shawn are just a couple from heaven,” Lauzen said. “Thank you. You are a wonderful person. You’ve done great stuff for 532,000 people. We will miss you dearly.”

Jeffers has worked for the county for 15 years, eight of them as executive director.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of the people that I have come across in the last 15 years professionally,” Jeffers said.

“It’s been such a rewarding experience to work in this community and do all the things that we accomplished. And I didn’t do them alone,” Jeffers said. “I thank you for all the accolades, but it takes a team of us– all of us – it takes all of us to contribute to the successes that we have for this community and the dedication that many of you have that really show your commitment to the constituents in our community, so I thank you.”

Jeffers thanked Lauzen “for him having the confidence and that belief in me that I could do this job for the last eight years.”

“That has been a pleasure and a reward so I want to thank each and every one of you who have come along the way to support the public health,” Jeffers said. “And it is not over. We are in for another ride and we still will need all of you.”