Why one Reno woman left her corporate job to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
Throughout the pandemic, some public health leaders have exited the field due to incredibly high demands, while others left due to threats or harassment regarding their work. But there were some, like Gayle Erickson, who turned to the profession instead.
KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck met with Erickson as she made her morning rounds at the Washoe County Health District to learn why she left her corporate job.
Hi, I’m Gayle Erickson. I’m the program coordinator over COVID here at the Washoe County Health District. So every day, I typically go through and I check in with all of the managers, supervisors, directors to make sure that they don’t need anything specific from me that’s COVID-related.
I came from a completely different industry. Immediately preceding this position, I was a registered agent manager. I incorporated companies throughout the world here in the state of Nevada. So forming them from the beginning of their initial incorporation documents, all the way through maintaining their records for them, year in and year out.
I started this position in July of 2020. There was a lot of learning about COVID in general because there’s a lot of misinformation. Coming in and hearing it from the scientific side and what was actually happening and what mitigation measures the health district was actually doing, coming in and learning all of that was a huge, overwhelming task.
That has probably been the biggest challenge, is making sure that I’m doing what I need to to communicate what the community needs are and how good we’re doing and keeping morale up. Being able to come in and manage a group of people and see them succeed at what they want to do, that’s always been my goal.