Rex D. Archer, MD, MPH
Director of Health, Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department, Kansas City, Missouri
Dr. Rex Archer serves as Director of Health for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to serving on the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) of Directors and Chairing PHAB’s Accreditation Improvement Committee, he is a past president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Dr. Archer has served on numerous national committees involved with public health. He is responsible for safeguarding the public health of nearly half a million residents and a daytime population of almost one million people.
Under Dr. Archer’s leadership, the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department is, to date, the only health department in the country to receive PHAB accreditation, NACCHO’s Local Health Department of the Year award for work in health equity, and to lead their community to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize.
Dr. Archer completed his medical degree at the University of Kansas and his General Preventive Medicine Public Health Residency and Masters in Public Health degree at the University of Michigan. He is recognized as a Public Health Leadership Institute Scholar by UCLA/CDC. He has served as Physician in Charge of Employee Health Programs for the Ford Motor Company and has held local and state health positions in Maryland. Dr. Archer has been a primary leader in the adoption of policies to protect non-smokers from tobacco smoke in Maryland, Michigan, and Missouri, and at the Ford Motor Company.
Dr. Archer continues to work with religious and faith-based community organizations to address and improve social and environmental factors that impact public health. He served four years on the United Methodist Church’s Missouri Conference Social Justice Team and is a member of Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) Clergy Caucus. Communities Creating Opportunity recognized Dr. Archer as the 2015 Soul of the City Award recipient. Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2) recognized Dr. Archer as the 2012 Equity Partner of the Year and the 2017 Health Trailblazer award from Calvary Community Outreach Network. In addition, he has received NACCHO’s Model Practice Award for partnership between public health and community organizers.
In 2017 the Kansas City Health Department received the prestigious Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for the best practices of the food protection program and the KCMOHD is one of only two departments in the nation to have also meet all 9 of the FDA’s Food Regulatory Standards.
Among his many accomplishments, the Missouri Public Health Association recognized Dr. Archer for distinguished service to the field of Public Health in Missouri, and for the skill, integrity, devotion to duty and constructive leadership which characterized the life of W. Scott Johnson.
Research America recognized Dr. Archer as a Public Health Hero for his support of smoke-free legislation in Maryland, Michigan and Kansas City, and for increasing cardiac survivability through improvements in the CPR protocol for Kansas City.
Dr. Archer was the recipient of the 2013 Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work. The award is the top honor given annually to a local health director by the more than 25,000 members of the American Public Health Association.