Rex D. Archer, MD, MPH
Director of Health
Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department
Dr. Rex Archer serves as Director of Health for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to serving on PHAB’s Board of Directors, he is a past president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. 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 one of the first health departments in the United States to achieve national accreditation, and the first in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Region VII, which encompasses Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa.
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. He facilitated bringing together the Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2), and Communities Creating Opportunity — representing more than 90 congregations. Although the two groups have similar visions and values, they had not been joining forces to multiply their power. The new collaboration has resulted in many benefits, including an Oct. 18, 2011, meeting that integrated 1,100 attendees and almost 100 clergy, all seeking commitment on social justice issues.
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.
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.
Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2) recognized Dr. Archer as an Equity Partner of the Year.