Get to know Dr. Garold Minns

Doctor, educator and family man

Written by Julie Schillings

When Dr. Garold Minns speaks, Wichitans would be wise to listen. As Covid-19 has disrupted daily life in Kansas and across the globe, Minns, health officer for Sedgwick County, has become the locally trusted voice in separating fact from fiction.

Minns found himself suddenly thrust before the public in March when the World Health Organization made the assessment that Covid-19 could be characterized as a pandemic.

“Locally, we have spent a lot of effort to help society work through this, and keep our community as safe as possible,” said Minns, “I recognize that our community wants to get back to normal life, but it is important for our residents and businesses, for everyone, to come together and protect one another from Covid-19.”

A native of McPherson, Minns has lived in south-central Kansas for the majority of his life with the exception of two years spent in Kansas City during medical school. “Back in my day, shadowing doctors wasn’t done. I entered med school based on faith and the encouragement of my college professors,” explained Minns, “Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Minns specialized in internal medicine, a discipline that he finds both interesting and rewarding. “Internal medicine presents you with diagnostic dilemmas,” Minns said, “somewhat like detective work. I like to learn new things, and there are elements that we’ll never fully understand.”

Since 2009, Minns has served as Sedgwick County health officer. In this role, his primary responsibility is to consult local leaders as medical director, discuss effective ways to vaccinate the public, supervise the physician’s assistant in the family planning office of the health department, and other consultant roles in the county and at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center.

Four years after graduating from the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, Minns joined the faculty there and has served as Dean since 2012. His daily schedule varies. When he’s not teaching classes and overseeing rounds with resident students, Minns is consulting on patient care. “It’s always enjoyable to interact with the students, to watch them learn and develop into trusted medical professionals,” said Minns.

While free time is minimal for Minns these days, he and his wife enjoy poking around many of Wichita’s antique stores. Occasionally, they embark on leisurely drives though rural Kansas, exploring, antiquing and getting to know the locals. Minns specifically keeps his eyes peeled for handmade wooden toys to add to his collection — both antique and newly crafted. An appreciation for the artisans who craft these one-of-a-kind treasures stems from Minns’ own creative side. He is a hobbyist in leather work and leather stamping on wallets, purses and belts.

An accomplished doctor and educator, Minns declares his greatest achievement is being a father of three. “My children are not only successful in their careers,” said Minns proudly, “they are exceptional human beings.” He, like so many others, looks forward to the time when he can spend more time with extended family and friends, until then, Minns will continue his important work in keeping our community safe.

Minns shared that that his team constantly evaluates new evidence, “People may have a hard time understanding the constant changes with health recommendations and requirements, and we ask that the community understands that the medical professionals are doing our best to keep everyone safe.”

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