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Waco-McLennan County Health spokesperson Kelly Craine is stepping down

After 20 years of service, Kelly Craine is retiring this week

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — You have seen her splashed across your television screen for the last 20 years, even more-so in the last two years, a constant presence answering our most pressing health questions but this time, she's said goodbye.

"Honestly, I probably won't get any sleep the night before," Kelly Craine said in a Zoom call this week. "Man, that Monday morning I'm going to be like a kid going to kindergarten and just excited about what's going to happen next and not knowing, I mean, not knowing when I'm going to Where and being too nervous to eat breakfast. I really am just going to be like a little kid."

Craine she got her start in communications at KNCT-TV in Central Texas, a now-defunct local PBS station but she found her groove as the communications lead for the Waco-McLennan Public Health District.

Craine admitted she didn't know, at times, what she was doing but said that's the way of the job -- always learning and doing so together at times. Nonetheless, she said she set out on a path to always be truthful in what she said and measured her words carefully.

"Tell the truth and tell we're doing as heath district to make your community better," Craine said when asked how seriously she took her job and about her guiding principals. "Let people know what they can do to protect themselves and their families."

Craine said over the years she loved to work with the media and called it a team effort the last two decades. Her advice to others, especially other little girls with big dreams, is to jump in with both feet and develop those relationships from the beginning while always staying true to yourself.

"There's no such thing as one single person doing something or leading something or taking care of something. It's really about how we all rely on each other," she said.

As for what's next, she said she will work with other local hospitals but does relish the chance to step away from the public eye. She also want people to know, if you don't listen to anyone else, listen and do what your Mom always taught you, especially when it comes to your health.

"The things that your mother taught you about staying healthy still apply," she said. "Your mother is always going to tell you to wash your hands and it doesn't matter if she's 90 years old and you were grown with your own children, just follow those basic steps and you'll be healthy.  

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