In an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ms. Drummond, who is now director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, said she had approved of the governor's decision to keep Ferrell at his post:
"Based on the fact that Fred seemed very sorry and seemed very eager to do something to remedy the situation, I think it was an appropriate decision to have him make the public apology and have him undergo sensitivity training," Drummond said in an interview.
Ms. Drummond ran into early difficulties before being confirmed to her present post. Records obtained by The Associated Press showed health department regulators had met Jan. 17, 2006, in Drummond's office to discuss why the Anderson Guest House and two other facilities operated by Joplin River of Life Ministries Inc. were still running under temporary permits, instead of full licenses. In a Jan. 24, 2006, e-mail to Drummond a health department official asked for permission to go ahead with the closures of the Anderson Guest House and the two Joplin facilities. The e-mail referred to financial problems with the facilities. Instead of denying the licenses, the health department granted a series of temporary operating permits that were revoked only after the November fire that destroyed the facility and took 11 lives.