Dr. Ed Thompson, MD, MPH, was named Interim State Health Officer by the newly appointed Mississippi State Board of Health during its first meeting this afternoon.
Thompson previously served the Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) as State Health Officer from 1993 to 2002, and as State Epidemiologist from 1983 to 1993.
In other actions, the board appointed Dr. Luke Lampton, MD, of Magnolia as board chairman, and Dr. Alfred McNair, MD, of Ocean Springs as vice-chairman. Both served on the previous Board of Health. The Board also selected the national search firm Korn/Ferry International to conduct a nationwide search for a permanent State Health Officer.
In announcing Dr. Thompson’s appointment, Dr. Lampton said he is optimistic about the future of public health in Mississippi.
“Selecting someone as qualified and competent as Dr. Thompson is a great first step,” he said. “Dr. Thompson shares the view of the board that we need to hit the ground running and immediately address critical health issues.”
Dr. Thompson is also the former Chief of Public Health Practice and Deputy Director for Public Health Services for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He will continue to serve as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Mississippi (UMC) School of Medicine, and Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Disease.
“UMC Vice Chancellor Dan Jones is very supportive in this endeavor,” Thompson said. “He firmly believes that UMC, just like MDH, should work to protect the public’s health and serve as a resource to all Mississippians.”
Thompson added that he appreciates the confidence of the Board in naming him to this interim position.
The next meeting of the State Board of Health is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 8, 2007, at 10 a.m. in the Osborne Auditorium at the MDH Central Office.