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Cooper to Remain TN Department of Health Commissioner

Press Release from Gov. Bill Haslam, Jan. 14, 2011:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Susan Cooper will remain in her position on an interim basis as Governor-elect Bill Haslam today announced the formation of a new Tennessee Health and Wellness Commission.

The purpose of the commission is to assemble members of public health agencies, private health interests, business, education, health consumers and other stakeholders to develop strategies to improve the overall health and wellness of Tennesseans.

Dr. John Lacey, the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of UT Medical Center and a practicing general internist, will chair the commission for Gov.-elect Haslam.

“I’m grateful that Commissioner Cooper is willing to stay on as an interim commissioner as our administration takes office,” Haslam said. “I look forward to working with the commission as they gather the relevant parties to examine how to improve Tennesseans’ health and wellness, a major factor when attracting businesses to our state.”

“The commission’s job will be to look for ways for the state to work with all stakeholders in finding new and innovative ways to advance health and wellness throughout the state,” Lacey said. “We’ll also look into how to bring additional health care investment to the state, and ultimately we’ll be expected to develop strategies and support implementation of the strategies.”

Cooper is a master’s prepared registered nurse from Vanderbilt University, and she became the first nurse to serve as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health when she was appointed in 2007.

For more information, please visit www.billhaslam.org.

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