Kentucky doctor, senator named Tennessee health commissioner

Friday, November 25, 2022, Vol. 46, No. 47

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Kentucky doctor and state senator has been appointed commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health, officials said.

Ralph Alvarado, who is chief executive officer of Alvarado Medical Services and has served in the Kentucky State Senate since 2015, will step into the role on Jan. 16, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday in a statement.

Along with being a lawmaker, Alvarado has experience in hospital management and has nearly 30 years of service as an attending physician. He earned undergraduate and medical degrees from Loma Linda University and completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Kentucky.

"Dr. Alvarado's significant clinical and hospital management experience make him well-positioned to lead the Department of Health, and I appreciate his service to Tennesseans," Lee said.

Alvarado will resign as a Kentucky lawmaker before taking the post, officials said.

"It's an honor to join Governor Lee's team to advance health and prosperity for every Tennessean," Alvarado said in a statement. "I appreciate this opportunity and look forward to serving individuals and families across the Volunteer State."

Alvarado will succeed Interim Health Commissioner Morgan McDonald.