The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has announced that State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH, will resign from his position at the end of July 2022.
Dobbs began his career at MSDH in 2008, and has held numerous roles including District Health Officer, State Epidemiologist, and Deputy State Health Officer.
His passion has always been infectious disease treatment, and he has served in various roles related to that field, such as medical director for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, clinical consultant for the Southeastern National TB Center, and infectious disease consultant for several hospitals throughout Mississippi.
“I feel like the time is right for me to return to the clinical side of medicine, particularly the communicable disease treatment of patients,” said Dobbs. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at MSDH, particularly working with this dedicated health staff and advancing the field of health equity in Mississippi.”
Dobbs said he also would like to step back into the academic world. He has held numerous faculty positions at colleges and universities throughout the Southeast, including at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and he would love to teach and train healthcare professionals about public health and infectious disease.
State Board of Health Chairman Thad Waites, MD, MACC, says the Board has always fully supported Dr. Dobbs in his role as Mississippi’s State Health Officer but understands his desire to return to the clinical side of medicine.
“I speak for all of us when I say that we have truly appreciated his professionalism, sterling personality, and stellar leadership throughout his tenure, but especially during COVID. He has been a wonderful asset to Mississippi,” said Waites.
Daniel P. Edney, MD, FACP, has been named Deputy State Health Officer. Edney is a long-time resident of Vicksburg, and a graduate of the University of Mississippi Medical School where he graduated summa cum laude and with other honors.
Edney is also a member of the American Medical Association and the Mississippi State Medical Association where he serves as Past President. He has served as Chief Medical Officer at MSDH for the past year and worked closely with Dobbs during COVID providing outreach and guidance to other physicians.
The Board will take up the issue of interim State Health Officer in one of its upcoming meetings.