Director, Health Protection
570 East Woodrow Wilson
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
Jim Craig was named Director of Health Protection in 2004. Health Protection contains over 60 regulatory programs that are designed to fulfill a major portion of the department’s mission to promote and protect the health of all Mississippians. Three major offices report to Health Protection: the Office of Environmental Health, the Office of Licensure, and the Office of Emergency Planning and Response.
In addition, Jim serves as the Emergency Coordinating Officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health assigned to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to coordinate the ESF-8 (Emergency Support Function 8 – Health and Medical) response under the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan of Mississippi. Jim also serves as the Chairman of the Local Governments Rural Water Systems Improvement Board which provides low interest and emergency loans to support safe drinking water in Mississippi.
Prior to his position as Director of Health Protection, Jim was the former and first director of the Office of Emergency Planning and Response and also the former State Emergency Medical Services Director.
Jim has been in emergency response and working natural and man-made disasters for over 35 years in Louisiana and Mississippi. Jim has led the state public health response to over 60 activations of the State Emergency Operations Center including Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster ever recorded in Mississippi, the New Horizon Oil Spill, the 2011 historic river flooding, and Hurricane Isaac on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Jim received his Bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology/Occupational Safety from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and his Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Jackson State University. He holds a Certificate in Public Management from the Mississippi State Personnel Board, is a Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional, and a Certified Healthcare Safety Professional. Jim is also a member of the Mississippi Public Health Association.