(Jackson, MS) – Thad F. Waites, MD, of Hattiesburg, and Sammie Ruth Rea, RN, of Jackson, have been sworn in as members of the Mississippi State Board of Health. Both were appointed to the Board by Governor Haley Barbour.
Mississippi State Board of Health Chairman Dr. Luke Lampton looks forward to working with both new members. “Governor Barbour has made two outstanding appointments to the Board. Both recognize the serious problems facing public health in our state and are committed to making a difference. On behalf of our Board, I welcome them with much excitement.”
Dr. Waites is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He completed an internship in the Emory University program at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia and his medicine residency at the University of Colorado. Following a tenure on the medical staff at Ochsner Clinic, he served as Chief Resident and as a fellow in cardiology at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Waites has been practicing cardiology at the Hattiesburg Clinic in Hattiesburg since 1987.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve on the State Board of Health. I look forward to using my passion for cardiology to help this Board continue to improve public health in Mississippi,” said Dr. Waites.
Dr. Waites presently serves on the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Board of Governors as Governor for the state of Mississippi and as Chairman-Elect of the Board. He has served as President of the Southeast and Mississippi Affiliates of the American Heart Association and was inducted into the Forrest General Hospital Hall of Fame in 2009.
Sammie Ruth Rea was originally appointed to the State Board of Health in July 2007. She attended Delta State University and graduated from Greenwood Leflore School of Nursing. Rea worked in Greenwood and Philadelphia as a surgery and emergency room nurse, as well as in management roles as an assistant director of nurses and director of nurses.
She and her husband moved to Jackson in 1985 when she began working at the Mississippi State Department of Health. Rea served as a surveyor for the Bureau of Licensure for 10 years and for six years as a quality review nurse before retiring in 2000.
“I’m delighted to be re-appointed to the Board of Health. I will continue to support the Board’s efforts in recognizing the importance of adequate public health for all Mississippians, particularly in the areas of immunizations and obesity prevention,” Rea said.
Both Waites’ and Rea’s terms will expire on June 30, 2016.