Mississippi State Department of Health

State Board of Health Elects New Leadership
August 14, 2020


JACKSON, Miss. - During its virtual quarterly meeting Thursday, the Mississippi State Board of Health elected new leadership in the positions of chairman and vice-chairman.

Thad Fulton Waites, MD, MACC, was elected to serve as chairman of the Board. Dr. Waites is a Hattiesburg physician who currently serves as co-director of the Cardiac Catherization Lab at Forrest General Hospital.

Dr. Waites is a graduate of Mississippi College and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He trained at the University of Colorado and Emory University. He was a flight surgeon in the United States Naval Reserve and has practiced cardiology at Ochsner Clinic in Louisiana. He has served as president of Mississippi Affiliate of the American Heart Association as well as twice president of the American Heart Southeast Affiliate.

Dr. Waites was first appointed to the State Board of Health in 2010 and most recently has served as vice-chairman.

"I'm very excited to have this position," said Dr. Waites. "The Mississippi State Board of Health is the best state board in the nation. I look forward to working with Dr. Dobbs, Dr. Byers, and all the superb staff of the Mississippi State Department of Health. My first mission is to attack this pandemic for the people of Mississippi."

State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH, said he was thrilled to have a physician of Dr. Waites’s stature leading the State Board of Health.

"Since he was first appointed, Dr. Waites has always been a very involved board member with great insight. I am confident he will do an excellent job in this new role," said Dr. Dobbs.

J. Edward Hill, MD, FAAFP, was elected vice-chairman of the Board. Dr. Hill is a Tupelo physician who served in the vice-chairman role from 2011-2017. He was the founding director of the North Mississippi Medical Center Family Residency Center. He has served as president of the American Medical Association and chairman of the Board for the World Medical Association.

Dr. Hill was first appointed to the State Board of Health in 2006.

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