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Alabama committee of public health appoints new state health officer

Dr. Tom Miller
Dr. Tom Miller

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Dr. Tom Miller was appointed by the Alabama State Committee of Public Health to replace Dr. Don Williamson as the state’s health officer. Williamson in August said that he would be leaving his current office to become the president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

“This is so hard for me,” Williamson said last August. “I’ve done almost 20 years in this job. It was the hardest thing.”

Williamson had previously served as state health officer since 1992, and he’s also chair of the Alabama Medicaid Transition Task Force.

The newly appointed Miller has been with the Alabama Department of Public Health for 25 years, and will be come the acting state health officer on Nov. 1.

Miller on Wednesday said that the biggest public health challenges that Alabama faces are infant mortalities and diabetes, stating that these conditions are more prevalent in Alabama than in most other states. Miller argued that poverty and a lacking education are potential explanations to these ongoing problems that face the state.

Governor Robert Bentley honored Williamson at Wednesday’s committee meeting for his many years of service.

Miller is expected to receive a salary of $250,000 a year.