News release from Nashville Metropolitan Public Health Department
NASHVILLE, Tenn., February 24, 2020 –Members of the Metropolitan Board of Health of Nashville/Davidson County voted at a specially called meeting last Thursday to approve a contract with Michael C. Caldwell MD MPH as Nashville’s Director of Health. Dr. Caldwell is a Nashville resident, licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee.
“I am honored to welcome Dr. Caldwell as the Director of the Metropolitan Public Health Department,” said Board Chair, Alex Jahangir MD. “After a comprehensive national search, I am confident that Dr. Caldwell has the experience, commitment and vision needed for him to lead the Department to face the ever-changing public health needs of all of the residents of our great city.”
“Dr. Caldwell has extensive public health experience that will be important as we build a healthier Nashville for everybody,” Mayor Cooper said. “I look forward to working closely with him as our new Director of Health as we focus on the health and well-being of all Nashvillians.” “I have known Dr. Caldwell for years,” said Dr. Stephanie Bailey, Senior Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, Meharry Medical College and former Director of Health. “He knows how to connect, he cares, and he has a history of success in facilitating the health of a community. I am filled with joy at his being named the Director of Health for my city and the ladies and gentlemen who make up the Metro Public Health Department.”
“Dr. Caldwell’s background and skills are outstanding and in his new role he will no doubt be an excellent leader who continues to improve the health and well-being of our community,” said Dr. Tim Jones, Chief Medical Officer at the Tennessee Department of Health. “The Tennessee Department of Health looks forward to a strong and effective relationship with Dr. Caldwell and his team in addressing our shared mission and goals.”
Board of Health members, with direction and support from Metro Human Resources, conducted the national search for Nashville’s next Director of Public Health. The search included input from community stakeholders as well as Health Department staff. Dr. Caldwell’s contract will be presented to Metro Council for final approval.
Dr. Caldwell’s public health experience includes serving 19 years as the Commissioner of Health for Dutchess County, New York. The Dutchess County Health Department serves a population of 300,000 with a budget of $40 million and 200 employees. Dr. Caldwell has also served as the President of NACCHO. Dr. Caldwell brings expertise on a wide range of public health issues including infectious diseases, vaccines, tobacco control, emergency preparedness and health equity. He is a recognized researcher with a focus on the clinical research of vaccines as well as Public Health Systems & Services Research.
Dr. Caldwell received an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, a medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a master’s degree from Harvard School of Public Health. He is a member of the Nashville Academy of Medicine, the Tennessee Medical Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Public Health Association, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
“I am well acquainted with Dr. Caldwell and delighted that he has been named as Nashville’s new Director of Health,” said Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Medical Director, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “I look forward to working with him.”
“The Nashville Public Health Department is one of the finest Departments of Health in the country,” said Dr. Caldwell. “Our outstanding and innovative public health professionals work every day to improve the health of our entire community with a special focus on health equity. I am honored to join their team.”
The Nashville Metro Public Health Department serves a population approaching 700,000 over 526 square miles with a staff of more than 500 employees and a budget of $69 million. The mission of the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) is to protect, improve and sustain health and well-being for all people in Metropolitan Nashville. Nashville’s local health department provides and connects people to essential public health services, enforces health regulations and leads and supports collaborative efforts to create healthy conditions for everyone in Nashville.
Learn more about the Nashville Metro Public Health Department.