NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has named John Dreyzehner to head the state Health Department, replacing interim Commissioner Susan Cooper.
Dreyzehner is the director of the Cumberland Plateau Health District in Southwest Virginia and a former U.S. Air Force flight surgeon. He is also an adjunct professor at the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health.
Cooper became the first nurse to serve as the head of the Health Department when she was named to the position by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen at the start of the Democrat's second term in 2007.
Cooper previously ran the department's safety net program following deep cuts to the TennCare program in 2005. She was an assistant dean at Vanderbilt University's School of Nursing before joining state government.
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