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College of Public Health

Six Tennessee Commissioners of Health Gathering for ETSUs Leading Voices Lecture
JOHNSON CITY (March 8, 2012) East Tennessee State University's College of Public Health will present a remarkable glimpse into the past, present and future of the Volunteer State as six commissioners of health gather Thursday, March 15, for a roundtable discussion that is part of the "Leading Voices in Public Health" lecture series.

Dr. John Dreyzehner, the current commissioner of health, and five of his predecessors will participate in the lecture, which is free and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m. in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium, located on the lower level of ETSU's D.P. Culp University Center.

The experience of the commissioners spans more than 30 years and dates to 1978. The participants and their years of service include James Word (1978-88), J.W. Luna (1988-91), Fredia Wadley (1995-2003), Kenneth Robinson (2003-07), Susan Cooper (2007-11) and Dreyzehner, who was appointed to the office in 2011.

Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of the ETSU College of Public Health, said this is a compelling chapter in a lecture series that began in 2006.

"I think everyone who attends will be in for a treat, as these commissioners bring invaluable perspective and insight to the table," Wykoff said. "It's a real credit to them that they recognize the lessons they learned on the job are still relevant today. They served through times of natural disaster, during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, in the midst of threats from avian flu and during the era of bioterrorism."

David Gregory, vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, will be moderator for the roundtable.

For more information or to request special assistance for those with disabilities, call (423) 439-4597 or send e-mails to Past speakers in the series, as well as videos of some lectures, can be viewed on the College of Public Health's website at

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