Interim Director of Metro Public Health named after leadership shake up


COVID-19 in Nashville – Continuing Coverage (WKRN Graphics)

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — Less than 24 hours after Dr. Michael Caldwell was asked to resign from his position as the Director of Metro Public Health, a new interim director has been selected.

Gill Wright, M.D. was chosen by the Metropolitan Board of Health Friday to serve as the Interim Chief Medical Director. Additionally, Tina Lester, R.N., was selected as the Interim Administrative Director. Both have accepted the Board’s request and will begin immediately.

Board chair, Dr. Alex Jahangir said, “Both have the confidence of the staff and the Board to move the department forward in an incredibly challenging time for public health.” Wright, the Civil Service Medical Examiner of Metro’s Occupational Health clinic, has led the department’s pandemic response. Lester is the Director of the Health Department’s Population Health Bureau.

On Thursday night, the Metro Board of Health unanimously voted 6-0 to accept Dr. Caldwell’s resignation. The meeting was called to address concerns raised by District 16 Councilmember Ginny Welsch about Dr. Caldwell’s behavior and response to COVID-19.

Even though Dr. Caldwell resigned Thursday, he will serve in an advisory position through December 31. He will still be paid as a Metro employee during this time until his employment ends on the 31st.

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