Local and Regional Health Departments

Each county in Tennessee has a county health department, with some larger counties having multiple facilities. A total of 89 primarily rural county health departments operate under the direct supervision of the Tennessee Department of Health, headquartered in Nashville, while the six larger, urban counties – Madison, Shelby, Knox, Davidson, Hamilton and Sullivan – have health departments that operate under local governance but work closely with the Tennessee Department of Health.

Directors of the 89 primarily rural health departments are appointed by the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health. Directors of the six larger, urban county health departments are appointed by their county leadership.  In some instances, a health board appointed by the mayor will provide recommendations regarding these appointments.  Here are links to the larger, urban county health departments in Tennessee:

Services provided by rural and urban health departments vary, reflecting population health needs and the capacity of funding available from year to year.