Department of Health Names Cathy R. Taylor Assistant Commissioner

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 | 07:00pm

Cathy R. Taylor, DrPH, MSN, RN, is the new assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Services Administration, Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN, announced Monday. In this role, Taylor will oversee a system of 13 regional health offices responsible for the oversight of services in 89 rural and six metropolitan county health departments. 

“Dr. Taylor has demonstrated her dedication to providing quality care to improve and promote patients’ health through her outstanding career as a nurse, and I am delighted she will continue her service by joining the Department of Health,” said Commissioner Cooper. “She brings a wealth of health care and administrative experience to this position, and we are excited she will be filling this crucial role in Health Services.” 

Prior to joining the Department of Health, Taylor served as an assistant professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She has also served as director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance Disease Management Program, and worked in community health nursing and outreach at Vanderbilt School of Nursing. She has held administrative and clinical positions at Alvin C. York VAMC including occupational health clinical specialist and medical/surgical clinical coordinator. Taylor has also served in nursing director and supervisor positions at Fentress County Hospital, Middle Tennessee Medical Center and Hendersonville Community Hospital, and as a public health nurse in Fentress and Rutherford Counties.

“The important work of this Bureau touches the lives of thousands of people across Tennessee each day, and has a significant impact on their quality of life,” said Taylor. “I am honored to have been chosen by Commissioner Cooper to serve in Health Services and look forward to working to improve the health of the citizens of our state.”

Taylor was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to chair the Tennessee Center for Diabetes Prevention and Health Improvement Board in November 2006. She has served as a consultant on projects for organizations including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau Leadership Institute and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. Taylor is a member of the American Diabetes Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Public Health Association. She has earned numerous grants and awards, and her work has been included in professional publications such as Diabetes Care, Maternal and Child Health Journal and Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Nursing.

Taylor completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University in 2005. She earned a Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Taylor also holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama, Huntsville and a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University.

The Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Services Administration is responsible for the administration of Tennessee’s county health departments and regional offices, which provide both primary care and prevention services with an emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention and health access activities. In addition, the bureau administers a wide variety of programs including communicable and environmental disease services, maternal and child health, breast and cervical cancer services, general environmental health, oral health, nutrition services and women’s health and genetics.

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