IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

A misguided approach to public health

By any fair standard, Mississippi has some serious public health issues. It's the worst state in the nation for heart disease, worst for infant mortality, and nearly the worst for diabetes. Given this, it stands to reason the state would take its public board of health quite seriously.

Alas, Mississippi's governor doesn't seem to agree.

Gov. Phil Bryant has nominated staunch pro-life activist Terri Herring, national director for the Pro-Life America Network, to sit on the Mississippi Board of Public Health.

The 11-member board, according to its website, provides policy direction for the Mississippi Department of Health, appoints a state health officer to operate the agency; approves the state health plan; and approves all rules and regulations of the agency.

Most of the members of the Mississippi Board of Public Health are medical professionals. Herring has no medical background and identifies herself as a "pro-life lobbyist."

Wait, it gets worse. The vacancy on the Mississippi Board of Public Health was going to be filled by Dr. Carl Reddix -- a Tufts-education physician with a public health background, including getting a master's degree in public health from Harvard, and doing his residency at Johns Hopkins.

This guy was deemed unacceptable, and his slot on the Mississippi Board of Public Health is now going to an anti-abortion lobbyist who has no background in medicine.