Morgan McDonald, MD, FACP, FAAP, has been appointed deputy commissioner for population health for the Tennessee Department of Health. McDonald had been serving as interim deputy commissioner in this position since October 2018. She previously served as assistant commissioner for Family Health and Wellness, a role in which she led TDH efforts in maternal and child health, chronic disease prevention, health promotion and supplemental nutrition.
"We are delighted Morgan has accepted the challenges of this new position, knowing her knowledge, experience and integrity will help our department build on the progress we're making in many key population health areas," said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. "She is a respected leader who has helped develop and facilitate many prevention efforts that positively impact the health of Tennesseans every day."
As deputy commissioner, McDonald will provide leadership for offices and divisions within TDH including Family Health and Wellness, Minority Health and Disparities Elimination, Population Health Assessment, Vital Records and Statistics, Rural Health and the State Chief Medical Examiner.
"It is an honor to work alongside exceptional public health professionals across the state who demonstrate daily commitment to excellence, servant leadership and community engagement. I look forward to the opportunity to support their work in a new capacity as we collaborate with our partners across the state to protect and improve the health of all Tennesseans," said McDonald.
McDonald is board-certified in internal medicine and pediatrics and has served as a primary care clinician in safety net clinics for more than ten years. In addition to clinical care, she has focused on program management, workforce development, patient and community engagement and quality improvement. In her role as assistant commissioner for Family Health and Wellness, she provided leadership for programs including WIC services, Chronic Disease Prevention, Early Childhood Initiatives, Injury Prevention, Perinatal Regionalization, Newborn Screening, Children's Special Services and Women's Health.
Prior to joining the Department of Health, McDonald served as an assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of North Carolina and then Vanderbilt University, working as associate program director for the medicine-pediatrics residency at both universities. While at Vanderbilt, she developed curricula in inter-professional education, social determinants of health and the care of vulnerable populations for the medical school and residency programs.
McDonald received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt University. She completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians and a member of numerous professional organizations including the Association of Maternal Child Health Programs, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Tennessee Public Health Association, Tennessee Center for Patient Safety and Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care. She has been recognized with numerous service and teaching awards including the Emerging Maternal and Child Health Professional Award by the Association for Maternal and Child Health Programs.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.