Alvarado accepts health commissioner position in Tennessee
Published 4:00 pm Thursday, November 24, 2022
State Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, who earlier this month won re-election to another four-year term, will be stepping aside in January to become commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health.
In announcing the appointment of Alvarado, a physician, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said: “Dr. Alvarado’s significant clinical and hospital management experience make him well-positioned to lead the Department of Health, and I appreciate his service to Tennesseans.”
In a statement, the 52-year old Alvarado called serving the people of his district the honor of his life.
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“The opportunity presented to me by Governor Lee is a chance to have an even more significant impact on public policy. In making the difficult decision to accept this offer, my focus remains on faith, family and public service. I’ve ultimately determined that taking the role of commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health is the right thing for my family and me. Ultimately, it is an excellent opportunity to lead.
“With the exception of accepting Christ as my savior, promising to forever cherish my wife Dawn and the birth of my two incredible children, two of the most special moments of my life have been taking the Hippocratic oath and swearing my oath to the Constitution in service to Senate District 28.”
Alvarado said he and Gov. Lee have similar policy vision and he looks forward to making “the Volunteer State the standard bearer in sound, patient-first public health policy.”
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said he looked back fondly on when he first met Ralph and Dawn Alvarado. “In our collective efforts to first get Ralph elected, we developed a strong friendship. I knew from the start he would succeed in the state Senate, just as he has as a medical professional. I have no doubt the same will be true in his new role,” Stivers said.
Alvarado will remain the representative of Senate District 28 through the first week of the 2023 Legislative Session and up until he resigns or takes his oath of office in Tennessee’s executive branch. Stivers said.
“His presence is critical to the start of our 2023 session because historically, key legislation has been crafted and passed at this time,” the Senate president said.
Stivers said Alvarado will be an “incredible addition to Governor Lee’s team.”
Alvarado, who was born in San Francisco, California, was the first Hispanic person ever elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. His father is from Costa Rica and his mother from Argentina.