JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Tennessee’s former commissioner of health, Dr. Lisa Piercey, is joining East Tennessee State University’s board of trustees. Piercey earned her medical degree from ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine and her husband is also an ETSU alumnus.
ETSU President Brian Noland applauded the addition to the board in a news release, noting Piercey’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Piercey served as Gov. Bill Lee’s health commissioner from January 2019 until the end of May 2022.
“Dr. Piercey’s many accomplishments have left an enduring mark that showcases her determination to improve the quality of life and access to health care of those in our communities and beyond,” Noland said in the release. “We are deeply grateful to welcome her to ETSU’s Board of Trustees.”
The board’s current chair, Dr. Linda Latimer, is a fellow Quillen alumnus and told News Channel 11 ETSU is fortunate to get Piercey. When Piercy was health commissioner, Latimer learned more about her while Latimer served on the Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) local advisory committee for the state-regulated oversight of Ballad Health.
“She is incredibly talented,” Latimer told News Channel 11 Thursday. “She does the work of 100 people being a mother of four, being a physician.”
Latimer said it’s been clear through her visits with Piercey that she loves Northeast Tennessee.
“I think she really does love Quillen. She was one of the commencement speakers for a medical school graduation and I think she truly loves our region.”
Latimer rolls off the board soon and said she’s pleased to have another medical professional joining.
“We are well known at ETSU for our health sciences and we are continuing to grow to assist the needs of our region,” Latimer said. “She’s going to be a major asset as a physician, knowing a lot about hospital administration and nursing shortages, all the problems in health care, and I’m super excited to serve with her.”
Piercey was appointed to fill the term of Kelly Wolfe, who left the 10-member board earlier this year after joining the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Alderman. Elected or appointed officials can’t serve on Tennessee university trustee boards.