SOPH Alum, Scott Harris, MD, MPH, Appointed Alabama State Health Officer

School of Public Health

Dr. Scott Harris, a recent SOPH alum, has been appointed as the new state health officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

"I feel honored and privileged that the State Committee of Public Health granted me this opportunity to address the state’s health care needs and challenges," he said.

In 2015, Harris joined ADPH as area health officer for seven counties in north Alabama. He co-chairs the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council.

Harris attended Harding University in Arkansas and the UAB School of Medicine. In 2017, he earned a master's degree in public health with a concentration in health policy from the UAB School of Public Health.

Dr. Harris credits the MPH program with helping him develop the ability to think critically about ways to address the health inequalities in our state, with respect to many of our problematic areas: infant mortality, opioid use disorder, access to care, and many others.  

“As a practitioner who had always seen public health through the lens of disease control and epidemiology, the MPH program allowed me to acquire an understanding of the basic structure, and even the vocabulary, of areas that were new to me,” he said.

Harris has 19 years of experience in private practice, including at Decatur General Hospital and Parkway Medical Center where he also served on the Medical Executive Committee. Dr. Harris also has served on many international medical missions to Central America, South America and Africa.