Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hutchinson names senator's son as Arkansas surgeon general

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 3:26 PM

click to enlarge DR. GREG BLEDSOE: To be surgeon general.
  • DR. GREG BLEDSOE: To be surgeon general.
Dr. Greg Bledsoe, son of Republican Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, will become Arkansas surgeon general, incoming Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced today.

Bledsoe has been chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Marshall Medical School South in Alabama. He succeeds Dr. Joe Thompson, who was not asked to continue in the role by Hutchinson. A release didn't announce his pay, but Thompson made about $250,000 from a combination of a state Health Department contract and pay from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, nanced by several agencies including UAMS.

Bledose will be hired for the faculty at UAMS as an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the College of Medicine, but the news release doesn't reveal the amount of that pay or indicate if pay is coming from other sources. I've inquired.

UPDATE: UAMS says Bledsoe will be paid $238,000 as an associate professor but referred questions about any additional pay as surgeon general to the governor's staff. UAMS said it remain committed to its support of the Center for Health Improvement, which Thompson still heads.

NOTED: Cecile Bledsoe was a foe of the private option Medicaid expansion and joined a team of Republicans who toured election districts in Northeast Arkansas in support of Republicans successfully challenging Democrats who had voted for the private option Medicaid expansion. Thompson, too, as surgeon general was a cog in the campaign that led to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Bledsoe worked to elect Scott Flippo to a Senate seat over private option architect John Burris.

ALSO: John Andrews confirms to Roby Brock that Hutchinson won't keep him as head of the Department of Rural Services, a small agency that does outreach to rural areas. The decision surprised some because Andrews has been a Farm Bureau board member. It's a powerful interest group in rural areas. The job has typically been  a patronage plum.

The Hutchinson news release:

Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson has announced Dr. Greg Bledsoe as the state’s new Surgeon General. Starting January 26, 2015, Bledsoe will also join the faculty of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) as an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the College of Medicine.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Dr. Greg Bledsoe:

“Over the course of his career, Dr. Greg Bledsoe has experienced tremendous success, both nationally and internationally — just some of the many reasons I am pleased to announce him as Arkansas’s new Surgeon General. I have had the pleasure of knowing Greg for some time, and there is no doubt that he will serve our state and people well in this new role.”

UAMS issued the following statement on Dr. Greg Bledsoe:

"We have been looking for a faculty member with Dr. Bledsoe's expertise and are very pleased to have him join UAMS and the Department of Emergency Medicine," said Dr. Rawle “Tony” Seupaul, Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. “In addition to caring for patients in the UAMS ED, Greg will participate in injury prevention research currently being conducted at UAMS, home of the state's only Level 1 Trauma Center. His clinical work and pursuit of impactful scientific discovery will nicely complement his role as Surgeon General."

Dr. Bledsoe is board certified in Emergency Medicine and is currently Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine of Marshall Medical Center South in Alabama. He completed medical school and residency at UAMS in 2002. He then spent five years on faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, completing a two-year fellowship in International Emergency Medicine and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Bledsoe’s international medical experience includes time in Honduras, Tanzania, Sudan, China, Qatar, Antarctica, and the Arctic, including the North Pole. He was also the personal physician to former President Bill Clinton during Clinton’s tour of Africa in 2002 and has served as an instructor and medical consultant for the United States Secret Service.

He is the son of Dr. James Bledsoe and Arkansas State Senator Cecile Bledsoe.

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