William Hacker, M.D., has been appointed commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
Hacker, a pediatrician and former chief medical officer for Appalachian Regional Healthcare, had served as acting commissioner for the agency since July.
"Dr. Hacker's experience in both public health and as a private physician and his deep caring for the people of Kentucky will enable him to lead our commonwealth in innovative approaches that will transform the public health care delivery system in our state," said Dr. James Holsinger Jr., M.D., secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. "I am proud that he will play a key role in improving the health of Kentuckians."
Hacker, who worked nearly 20 years in private practice, joined the Department for Public Health as a physician consultant in 2001. He has headed the state's health and disaster preparedness efforts since 2002.
A native of Manchester, Ky., Hacker said he was "honored by this opportunity" to protect and improve the health of Kentuckians. He received both is undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Kentucky.