From Healthcare to Public Service

Dr. Ralph Alvardo, is a physician who uses his experience in healthcare to now serve as the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health.







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Ralph Alvarado, MD, FACP, joined Tennessee Govenor Bill Lee’s cabinet in January 2023 as the 15th commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health. Dr. Alvarado has spent nearly a decade in public service and in 2014 was the first Hispanic member elected to the Kentucky General Assembly where he represented Kentucky’s 28th Senate district. During his service in the Kentucky Senate, Dr. Alvarado was Chairman of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee, led the Substance Abuse Recovery Task Force and was a member of the Medicaid Oversight, Banking & Insurance and State & Local Government committees. Dr. Alvarado earned a bachelor of science in biology from Loma Linda University in California in 1990, where he went on to receive his Doctorate in Medicine in 1994. Dr. Alvarado completed his medical residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Kentucky in 1998. Dr. Alvarado and his wife of 28 years, Dawn, have two adult children.

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