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Dr. Paul Halverson to Depart Arkansas Department of Health In May

LITTLE ROCK - Dr. Paul Halverson, Director and State Health Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health, will be leaving Arkansas this spring to be the founding dean of the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. Halverson has led the Health Department since May of 2005.

“Paul has been at the forefront of many important health initiatives, including our statewide trauma system and the Clean Indoor Air Act, that improve the quality of life for Arkansans,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “We’re sad to see him go, but share his excitement for the opportunity awaiting him in Indiana.”

“It has been my honor to work for Governor Beebe and with the great staff at the Arkansas Department of Health during a time of such significant change in Arkansas,” Dr. Halverson said. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have been of service to the people of Arkansas.”

Halverson’s last day as Director will be May 5. Dr. Nathaniel Smith, currently the Deputy Director for Public Health Programs, will serve as Interim Director after Halverson’s departure. Smith began working at the Arkansas Department of Health in 2004, and is a specialist in infectious diseases. He previously served as the State Epidemiologist, and spent seven years in Kenya as a consultant for infectious diseases.