Tennessee’s new health commissioner responds to questions about HIV funding

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The assembly of the Tennessee Senate Well being and Welfare Committee on Wednesday was alleged to be a quick introduction of the state’s new well being commissioner, Dr. Ralph Alvarado.

“He simply obtained to Nashville so if we may, that is extra of an introductory assembly immediately,” stated Sen. Rusty Crowe, R- Johnson Metropolis.

However that is not precisely what occurred.

Sen. Jeff Yarbro, a Democrat from Nashville, determined his issues simply could not wait.

“We made this form of abrupt determination to chop off applications,” stated Sen. Yarbro. “There are legislators I do know of each events and in lots of areas of the state which have issues about this and need to hear from the division about how finest we’re going to maneuver ahead.”

Final week, the State of Tennessee formally rejected a CDC grant that gives thousands and thousands of {dollars} to HIV prevention and care applications throughout Tennessee’s 99 counties. Technically, Dr. Alvarado did not have to answer Yarbro’s questions, however here is what he stated.

“This administration is analyzing areas the place it could possibly lower its reliance on federal funding and assume much more elevated independence in that realm. So the state’s decided proper now that it’s in the most effective curiosity of Tennesseans is for the state to imagine direct monetary and managerial accountability for these providers,” stated Alvarado. “I feel the state’s analyzing how an efficient program can be carried out on the state degree, and we’ll notify the neighborhood of specifics as quickly as that’s applicable as nicely.”

After the assembly. Yarbro was nonetheless annoyed.

“He’s model new on the job and I don’t know whether or not it’s his determination, or one he inherited, however we’re going to should get higher solutions than the division has been in a position to talk to date,” stated Sen. Yarbro. “I don’t care who’s serving to individuals. I don’t know why the governor would care who’s getting on the market and attempting to assist Tennesseans not get sick and die of AIDs.”

Two physicians additionally attended the assembly and had been fast to voice their displeasure.

“I wish to hear how he’s changing that funding,” stated Dr. Amy Gordon Bono, an Inside Drugs Doctor in Center Tennessee. “At this second in time, we must be increasing entry to healthcare, not inhumanely limiting it.”

Sen. Crowe says Dr. Alvarado will return to the Well being and Welfare Committee to reply questions in March.

NewsChannel 5 requested the Tennessee Division of Well being if we may interview the brand new commissioner both earlier than or after Wednesday’s assembly, however that request was denied.


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