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Angela Tackett Dearinger, M.D., 2018 KPLI Graduate, Named New Commissioner for Kentucky’s Department for Public Health

Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services names new commissioner for Kentucky’s Department for Public Health

Contact: Christina Dettman
(502) 229-2791

Jordan Rowe
(502) 352-3977

FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 26, 2019) – The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is proud to announce Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger as the new commissioner of Kentucky’s Department for Public Health (DPH).

Dr. Dearinger is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. She is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. In her most recent professional educational roles she served as Assistant Dean of Accreditation in Graduate Medical Education, and as Associate Chief of Staff for Education at the Lexington VA Health Care System.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Public Health Commissioner, and excited to collaborate with public health partners from across the Commonwealth to address our shared health care needs and challenges,” said Dearinger.

Dr. Dearinger graduated from Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After residency, she returned to UK to do a Master Educator academic fellowship in Internal Medicine. During that time, she completed a Master of Public Health degree at the UK College of Public Health.

Public Health gave her a broader perspective of individual health, population health, and the health care system.

“The Kentucky Department of Public Health is at a pivotal point in its history, working to address many population health issues in fiscally challenging times,” said CHFS Secretary Adam Meier.

“Successfully navigating through these complex issues will require great leadership, and to that end I am excited to have Dr. Angela Dearinger join DPH as the Public Health Commissioner. She is a proven leader with outstanding qualifications and a thorough understanding of Kentucky’s public health system.”

Dr. Dearinger helped create the Kentucky Public Health Research Network, the first public health practice-based research network in Kentucky. Last year she was appointed by Governor Matt Bevin to serve as a member of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure.

DPH is responsible for developing and operating state public health programs and activities for the citizens of Kentucky. The mission of DPH is to improve the health and safety of people in Kentucky through prevention, promotion and protection.

The department oversees programs designed to improve the lives of citizens and visitors through prevention of negative health outcomes, promotion of healthy lifestyles and protection from diseases, injury and environmental health impacts.

Dearinger is originally from Paintsville, Kentucky. She now lives in Versailles with her husband and three children.

Additional information is available at


The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state’s human services and healthcare programs, including the Department for Medicaid Services, the Department for Community Based Services the Department for Public Health, the Department for Aging and Independent Living and the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full- and part-time employees located across the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.

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