State epidemiologist stepping down

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Dr. Thomas Dobbs

One of Mississippi’s top public health officials is leaving his post, Mississippi Today has learned.

A spokeswoman for the Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed Tuesday evening that Dr. Thomas E. Dobbs, the state epidemiologist, will announce his departure Wednesday but that he has not submitted a formal letter of resignation.

Dobbs’ exit follows a tumultuous budget year for many agencies, including the one he helped lead.

In the most recent legislative session, the health department’s budget was slashed nearly 14 percent. Agency leaders, including health officer Dr. Mary Currier, decried the cuts as well as the passage of a state law that prohibits state agencies for collecting and receiving payments, which health department officials believe could further affect revenues.

Dobbs took over as state epidemiologist in 2012.

He received his medical degree and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.