DR. JOHN DREYZEHNER is commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health. He is a physician, residency trained in occupational medicine and board certified in 1999. Licensed to practice in Tennessee and Virginia, Dreyzehner is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He comes to the state Department of Health after serving as director of Virginia’s Cumberland Plateau Health District for more than nine years. Prior to his return to public service in 2002, he was in the clinical practice of occupational medicine. Dreyzehner began medical service in 1989 as a United States Air Force flight surgeon honorably discharged as a major in 1997. He also has practiced for several years in the field of addiction medicine while working on substance abuse prevention, treatment and control in his public health role. He holds appointments as adjunct faculty with East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health, founding faculty of the Healthy Appalachia Institute and visiting assistant professor of public health at the University of Virginia. He also chairs the advisory committee for the Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health Degree Program.
Dreyzehner attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at the University of Utah, where he also completed his residency in Occupational Medicine at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.
Dreyzehner has served in leadership positions with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine since 1996 and actively with the National Association of County and City Health Officials since 2002. From 2008 to 2011, he has chaired the NACCHO advisory committee that partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create a successful, year-long fellowship program for new local health officials. He has enjoyed other long standing service opportunities on the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Health Policy Advisory Council, Southwest Graduate Medical Education Consortium, Health Planning Agency of Southwest Virginia, Mountain Empire Public Health Emergency Coordination Council, and Virginia Economic Bridge, among others. He also has served as vice chair of the Southwest Virginia Health Authority and completed several terms as chair of both nonprofits CareSpark Inc. and One Care, Inc. He and his wife Jana, a child psychiatrist, have two sons.