Scott Harris, MD, MPH, was appointed Acting State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) in September 2017 and formally designated as Alabama’s 12th State Health Officer in February 2018. A graduate of Harding University in Arkansas, Dr. Harris attended medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine and served an internal medicine internship and residency at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham before returning to UAB to complete a fellowship in adult infectious diseases. He earned his MPH from the UAB School of Public Health.
In 1996, he began his practice in general infectious diseases and HIV medicine in Decatur, Alabama, and began serving as tuberculosis consultant with ADPH. In 2004, he helped to establish the Decatur-Morgan Community Free Clinic, serving thirteen years as the medical director, as well as a board member and board chair. The non-profit clinic offers health care and dental care at no charge to low income, medically uninsured residents, and relies heavily on community volunteers.
As a volunteer physician, Dr. Harris has served on many international medical missions to Central America, South America, and Africa. In addition to his board certification in internal medicine and infectious disease, he has additional certificates of qualification in tropical medicine from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and in travel medicine from the International Society of Travel Medicine.
Dr. Harris left private practice to join ADPH in 2015 as Area Health Officer for seven North Alabama counties, before assuming his current role as State Health Officer. He and his wife Sandy have four children and reside in Montgomery.