Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Lee on Thursday announced appointments to his Cabinet for the Department of Health, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Department of General Services.
“We have been committed to building a team that represents each Grand Division and I am pleased to add appointees who represent West, Middle and East Tennessee at the table,” Lee said in a press release. “I look forward to working together to implement a conservative vision for Tennessee.”
The new appointments are:
• Dr. Lisa Piercey – Department of Health
• Brad Turner – Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
• Christi Branscom – Department of General Services
Piercey, of Gibson County, currently serves as the executive vice president of West Tennessee Healthcare. In this role she oversees a roster of hospitals with an emphasis on rural hospitals in Bolivar, Camden, Milan, Dyersburg and Martin. Piercey’s clinical background is in pediatrics with a specialization in child abuse pediatrics. She serves as the Medical Director for the Madison County Child Advocacy Center and is also on faculty at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Longtime Jackson conservative talk radio host Frankie Lax told The Tennessee Star that the appointment of Dr. Piercey gives West Tennessee three people who will serve in the top level of the Lee administration. (The others are David Salyers, Department of Environment and Conservation, and Brandon Gibson, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Governor.)
“We are thrilled to have our region of the state so well-represented in Lee’s administration, not just in terms of the number but the quality of the people he has chosen,” Lax noted.
Turner, of Rutherford County, currently serves as the director of client services at HealthStream Inc. Turner has worked with the State Interagency Coordinating Council to serve infants and toddlers with disabilities through early intervention programming connected to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. He also works closely with special needs volunteer organizations including Project Help and Rising Above Ministries. Turner has served as a Rutherford County commissioner since 2010.
Branscom, of Knox County, currently serves as the chief operating officer and general counsel at Partners Development.
Previously, Branscom served as the chief operating officer and deputy mayor for the City of Knoxville, where she was the first female in Knoxville history to serve in this role.
As The Star reported Thursday, Branscom worked under extreme liberal Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, during which time Rogero opposed 2d Amendment rights, advocated strongly for LGBTQ issues (including vocal opposition to legislation designed to protect women and girls from men entering their bathrooms and locker rooms)
While working for Rogero, Branscom spearheaded a number of complex projects, including the transfer of ownership of Lakeshore Park from the state to the city, negotiating the Regal Entertainment Group move to the South Waterfront and overseeing construction of the city’s Public Works Service Complex. She has also served the City of Knoxville as the senior director of public works and was also the first female in Knoxville history to serve in this role.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Christi Branscom” by City of Knoxville.
Photo “Lisa Piercey” by Downtown Jackson.
Background Photo “Tennessee Capital” by Chris Connelly. CC BY 2.0.