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Two-year veteran of health district chosen to lead organization

Updated Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | 2:32 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Dr. Thomas Coleman, chief hospital officer for the Southern Nevada Health District

Dr. Thomas Coleman has been selected for the top job at the Southern Nevada Health District.

The health district’s board voted 7 to 3 Tuesday to name Coleman its chief hospital officer and enter into contract negotiations. His formal appointment should come at the board’s Aug. 22 meeting.

Coleman, who has been with the health district since 2011, most recently serving as director of community health, will be responsible for overseeing a 500-person staff spread across four divisions that deal with a range of public health information and enforcement issues in Clark County.

He’ll take over for Dr. John Middaugh, who has served as the interim chief health officer since Lawrence Sands resigned in June 2012.

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Lawrence Sands, chief health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District, speaks during a Nurse-Family Partnership Graduation at the Health District Tuesday, August 9, 2011.

Sands held the position for five years but clashed with county commissioners in later years about employee raises and the powers of the health district.

In April 2012, Sands unilaterally closed the district’s main building downtown on Shadow Lane, citing structural concerns, to the dismay of elected officials. The building remains closed, with services transferred to the health district building at 330 S. Valley View Blvd.

Before joining the health district, Coleman served as director of the Volusia County Health Department in Daytona Beach, Fla. He has a medical degree from from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Science in biostatistics and epidemiology from UNC's School of Public Health.

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