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State health officer Ed Thompson dies at 62

Ed Thompson, Mississippi’s state health officer and the state’s “top doctor”, has died after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. He was 62.

Thompson was first appointed to the position in 1993 and served for nine years, addressing key health concerns such as infant mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and the need for larger staffs in the public health sector. After serving for four years on the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practice in Atlanta, Thompson returned to the Magnolia State in 2007 as the state’s interim state health officer before his re-appointment in 2007.

“Dr. Ed Thompson was an outstanding leader not only for the Mississippi State Department of Health, which he so faithfully served, but also nationally, where his medical expertise and counsel were highly respected,” Governor Haley Barbour said on Tuesday. “We were blessed to have him return to Mississippi in 2007 from the Centers for Disease Control for a second term as State Health Officer. His death is a tremendous loss for the state. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marsha and his entire family during this difficult time.”

Thompson, a Wesson native, was also professor and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson. He further served for ten years as Mississippi’s State Epidemiologist.

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