By Mike Steely

Senior Writer

The Knox County Commission meets a week earlier during November because of the upcoming holidays and two items on the Work Session agenda today involve the Advisory Board of Health.

That group replaced the Board of Health last year when the county mayor and commission demolished their regulatory powers. The Advisory Board has been meeting occasionally with Dr. Martha Buchanan, the public health officer. Although Dr. Buchanan resigned as Knox County Health Department Director on October 1, she will remain the county’s public health officer until next March or until a replacement is found.

One of the commission agenda items accepts the resignation of Dr. Dianna Drake, the pharmacy representative on the Advisory Board and seeks to appoint Dr. Becky Herald-Hester to her seat. Another resolution before the commission is the reappointment of Dr. Marcy Souza to the board.

Dr. Buchanan met with the Advisory Board in September before announcing her retirement as Health Director. She remains as Public Health Officer and, with the new appointment, the Advisory Board apparently will continue to advise her.

Other members of the board include Drs. John Adams, Maria Hurt, Jack Gotcher and James Shamiyeh, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, citizen representative Ani Roma and Lisa Wagoner serving as the school superintendent representative. The health department’s Katharine Killen apparently will serve the board as co-interim health department director.