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Metro Board of Health Changes of Board Members


Board of Health Elects Carol Etherington Board Chair and Francisca Guzman Vice Chair

Dr. Alex Jahangir New Board of Health Member


Carol Etherington

Carol Etherington, MSN, RN, FAAN was recently elected as Chair of the Metropolitan Board of Health of Nashville and Davidson County. Etherington replaces Sam Felker, J.D., who completed his term as Chair, but will continue as a Board member.  Board members elected Etherington at their June meeting.  She has served as Vice Chair since 2014 and as a Board Member since 2009.  Board members elected Francisca Guzman as Vice Chair.  Guzman has been a Board of Health member since 2014.


“I am honored to have been elected as Board Chair and look forward to working with Board members, Dr. Paul, and the Department on important public health matters and challenges to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Nashville.” Etherington said. “I am fortunate to have worked closely with Sam during his time as Board Chair, and have valued his exceptional leadership over the past three years. Sam has shown great wisdom and judgment while leading the Board when making decisions that impact our community.”


Board members welcomed Alex Jahangir, M.D., M.M.H.C, at their August 10 meeting after he was appointed as a new member of the Board of Health by Mayor Megan Barry and approved by the Metro Council.  Dr. Jahangir replaces Dr. Henry Foster who completed his term as a Board member.  Dr. Foster served on the Board of Health since 2000.

“I am honored by the opportunity given to me by Mayor Barry and the members of the Metro Council to serve on the Metropolitan Board of Health,” Dr. Jahangir said.  “An effective public health system is an important component of the success of great cities such as Nashville. I look forward to working with my fellow board members, as well as, Dr. Paul and the dedicated staff of the Metro Public Health Department to ensure the health and well-being of our community.”


Etherington’s distinguished career illustrates her commitment to public health models that include traditional and non-traditional approaches to care and advocacy for underserved and vulnerable populations.  She has worked in urban and rural areas around the globe focusing on traumatized populations.


Etherington established one of the first police-based counseling programs in the U.S. to serve victims of violent crime and has worked multiple disasters across the U.S. including earthquakes, hurricanes, school shootings and New York City post 9/11. She served on an international emergency medical team in the aftermath of the Pol Pot genocide and completed four missions in war-torn Bosnia. Since 1996, she has worked with Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) in Bosnia, Poland, Honduras, Tajikistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Angola, Darfur camps in Eastern Chad and evaluated MSF’s Iraqi mental health program.


Etheringon has received numerous awards and recognitions, including International Red Cross’ Florence Nightingale Medal; honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (Univ. of New Hampshire); Martin Luther King award for service and commitment to the principles of equality, justice and understanding; six years on MSF/USA Board of Directors; 2007 Vanderbilt Distinguished Alumna of the Year. As Associate Professor of Nursing, Emerita, Etherington teaches/mentors graduate students in community and global health through Vanderbilt’s Institute for Global Health.

During her time on the Board, Etherington has stated that public health models based on the concept that health, mental health, human rights and human dignity are inextricably linked.


Dr. Jahangir is an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  He was appointed associate chief of staff at Vanderbilt University Hospital in 2014, serves as the current chairman of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Medical Board.  Dr. Jahangir also serves as the medical director of Vanderbilt Center for Trauma, Burn, and Emergency Surgery. 


Dr. Jahangir was raised in Nashville, graduating from Martin Luther King Magnet High School. Dr. Jahangir attended George Washington University where he received his Bachelor of Science. Dr. Jahangir returned to Tennessee to receive his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Tennessee, and later his Masters of Management in Healthcare from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis, TN, and his orthopaedic trauma fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN, returning to Nashville at the end of his training.


Francisca Guzman is a native of El Salvador who has called Nashville home since 2008.She graduated from Wellesley College and has dedicated her career to promoting social justice, working for the past nine years in nonprofit communications and development. Most recently, she was Director of Development and Community Relations at Disability Rights Tennessee, where she worked in multiple community collaborations to expand the reach of disability resources and services to the minority and underserved communities in Tennessee. Currently, she is working with nonprofit organizations to leverage storytelling and organizational resources to help connect new audiences with their mission.


When not working, Francisca still finds time to volunteer with local nonprofits, including Girls on the Run and Nashville Public Television. She is a graduate of the Nashville Emerging Leaders class of 2014. She enjoys running, hiking and working on finishing her first book of short stories.


The Metropolitan Board of Health is a six member board.  Other Board members include Margreete Johnston, M.D., M.P.H, Thomas Campbell, M.D., in addition to Etherington, Guzman, Felker, and Jahangir.