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Board of Health Members

In accordance with Public Health Law of Alabama the Jefferson County Department of Health is governed by a local County Board of Health, which is under the general supervision of the State Board of Health.

Jefferson County Board of Health is responsible for overseeing the enforcement of state health laws, the collection of health statistics, and the protection of health and environment in Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County Board of Health is a six member board made up of five members from the Jefferson County Medical Society and the current president of the Jefferson County Commission. Each year one of the five appointed board members rotates out of office and the Jefferson County Medical Society appoints a new member to serve on the Board of Health for a five year term. Board of Health appointees serve as Chairman of the Board in their fourth year.

Elizabeth Turnipseed, MD, MSPH, FACP
Dr. Turnipseed is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and the Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine (DOM). She completed medical school and Internal Medicine residency at UAB, where she served as Chief Medical Resident before joining the Jefferson County Department of Health as their Director for Disease Control. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Turnipseed returned to UAB in 2012 as a faculty physician in the Hospital Medicine Program and has been an active member of the medical staff since that time. In 2013, she assumed the role of Assistant Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs in the DOM, and in 2016 became the Vice-Chair.

As Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, she works with the UAB Department of Medicine Chair, the divisions, and other stakeholders to develop and implement the department’s strategic vision, with the goal that each division will have clinical programs that are among the best in the nation. She works collaboratively with the 11 divisions within Medicine, and multiple other departments, to develop and support clinical programs that best serve patients and colleagues. Facilitating continual improvement of hospital-based and ambulatory clinical care is a priority.

In addition to her primary responsibilities within the DOM, she is actively engaged with health system operations, quality and patient safety, population health/value-based care, hospital revenue cycle, and compliance. She also developed and manages the Medical Officer of the Day Program, which coordinates transfer of patients from outside facilities to multiple inpatient medical services.

In January 2020, she was elected by physician peers to serve as the Chief of the Medical Staff for a three year term beginning in January 2021.

Outside of work, she enjoys cycling, cooking (eating), and exploring.
Jeffrey Dobyns, DO, MSHA, MSHQS, FASA
Dr. Dobyns is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the UAB School of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Dr. Dobyns completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Bowling Green State University. He received his medical degree from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed his anesthesiology residency training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He has also completed a Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) and a Master of Science in Medical Quality and Patient Safety (MSHQS) at UAB. In 2015, he obtained Certification in Medical Quality from the American College of Medical Quality. Dr. Dobyns’ clinical interests include Quality and Safety and Perioperative Medicine, and using the perioperative period to reduce health and outcome disparities. Much of his current clinical practice is at UAB Medical West Hospital in Bessemer.
Iris Fancher, MD, FAAP (Chair)
Dr. Fancher has devoted her entire career to public health and providing primary health care to underserved populations in Jefferson County. She retired as a Jefferson County Public Health Medical Officer with the Jefferson County Department of Health after 27 years of service in Pediatrics. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Michigan State University, and her medical degree from the UAB School of Medicine. She completed her Pediatric Internship and Residency at The Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Dr. Fancher is a Board Certified Pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

She is a member of the Alabama Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, the Mineral District Medical Society and the Jefferson County Medical Society. Her clinical interests included asthma management, and she participated in the 2009-2014 American Academy of Pediatrics National Chapter Quality Improvement Network, Asthma Pilot Project Initiative. Additional interests include literacy and past participation as a clinical participant for the national Reach Out and Read Literacy Program.

In retirement, Dr. Fancher remains actively involved in the community and is active with the Birmingham Sister Cities Ghana Committee.
Michele Kong, MD, MBA
Dr. Michele Kong received her medical degree from the University of Calgary, Canada. She then completed pediatric residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, followed by pediatric critical care fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, AL. Dr. Kong is the co-founder of KultureCity, the world’s leading non-profit in sensory accessibility and inclusion for those with invisible disabilities (such as autism). She is a Professor of Pediatrics at UAB and practices medicine as an intensivist at Children's Hospital of Alabama. Dr. Kong is an NIH funded physician scientist at UAB. She is a highly regarded speaker, and well published in high-impact medical and non-medical journals. She was recently awarded the 2019 Woman of Impact Award, which recognizes the honoree’s personal and professional contributions to the State of Alabama that have moved the needle across business, government and non-profit sectors. At UAB, her contribution to the field, and service to the community was recognized with the UAB Dean’s Excellence Award in Service, UAB Outstanding Woman in the Community Award, and the Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award. Michele is also an avid ultrarunner and successfully competed in a 100 mile race.
Weily Soong, MD
Dr. Soong is a native of Birmingham, and graduated from Vestavia Hills High School, Birmingham-Southern College, and the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and remained at Yale for his Allergy and Clinical Immunology Fellowship training. While at Yale, he did research on the development of pediatric asthma at the Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology and participated in the 2004 School in Primary Immune Deficiency Disorders. Dr. Soong is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Board Certified in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and can treat both adult and pediatric allergy and immunology diseases. He is on the clinical faculty of the allergy department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Soong is also the Chief Medical Officer for AllerVie Clinical Research, an affiliate of AllerVie Health, conducting clinical studies in adult and pediatric patients, contributing to the advancement of new therapies for asthma, allergies, and other related immunological conditions. He provides access to otherwise unavailable treatments to patients suffering from these conditions.

Dr. Soong is very active in our community and serves on the Board of Directors for the group FOR Nicaraguan Health, a Birmingham-based medical mission organization. The group helps indigent people in Nicaragua, and Dr. Soong has traveled with the group to Nicaragua many times. He is also a member of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Alabama Asthma Coalition, Highlands United Methodist Church, and on the advisory board of The Assistance League of Birmingham. Dr. Soong and his wife, Lauri, have a daughter and son, Katie and Will. He also enjoys playing tennis, watching baseball, and doing home improvement projects.
Commissioner Jimmie Stephens
Commissioner Stephens is President of the Jefferson County Commission. He grew up near Bessemer and graduated from Bessemer High School. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Masters of Business Administration from Samford University. He has extensive experience in the grocery business. His past civic leadership experience includes serving on the Bessemer City Council, and multiple local governmental and community boards. He currently serves on the Birmingham Jefferson County Civic Center Authority Board and the Birmingham Business Alliance Board.
Central Health Center
(Guy M. Tate)

1400 Sixth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
(205) 588-5234

(205) 933-9110
Eastern Health Center
601 West Blvd Roebuck
Birmingham, AL 35206
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Western Health Center
631 Bessemer Super Hwy
Midfield, AL 35228
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Hours of Operation:
All Centers are open 7:45am to 4:30pm. Phone lines for clinic appointments open at 7:00am Monday through Friday.

If this is a Medical Emergency call 911.
If you are a patient and need to reach your health care team after business hours for non-life threatening conditions, call (205) 588-5234. For Medical Emergencies dial 911.

Nondiscrimination Compliance Office
(205) 930-1585
Notice of Nondiscrimination [ English ]  [ Español ]
Nondiscrimination Policy

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