State dept. of health undergoes changes under interim leader.

In his first week on the job, interim state health officer Dr. Ed Thompson has already been making changes to the Mississippi Department of Health.

Thompson named Dr. Mary Currier as interim epidemiologist and assigned Dr. Lovetta Brown the task of eliminating health disparities in Mississippi.

Thompson says Brown's task is especially important in a state where blacks have a greater rate of tuberculosis, syphilis and infant mortality.

As the nation's rate of infant mortality among blacks dropped, it rose in Mississippi under former state health officer Doctor Brian Amy.

Quoting Thompson here -- "That is absolutely unacceptable."