Joe Gerace named as new Anchorage Health Department director

The Anchorage Health Department Building.
The Anchorage Health Department Building.
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 2:21 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has named a new director for the municipality’s health department.

The announcement comes just over a month since Bronson’s last appointee, David Morgan, resigned ahead of his confirmation hearing amid controversy over comments he made about the pandemic.

During an interview with Alaska’s News Source in July, Morgan was reluctant to say the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, saying, “It’s a personal view kind of thing ... Pandemic is an adjective that describes a situation.” He later clarified that “we’re in a pandemic for the unvaccinated.”

Bronson’s new director pick, Joe Gerace, started his first day on the job Friday. In a release from the mayor’s office, Bronson said “Joe’s qualifications and experience speak loudly about his commitment to helping those in need.”

Gerace most recently worked as the director of operations for Visit Healthcare, the testing and vaccination provider for the municipality. He is also on the board for the American Red Cross of Alaska. He is not a doctor, but has a degree in chemistry and chemical engineering, and a master’s degree in business administration.

Gerace has also worked as a firefighter and paramedic, according to the release, as well as with the Alaska National Guard and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

All administration appointees are subject to confirmation by the Anchorage Assembly.

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