Tené Hamilton Franklin, MS has been named director of the Tennessee Department of Health Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination. In this position, Franklin will facilitate and advocate for the development of policies, programs and services that appropriately respond to population health disparity issues across the state, especially those of racial and ethnic minority populations.
“Tené has a passion for improving health disparities and joins us as the next step in her accomplished career in public policy, community engagement, access to care, health advocacy and health promotion,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We are pleased to welcome her to our team.”
In her new role as director of the Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination, Franklin will promote continuous improvement for disparity elimination by enabling cooperation and collaboration among minority communities and disparity populations with TDH programs and services. The office for which she is responsible helps other TDH divisions, offices and agencies identify, assess and address health disparities. The office also provides oversight and guidance for the Office of Faith-Based Health Initiatives that engages faith community organizations to help address their health disparities.
Franklin comes to TDH with more than 15 years of experience as a project director and consultant in the areas of genetic counseling and research, community outreach and education, grant operations and policy recommendations. She is the 2011 recipient of the National NAACP Dr. Montague Cobb Award for outstanding work and special achievement in the areas of social justice, health justice advocacy, health education and promotion, fundraising and research.
“The Tennessee Department of Health leadership is committed to leading efforts to move Tennesseans toward healthier outcomes,” said Franklin. “I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the TDH team by addressing health disparities using minority health, faith-based health and place-based health as strategies to improve health outcomes in Tennessee.”
Prior to joining TDH, Franklin served as a genetic counselor at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, helping to provide support to families with members with disorders including sickle cell disease. Franklin has also served as a genetic research consultant for the Vanderbilt University Center for Genetics and Health Policy in Nashville and as a project director at both the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics in Philadelphia, Pa. and the Tuskegee University Center for Bioethics in Tuskegee, Ala.
Franklin holds a Master’s degree in genetic counseling from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia.
She is involved in community service with a number of organizations including the North Nashville Leadership Council, the Friends in General board of directors, the Tennessee State Conference NAACP Health Committee, the Nashville General Hospital Ethics Committee and serves as a troop leader with the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee.