Passion for Public Health Drives Newly Appointed District Medical Officer to Serve

Wes StubblefieldPublic health is a passion for Dr. Wes Stubblefield, and he is realizing a dream in life as he takes on the position of medical officer for the Northern and Northwestern Public Health Districts. His academic and leadership credentials are impressive, and his awards and honors are many.

As a practicing pediatrician, he enjoyed making relationships and engaging in conversations one on one with parents and children over the past 14 years. He reached a point in his career, however, where he wanted to make a greater impact, and this led him to public health.

In addition to his pediatric experience, Dr. Stubblefield’s influences included mentorship by Dr. Karen Landers, whose position he is assuming; leadership in the American Academy of Pediatrics, Alabama Chapter, for which he served as president from 2017-2019; and other training. In 2018 he completed his M.P.H. degree with a concentration in Health Care Organization and Policy from the UAB School of Public Health.

Dr. Stubblefield grew up Vernon in Lamar County where his father was a dentist who had relocated to the rural area of west Alabama through a loan replacement program. Always a busy person, Dr. Stubblefield received his B.S. degree in biology in 1999 from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and his M.D. in 2004 from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in 2007, and is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

As to hobbies, one might find Dr. Stubblefield working in the yard or pulling up carpet in the 1920s-era home in Florence he and his wife Jennifer recently purchased and are in the process of renovating. Formerly they lived in a larger historic home, but they decided to move after their daughter, Peyton, left for Auburn University where she is a sophomore. In addition to working and reading, he enjoys exercise and even taught an exercise class at one time.

Among the many elected and appointed positions listed on his extensive curriculum vitae which are or have been connected with the department are the following: STD Advisory Committee, Lauderdale County Medical Society, Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (COIIN), Healthy Child Care Alabama, and Shoals Health Care Coalition.

In an e-mail to employees statewide welcoming him, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary McIntyre expressed the enthusiasm of many others in the department when she wrote, “We are very happy and truly excited to have you come onboard.”

The decision to make the move was reinforced for Dr. Stubblefield when he announced he was leaving his medical practice and others assured him many times over that public health is his calling. As he embarks on this journey, he is hopeful other professionals will join him on the “great career path” of public health.