Joe Gerace named new Anchorage health director

Anchorage Health Director Joe Gerace began his tenure with the municipality on Sep. 17, 2021. He was appointed by Mayor Dave Bronson. (Office of Mayor Dave Bronson)

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has announced the new director of the municipality’s health department. 

Joe Gerace started his new position on Friday. He previously worked as the director of operations for Visit Healthcare, the municipality’s main testing and vaccine provider, and currently serves as chairman of the board of American Red Cross in Alaska.

“Joe’s qualifications and experience speak loudly about his commitment to helping those in need,” Bronson said in a statement. The mayor praised Gerace’s experience in disaster response as a firefighter, paramedic and medical detachment commander.

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Gerace’s appointment comes a month after the departure of Bronson’s first health director. David Morgan served from July until August, when he resigned a week before the Anchorage Assembly was due to vote on his confirmation. 

Morgan drew scrutiny from the Anchorage Assembly on his social media comments downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic as well allegations that he mismanaged finances at his previous employer, health care nonprofit CHOICES, Inc. 

Gerace’s appointment as health director is subject to confirmation by the Assembly.

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Wesley is a reporter for Alaska Public Media, covering primarily city government and Anchorage life. He previously worked at Alaska Public Media as a web editor, producer and education reporter before a two-year stint in Kotzebue, AK as News Director for KOTZ-AM.

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