Tarrant County commissioners unanimously appointed Dr. Brian Byrd as the new public health director for the county June 4.

Zooming in

Byrd is a practicing physician who founded and served as CEO of Texas Family Medicine for nearly 25 years, and serves as the medical director for Palm Primary Care, according to a county news release. Byrd formerly served as a Fort Worth City Council member for Council District 3.

The details

Tarrant County Public Health staffs more than 500 public health professionals, and provides information and statistics regarding health threats in the county, according to the website.

Byrd will replace Veerinder Taneja, who resigned in early February after nine years of service. Tom Stallings has served as the interim director of the department since that time and was thanked for his service by commissioners during the meeting.

What they’re saying

“Brian Byrd is an inspired choice for the new director of Public Health for Tarrant County,” Tarrant County Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks said in the release. “He’s got the requisite knowledge about the community and the confidence of the people of Tarrant County to lead that department to its next level of excellence.”

During the meeting, Brooks said he has known Byrd for a number of years and that he was “thrilled” with the choice.

In the news release, Precinct 4 Commissioner Manny Ramirez pointed out the decades of experience Byrd has in medicine and business.

“I am confident that Dr. Byrd will help create the world-class health department that our communities deserve,” he said.

What’s next

Byrd will begin his tenure as director of Tarrant County Public Health July 1, according to the release.

“I want us to have the best public health department on all fronts, that is well-integrated into the community, leads with compassion and data while improving the health outcomes of all Tarrant County residents,” Byrd said in the release.

Byrd also made some brief comments during the meeting after his appointment was approved.

“We'll continue to be a listening organization and listen to all the stakeholders, listen to all the leaders in the health departments around the counties and the leaders in Tarrant County of all the different health organizations,” Byrd said. “And we will be an organization that works hard, is conscientious, and we will work according to our strategic plan, and we will work very diligently to carry out the mission of the organization.”