Dr. David Darden, a longtime osteopathis physician in the Bradley/Polk county communities, has been appointed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to the state's Medical Examiner Advisory Council.Dr. Darden …
Dr. David Darden, a longtime osteopathis physician in the Bradley/Polk county communities, has been appointed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to the state's Medical Examiner Advisory Council.
Dr. Darden will represent East Tennessee on the council.
A resident of Polk County, Dr. Darden has served as that community's medical examiner (pro bono) for the past 20 years.
In announcing Darden's appointment, Haslam said, "In the thorough, aggressive search for candidates, your characteristics and professional qualifications were exceptional among the number of nominees who expressed interest."
"I consider it very important to ensure that Tennessee's boards and commissions are filled with the most dedicated and qualified citizens," Haslam continued. "I believe your participation is certain to leave a positive impact on this board and the work it does."
The governor also thanked Darden for his interest in state government, and his willingness to serve.
Darden said he came to Cleveland with an associate, Dr. Frederick "Gus" Muths, and they were employed at the old Bradley Memorial Hospital.
He later resigned to obtain a degree in occupational and environmental medicine, and has served as medical director with a number of local companies, such as Healthworks of Tennessee, HCA-Occupational Health Services, GE Roper Division (Lafayette, Ga.), Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Honeywell Friction Materials, Dow-Reichold Speciality Latex, United Knitting, Blue Bird North Georgia, Bayer Healthcare, and was the Staff Occupational and Environmental Medicine Physician with Erlanger Health Systems.
Previous to these positions, he was senior anesthesiologist at Bradley Memorial Hospital, and president of Cleveland Anesthesiologists Inc.
Currently, Dr. Darden is the medical director for Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations.
In a recent interview, he said he was honored by the governor's appointment, and hopes to be a voice for Tennessee's smaller counties and communities.
"I feel they should have a voice in how government operates," he said.
He applied for the three-year, nonpaid term after being contacted by the Tennessee Department of Health, under which the advisory council serves.
He said he discussed the opportunity to serve on this nonpaid council with his wife, Jan, prior to applying. "She is a very wise lady," he emphasized.
Darden met his wife at Bradley Memorial, where she was a trauma nurse. She later resigned to assist her elderly mother.
Following their marriage in 1986, the couple moved to a 400-acre tree farm in Polk County, in the Cookson Creek community. The management of a tree farm was nothing new to Darden.
He grew up in rural Georgia, one of four children, and the family was in the timber business.
"It's something that stays with you, something you don't forget," Darden said. "On a tree farm, the trees grow themselves," adding they have harvested the trees multiple times."
The new council appointee added management of a tree farm doesn't require a great deal of time, and he anticipates his time on the Medical Examiners Council will also not be time-consuming. "We only meet four times each year," he said.
In closing, Darden said he has respect for the governor and the fact he has a business background. He said he is looking forward to serving on the council, and being a voice for smaller counties, such as Polk County.
"My primary function will be to represent the Eastern Division of the state," he said.
Darden added he has also enjoyed serving the people of Polk County (as medical examiner), and has enjoyed working with Polk County Sheriff Steve Ross and 10th District Attorney General Stephen Crump.
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