Gov. Mike Beebe has named Nathaniel Smith as director and state health officer for the Arkansas Department of Health.
Beebe on Friday announced that he was naming Smith permanently to the position. Smith has been serving as interim director since February, when Paul Halverson left the post to take a job in Indiana. Halverson had served as director since 2005.
Beebe said in a news release that Smith had proven himself to be a steady and knowledgeable leader since taking over the post on an interim basis.
Smith began working for the Health Department in 2004 and is a specialist in infectious diseases. He has previously served as state epidemiologist and as deputy director for health programs.