Dr. Joe Thompson is president and CEO of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI). His work is centered at the intersection of clinical care, public health and health policy. At ACHI, th is responsible for developing research activities, health policy, and collaborative programs that promote better health and health care in Arkansas.
From 2005–2015 Dr. Thompson served as Surgeon General for the State of Arkansas in the administrations of Republican Governor, Mike Huckabee and Governor Mike Beebe, a Democrat. Dr. Thompson has also led efforts against childhood obesity as the former Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Nationally, Dr. Thompson serves on the board of the Campaign to End Obesity and he is a member of the Arkansas Medical Society Board of Trustees and Delta Dental of Arkansas Board of Directors. Previously he served for ten years on the Arkansas Board of Health, for eight years on the AcademyHealth Board of Directors and is past President of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is author of numerous articles and publications that reflect his research interests in the areas of health and health care.
Dr. Thompson earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as the RWJF Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Luther Terry Fellow in Preventive Medicine advising the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health in Washington, DC, and the Assistant Vice President and Director of Research at the National Committee for Quality Assurance in Washington, DC. In 1997, he served as the First Child and Adolescent Health Scholar of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (then the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) before returning to Arkansas.