Anchorage Mayor Bronson appoints new health department director

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has named a new health department director.

Joe Gerace, a former firefighter, paramedic and Red Cross disaster responder, is now the head of the Anchorage Health Department, according to a statement from the mayor’s office. Gerace started as director on Friday.

Gerace worked as a medical detachment commander for the Alaska National Guard and the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and he was director of operations for Visit Healthcare, the city’s provider of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

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“Joe’s qualifications and experience speak loudly about his commitment to helping those in need,” Bronson said in the statement. “I appreciate the service and dedication of the Municipality of Anchorage’s Health Department staff and I am confident that Joe will be a great asset to the team.”

The announcement of a new health department director comes a little over a month after the previous appointed director, David Morgan, resigned. Morgan stepped down shortly before the Assembly was scheduled to vote on his confirmation; he had received scrutiny from Assembly members over his qualifications and statements he’d made on social media about the pandemic.

Emily Goodykoontz

Emily Goodykoontz is a reporter covering Anchorage local government and general assignments. She previously covered breaking news at The Oregonian in Portland before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at