Community Health chief leaving to become judge

Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday announced the appointment of the Department of Community Health’s commissioner, Clyde Reese, to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Gov. Deal
Gov. Nathan Deal

Reese, 57, has served as commissioner of DCH, the state’s main health care agency, since 2013.

He will fill the vacancy on the bench created by the retirement of Judge Herbert E. Phipps. The appointment will take effect Dec. 1.

Reese also has served as an assistant attorney general for the state and as general counsel for the State Health Planning Agency, which administers the health care regulatory apparatus known as certificate of need.

He practiced health care regulatory law in the private sector from 2003 through 2007. He returned to state government in 2007 as the executive director of the Division of Health Planning at DCH.

Reese was commissioner of DCH in 2010 prior to serving as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Services from 2011 to 2013.

Clyde Reese
Clyde Reese

“Commissioner Reese’s extensive legal experience in both the public and private sectors make him the ideal candidate to join the Georgia Court of Appeals,” said Deal in a statement. “He has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the well-being of Georgia’s citizens while running one of Georgia’s largest state agencies. Commissioner Reese also showed remarkable capabilities in implementing state law when he worked in the attorney general’s office. I am confident that his knowledge and experience will make him a true asset for the Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia law for many years to come.”

Reese said in a statement Monday, “I am extremely humbled and honored by Governor Deal appointing me to a seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals. I am gratified by his confidence in me and intend to work very hard to be an able colleague to the other members of the Court of Appeals. It is even more of an honor to be named to replace a legend of our state and the legal world, Judge Herbert E. Phipps.

“It has been a privilege to serve in the Deal administration over the past six years.  We have navigated many complex waters in human services and health care and I appreciate that opportunity.

”I would like to thank the Board of Community Health, my senior staff, and all employees of the Department for their support and hard work.”

There was no announcement Monday of who would replace Reese at Community Health.

Reese earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and a law degree from Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He has five children and resides in the western Atlanta suburb of Douglasville.