Dr. Ernie Fletcher has worked in the healthcare field most of his adult life. Even during his political service, his focus was on healthcare policy and providing expanded public health and treatment and recovery for those suffering from substance use disorder (SUD). Ernie and his wife, Glenna, founded the not-for-profit, Fletcher Group to increase evidenced-base recovery capacity and access. This was born of his work while as Governor, where he established Recovery Kentucky to expand a proven model of recovery housing. Combining blended funding from HUD, Kentucky Housing Corporation, HHS, USDA, Community Development funds and the Department of Corrections, he established the funding model which now supports 18 centers across rural and urban Kentucky.
Dr. Fletcher is a family practice physician with a wide diversity of experience and leadership including over 20 years of medical practice that included two years as CEO of the Saint Joseph Medical Foundation; founding and serving as the CEO of Alton Healthcare, LLC, for eleven years. At Alton healthcare, he led the company’s focus on healthcare IT innovation, wellness, prevention, and lifestyle diseases, addressing a holistic approach to physical and mental health. He also served as a Senior Medical Advisor and the Acting Chief Health Officer for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia where he, working with the Principal Deputy Director, Anne Schuchat, established the CDC Health and Well-being Counsel.
Continuing his passion for serving others, Dr. Fletcher pursued elected office. He began his political career as a state legislator and then served three terms (from 1998-2003) as a United States Congressman for Kentucky’s 6th District, before serving as Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 2003-2007. In Congress, Dr. Fletcher served as a member of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and chaired the Policy Subcommittee on Healthcare. As Governor he established the Get Healthy Kentucky program with the First Lady and built several new public healthcare facilities in rural counties with limited resources.
Dr. Fletcher graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering in 1974, and later graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1984. He completed his residency in Family Medicine in 1987 from the University of Kentucky Family Medicine Department. He is currently licensed to practice medicine in Georgia and Kentucky and is Board Certified in Family Medicine, including being a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine. He has a DEA waiver to prescribe suboxone.