Name: Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor, City of Franklin, Tennessee
Alumni Year: 1975
Let’s start with a little about you. Tell us a little about your current work and practice.
I completed my Campbell Fellowship in 1975 and joined a classmate’s practice in Columbia, TN until I retired in 2004. When I was practicing, I had an opportunity to get involved in a variety of public policy issues at the state and national levels. When I was getting ready to retire, I knew I’d do something with health policy. I wanted to give back to the profession that had been so good to me. Things didn’t work out exactly as I envisioned, and I am glad the way it turned out.
Upon retirement, my wife, Linda, and I decided to move to her hometown of Franklin, TN. It was a good opportunity to reinvent ourselves and create a new adventure.
And what an adventure it’s been!
After a couple of adventures teaching orthopaedics overseas, I made the decision to run for elected office. In 2007, I was elected Alderman at Large in the City of Franklin, and in 2011, elected to Mayor of the City of Franklin.
What about medicine prepared you for a career in public service?
Surprisingly, the two fields are a lot alike. Both require lots of listening. However, you can’t put them to sleep and do corrective surgery!
Being mayor to one of the top cities in America (as determined by many groups), creates challenges for both my personal and professional self. It is easy to get too weighted in either area, and it is important to maintain outside interests. Linda and I love to travel and explore different areas of the world. I also love playing golf. Covid has slowed our travel, but I’ve taken the time to learn to play the guitar –but primarily as a source of relaxation.
What inspired your career in medicine?
I grew up in a family that cared a lot about people. That childhood influence gave me the desire to give back and care for people. By the time I was ten years old, I already said I wanted to be a doctor. I never considered another option.
And why orthopaedics? Well, I had lots of interests- urology, plastics, orthopaedics. I know that I made the right choice for me combining orthopaedics and my interest in hand surgery.
How did you parlay your work into public service?
Honestly, politics found me, I did not find politics. While I was practicing, I did a lot of work with the Tennessee Medical Association and the Tennessee Orthopaedic Society. They needed help with the Tennessee General Assembly, so I helped craft scope of practice legislation that passed in Tennessee and went on to be a model for other states. In addition, through family relationships, I got to know (former Tennessee Senator and Governor of Tennessee) Lamar Alexander and helped him raise funds when he was running for president.
I continue to fundraise and engage physicians in the political process today. It’s important to create opportunities for dialogue among the elected and electorate.
What is something other alumni might not know about you?
My second day of medical school, I was hit by a truck on Union Avenue! I had just left my first lab class, and a classmate and I were plotting how I could be elected president of our first year class. We left our lab early, and I stepped into the road just as a truck was passing and books and my bone box went flying into the air, and I ended up with a jaywalking ticket. Good news was, I still got elected in spite of the incident.
When you return to Memphis in April 2022 for Triennial, what is one thing you hope to do?
The main thing I want to do is rekindle friendships, recall great memories and share stories of being a resident with our Campbell friends. I’m really looking forward to it.
What’s next? What’s on the horizon for you?
There’s always another election! I’m in my third elected term as mayor, and I plan to do another term. In addition, I am the medical director of a foundation that provides surgery for Guatemalan children. The Shalom Foundation in Guatemala has its own hospital and hosts up to nineteen teams per year and has done up to 1100 cases in a year. I am eager to build on this program and serve more children, improve nutrition and strengthen this community.