Skip to Content



Francisca Guzmán Introduced as new member of Board of Health

The Metropolitan Board of Health welcomed Francisca Guzmán as a new Board member, and elected a new Board Chair and Vice Chair at their meeting on August 14th. Board members elected Samuel L. Felker, JD, as the new Board Chair, and Carol Etherington, MSN, RN, FAAN as vice Chair.

Felker is a shareholder in Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, and Berkowitz, PC.  He is a member of the firm’s Product Liability/Mass Tort Group. For more than 30 years, Felker has focused his litigation practice on the defense of product liability, food safety, mass torts and commercial cases. In pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, Felker has served as national, regional and local counsel in defending manufacturers throughout the United States. During the course of his career, Felker has also represented clients in significant commercial litigation involving insurance coverage, securities fraud, breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, defamation and intellectual property.

Felker has served on the Board of Health for the past six years. He earned his Law Degree from the University of Virginia, School of Law, and is active in numerous community organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, Tennessee Equality Project, Stonewall Bar Association, the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce and Nashville Cares.

Etherington was recently appointed for a second term on the Board of Health by Mayor Karl Dean. Both Etherington and Guzmán were recently confirmed by Metro Council to a five-year term.  

Etherington retires this month from the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health as Associate Professor of Nursing, Emerita. She has also worked extensively with MSF/Doctors Without Borders and served as President of their USA Board of Directors. Awards for her extensive local, national, and international health service include being named Vanderbilt Alumnus of the Year in 2007 and receiving the Florence Nightingale Medal from the International Committee of Red Cross.
Etherington has a Master of Science in Nursing/Psychiatric Mental Health Specialty from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Catherine Spalding College in Louisville, Kentucky.

Guzmán replaces Bill Hance, whose term ended in July after serving as a Board member since 2000 and Board Chair for the past 10 years.

Guzmán currently is the Media and Development advisor for the Disability Law & Advocacy Center (DLAC), a nonprofit legal services organization for people with disabilities. She also coordinates the agency’s minority outreach activities. These include participation and direction of activities that increase access to culturally competent services through the Multicultural Disability Coalition, Children’s Mental Health Coalition, and the Nashville Latino Health Coalition.

Guzmán earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Wellesley College. She was born in El Salvador, but has been living in the United States since she was four. Guzmán grew up in Houston before moving to Nashville after graduating from college.

There are six Board of Health members including Ruth C. Stewart, M.D., Henry W. Foster, Jr., M.D., and Alicia Batson, M.D., in addition to Felker, Etherington and Guzmán.

The role of the Board of Health is to administer and control public health for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.