Commissioner: Tim Ward

Director of Public Affairs: Joan Heath

Sallie Barker Appointed

FORSYTH, Ga. – Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Interim Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the promotion of Sallie Barker to director of health services, effective December 17, 2018. As Director, Barker will be in charge of administrative functions, contract management and budget compliance.

“Barker brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will strengthen our Health Services division,” said Ward. “I am confident that our offender population will greatly benefit from her extensive background in healthcare.” 

Barker began her healthcare career in 1998 and served as a Corporate Communication Associate for Athens Regional Medical Center until 2001. She served as the Public Relations Director, College of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Georgia from 2001-2004. In 2004, Barker was named as the Project Director, Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia Health Policy Center where she served until 2007.  From 2007 through 2016, she served as the Communications Director of Upson Regional Medical Center, Thomaston, Georgia and served the same facility as the Strategy and Business Development Director until fall 2018.

Baker earned a bachelor of arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She is also a graduate of the Georgia Economic Development Academy, Leadership Georgia and has completed her degree requirements for a master of Healthcare Administration from South University.

About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit


Manager, Public Affairs Lori Benoit