Gov. Rick Snyder creates new council to improve Michigan’s response to emerging state and local public health threats
Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells appointed chair
LANSING, Mich. – To ensure the efficiency and accountability of the state’s public health system, Gov. Rick Snyder today signed Executive Order 2017-10, establishing the Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC). The governor also announced the appointments of 18 of the council’s 20 members.
The council, which was recommended by the Michigan Public Health Advisory Commission, initially will develop an action plan for implementing the recommendations of the commission. It also is tasked with providing advice about emerging issues in public health, monitoring the effectiveness of Michigan’s public health response system, and reviewing multiagency efforts to support collaboration and a unified approach on public health responses.
“The Public Health Advisory Commission laid the groundwork for a more responsive and cohesive public health system in Michigan. The new council will continue this important task by turning recommendations into actions and improving the state’s response to public health threats,” Snyder said. “Our residents and their health should always come first and I’m confident this council will help improve the public health and safety of all Michiganders.”
Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, Eden Wells, will lead the council in conjunction with 20 voting gubernatorial appointees and the directors (or their designees) of the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environmental Quality; Health and Human Services; Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; and State Police or the MSP’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.
“The creation of this new Public Health Advisory Council is a vital step forward for Michigan in preparing for and responding to emerging public health issues,” Wells said. “Thanks to the expertise of the Public Health Advisory Commission, the council has a strong and strategic path forward, and I’m confident the council members will be committed to a successful implementation.”
In April, the commission released a report of recommendations to the governor to ensure the protection and promotion of public health and safety in the state. The new council will continue these efforts through further analysis and implementation of the commission’s recommendations.
PHAC will meet at least twice per year at the call of the chair, and may establish workgroups or committees comprised of council members and invite public participation as necessary.
The full text of EO 2017-10 is available here.
Members serving one-year terms expiring Nov. 1, 2018:
Eric Adelman of Farmington Hills, is the executive director of Kadima Mental Health Services, a comprehensive residential, therapeutic, and social service provider to all people with mental health needs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies from George Washington University, a master’s degree in public administration from Wayne State University, and is in the process of receiving a post-masters certificate in finance from Oakland University. He will represent the general public.
James Averill of Webberville, is the State Veterinarian and Division Director for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and is an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree, a doctor of veterinary medicine, and a Ph.D., all from Michigan State University. He will represent veterinarians.
Joneigh Khaldun of Canton, is the director and health officer of the Detroit Health Department, and staff physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Health System. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a medical doctorate from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a master of public administration from George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services. She will represent local public health officials.
Douglas La Fave of Grand Rapids, is the assistant city manager and director of public works for the City of East Grand Rapids, and recently served in the United States Navy Reserve as a LT. USNR Intelligence Officer Analyst. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master of public administration from Grand Valley State University. He will represent local directors of public works.
Annette Mercatante of Goodells, is the medical health officer for the St. Clair County Health Department. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, and a master of public health from the University of Massachusetts. She will represent physicians.
Jesse Thomas of Canton, is the chief executive officer at Harbor Health Plan, Inc., and previously served as the chief executive officer for Coordinated Health Mutual, Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and graduate studies in accounting, management, and psychology. He will represent a non-profit health or environmental organization.
Jamie Zaniewski of Howell, is the government policy advisor for Dykema, and previously served as a senior policy advisor for health care and insurance in the Executive Office of Governor Snyder. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree of public policy from Pepperdine University. She will represent the general public.
Members serving three-year terms expiring Nov. 1, 2020:
Cynthia Aaron of Milan, is the medical director for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Regional Poison Control Center. She also is the director of medical and clinical toxicology education at Wayne State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wesleyan University and a medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She will represent toxicologists.
James Rutherford of Bellevue, is the director and health officer for Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Olivet College, and a master of public administration from Central Michigan University. He will represent local public health officials.
Bill Manns of Ada, is the president of Trinity Health/Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. He holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan. He will represent a member with hospital administration experience.
Dennis Whitford of Mount Pleasant, is the clinic director of Whitford Chiropractic Clinic and previously served the Michigan Association of Chiropractors in the roles of president/CEO and as chair of the board of directors. He holds a doctor of chiropractic degree from Logan College of Chiropractic. He will represent the general public.
Members serving a four-year term expiring Nov. 1, 2021:
Denise Chrysler of Lansing, is director of the Network for Public Health Law Mid-States Regional Center at the University of Michigan. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from the University of Michigan. She will represent a school of public health from an institution of higher education in this state.
Dianne Malburg of Holt, is the chief operations officer of the Michigan Pharmacists Association. She holds an associate’s degree in pre-pharmacy, and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and applied biology from Ferris State University. She will represent pharmacists.
Michelle Styma of Posen, is the CEO of Thunder Bay Community Health Services, Inc. She holds an associate’s degree in commerce from Alpena Community College, a bachelor’s degree in community development and health services administration from Central Michigan University, and a master’s degree in organizational management from Spring Arbor University. She will represent the general public.
Brian Hartlof Ada, is an epidemiologist for the Kent County Health Department. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree of public health, both from the University of Michigan. He will represent epidemiologists.
Chris Kolb of Ann Arbor is president and CEO of the Michigan Environmental Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan. He will represent experts in environmental health.
Kristin Schweighoefer of Ann Arbor, is the environmental health director of Washtenaw County Public Health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree of public health from the University of Michigan. She will represent food safety experts.
Kathleen Forzley of Troy, is the director of Oakland County Department of Human Services, and previously served as the health officer for Oakland County Health Division. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental health and a master’s degree in public administration from Oakland University. She will represent the general public.
The remaining appointments are pending and will be announced as soon as possible. After the initial appointments’ terms, newly appointed or reappointed members will serve four-year terms.