Haveman steps down as director of the Department of Community Health to focus on his health

Deputy Nick Lyon appointed as next director, ensures seamless transition 

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Outgoing Michigan Department of Community Health Director Jim Haveman (left); incoming director Nick Lyon (right)

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced that he has accepted the resignation of Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Director Jim Haveman effective Sept. 12. While Haveman had intended to stay into 2015, he decided to step down after recently experiencing a mild stroke.

“Director Haveman’s leadership has been instrumental as we’ve navigated an ambitious health and wellness agenda that has led to inclusive, bipartisan support to implement a number of key health initiatives that are making a real difference in Michiganders' lives,” said Snyder. “Jim’s commitment to the health and wellness of our residents has been evident in all that we’ve accomplished and I am grateful for his work. I understand and respect his decision to focus on his health and wish him and his family all the best. I know that Nick Lyon will be able to step in and continue the tremendous work and progress underway.”

Haveman was appointed director of MDCH in 2012, and has served as the group executive of the People Group since the beginning of 2014. Previously, Haveman served as the MDCH director from 1996 to 2003 and Department of Mental Health director from 1991 to 1996.

“It had always been my intention to stay in the position of director through 2015 but with the minor stroke I experienced on Memorial Day, Barb and I have decided it is best to re-evaluate that time table,” said Haveman. “This has been a difficult decision because I truly love my work. I am humbled by all that we’ve accomplished and have come to greatly admire the dedication of this governor and administration, our management team and the employees at the department.”

During his recent tenure as director, Haveman has led the state on a number of key health initiatives including the governor’s 4 x 4 Plan, the recommendations of the bipartisan Mental Health and Wellness Commission, and most recently, the successful launch of the Healthy Michigan Plan. Through these efforts, Michigan has moved from the fifth to the tenth most obese state in the nation, the movement toward better integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment into the health care delivery system has continued, and more than 375,000 residents are already enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan after only five months.

Haveman praised Snyder’s commitment to the health and wellness of Michigan residents, and Lyon’s appointment as the next director.

“Gov. Snyder’s steadfast commitment to doing what is right and doing what is best for the people of the state has made serving in his Cabinet a truly rewarding experience,” Haveman continued. “It is the faith that I have in Nick Lyon as my successor that I feel comfortable stepping away in September. Nick and I have worked extremely well together over the past two years and I know he will be an outstanding and dedicated director of the Michigan Department of Community Health.”