Gov. Rick Snyder creates permanent commission to focus on eliminating child lead exposure

Thursday, March 16, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed Executive Order 2017-2 creating the Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission to continue Michigan’s fight against lead exposure from all sources.

“Eliminating the risk of child lead exposure will require the coordination and expertise of people across all sectors,” Snyder said. “Creating this permanent commission will help advance the strategies recommended to better protect Michigan children from lead exposure.”

The creation of a permanent commission was a recommendation of the Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board, chaired by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. The new commission will focus on implementation of the board’s recommendations and monitor the state’s efforts to eliminate lead exposure in children. 

“No amount of lead exposure is safe for children, so we need to eliminate lead hazards that pose a danger before exposure occurs,” Calley said. “Making this a permanent priority will help ensure that strategies recommended by the Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board are implemented to protect Michigan kids.”

Housed within the Department of Health and Human Services, the 15-member commission will act in an advisory capacity to the Governor and department director to coordinate and collaborate with all levels of government and stakeholders regarding programs and policies related to the elimination of child lead exposure.

Members serving an initial one-year term expiring Dec. 15, 2017:

Christine Callahan of DeWitt is the director of the Office of Innovative Projects for the Clinton County Regional Educational Service Agency. She holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She will represent a member with a background in early childhood education and development.

Missy Challiss of Holt works for the Ingham County Health Department as a public health nurse, regional coordinator for Lead Programs, Children’s Special Health Care Services, and Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) coordinator. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing from Lansing Community College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Michigan-Flint. Challiss will represent a member with a background in child and family support.

Jeffrey Harthun of Bear Lake is a sixth-grade teacher at Bear Lake Elementary School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University and a master’s of education from Spring Arbor University. Harthun will represent the general public.

Bill Ridella of Detroit is the director and health officer for the Macomb County Health Department. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master of public health from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and a master of business administration from Wayne State University. Ridella will represent local health departments.

Members serving an initial two-year term expiring Dec. 15, 2018:

Rebecca Meuninck of Ann Arbor is the deputy director of the Ecology Center. She serves as a committee member for the Michigan Networks for Children’s Environmental Health, is a member of Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Homes, and is a committee member of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, and Safer States. Meuninck holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental anthropology from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in anthropology from Michigan State University and is also a Ph.D. candidate at MSU. She will represent an organization that focuses on lead exposure advocacy.

Paul Haan of Grand Rapids is the executive director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, Inc. He has over 15 years of experience working in childhood lead poisoning prevention and intervention and has an extensive history working with low-income households addressing housing and community development. Haan holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and philosophy from Calvin College. He will represent an organization that focuses on lead exposure advocacy.

Lyke Thompson of Ann Arbor is the director of the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University. He has been studying lead poisoning in Michigan since 1999. Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in urban studies from The University of Texas, Arlington. He will represent the research and technology community.

Members serving an initial three-year term expiring December 15, 2019:

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Bloomfield Hills is the director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center in Flint and is an assistant professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in resource ecology and management/environmental health from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and a medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Hanna-Attisha will represent physicians.

Tina Reynolds of East Lansing is the health policy director for the Michigan Environmental Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. Reynolds will represent the general public.

Al Vanderberg of Grand Rapids is the Ottawa County Administrator. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s of public administration from Michigan State University. Vanderberg will represent local government.

Other voting members:

  • Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive – Chair
  • Nick Lyon, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his designee
  • Heidi Grether, Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or her designee
  • Shelly Edgerton, Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or her designee
  • Earl Poleski, Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, or his designee

Members will serve four-year terms after the initial terms.

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