Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointment, reappointments to the Michigan Autism Council

Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointment of Amy Miilu of Portland and the reappointments of Mary Chaliman of Holt, George Mellos of Farmington Hills and Joanne Winkelman of Bloomfield to the Michigan Autism Council. 

The 12-member council was created by the Governor as an advisory body to assist the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and implement, monitor and update the Michigan Autism Spectrum Disorder State Plan. This plan provides comprehensive lifespan support to individuals with ASD and their families through access to information and resources, coordination of services and implementation of evidence-based practices. The council must update the plan every year.

“I am honored to have these individuals serve on the Michigan Autism Council,” Snyder said. “The work the council does helps many Michiganders obtain the resources needed to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.”

Miilu is a department specialist for Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), where she previously served as a student assistant, a communications assistant and a legal secretary. She holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Lansing Community College and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Michigan State University. She will represent DIFS and replace Karin Gyger.

Chaliman is the manager of the Child Welfare Medical Unit in the Office of Child Welfare Policy and Programs for MDHHS and has more than 37 years of experience working in child welfare. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University and will continue to represent MDHHS.

Mellos is the senior executive psychiatrist director for the state of Michigan and a clinical associate professor at Wayne State University. He previously served as acting hospital director, chief of clinical affairs and chief of psychiatry for the Hawthorn Center. He is a member of the Michigan Psychiatric Society, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Michigan Council of Child Psychiatry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Michigan Technological University and a medical degree from Wayne State University. He will continue to represent MDHHS.

Winkelman is a supervisor within the Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education. She previously served as a special education consultant and a policy coordinator for the department. Winkelman holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and cognitive impairment from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a master's degree in education with a focus on learning disabilities from the College of Saint Rose in Albany and a doctorate in special education from Wayne State University. She will continue to represent the Michigan Department of Education.

Members will serve four-year terms expiring Sept. 30, 2022.