MDCH Kicks Off Public Health Week 2006

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112


The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) recognized National Public Health Week today in Lansing and will launch a statewide awareness campaign highlighting several core health issues next week.

An opening press conference was held in the Capitol Rotunda this morning and included remarks from Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director, Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan Surgeon General, and representatives from public health partner organizations.

"Today we gather together to recognize the activities of public health advocates and workers throughout the state and illustrate how those actions affect our day-to-day pursuits, as well as our families, and our communities," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "From quality of drinking water to control of infectious disease to immunizations to chronic disease prevention, public health has been integral in advancing our society."

Olszewski also recognized eight "Public Policy Champions" who have either introduced new legislation to address gaps in the state's safety net, or have been long-time supporters and advocates of programs that are crucial to maintaining good public health - particularly in the areas of healthy community design, access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity, injury prevention, and clean air.

The 2006 Public Policy Champions are:


  • U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
  • Michigan Senator Deb Cherry
  • Michigan Senator Beverly Hammerstrom
  • Michigan Senator Michelle McManus
  • Michigan Senator Patti Birkholz
  • State Representative Chris Kolb
  • Scott Adkins, Vassar City Manager (Tuscola County)
  • State Board of Education President Kathleen Straus


Wisdom called on individuals and organizations to work together on a community-wide approach to promote healthy, active lifestyles and recognized twenty-three extraordinary communities, coalitions, and schools that have worked collaboratively to make their community a healthier place to live and grow.

"I would like to congratulate these Hometown Health Heroes for their exceptional contributions to their local communities," said Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan Surgeon General. "Their remarkable efforts have helped to create a safe and healthier Michigan for Michigan's youngest citizens."

The 2006 Hometown Health Heroes include:


  • Bendle Public Schools, Genesee County
  • Bridges to the Future, Durant-Tuuri-Mott Bridges Running Club, Genesee County
  • City of Kalamazoo Department of Parks and Recreation
  • City of Vassar, Tuscola County
  • Dial Help, Inc., Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and Baraga Counties
  • Earth Works Garden, Detroit
  • Genesee County Childhood Asthma Task Force
  • Hale Area Schools, Ogemaw County
  • Henry North Elementary School, Lansing
  • Haskell Community Center, Flint
  • Industrial Mutual Association Children's Recreation Fund, Flint
  • Kingston Community School District, Tuscola County
  • Lakeview High School, Battle Creek
  • Marquette County Health Department, "Youth for Truth"
  • Mixed Greens, Grand Rapids
  • Okemos Public Schools, "Clean Air for School Buses Plus"
  • Safe Kids Lakeshore
  • Safe Kids Marquette-Alger Counties
  • Safe Kids Muskegon County
  • Safe Kids Van Buren County
  • Washington Elementary School, Flint
  • Washtenaw County (multiple programs)
  • Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan


Additional information on each Hometown Health Hero


The University of Michigan School of Public Health, the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health & Sports, the Michigan Public Health Association, the Michigan Public Health Institute and the Michigan Association for Local Public Health have partnered with MDCH to implement Public Health Week activities and promote each daily theme.

National Public Health Week 2006 focuses on empowering Americans to assess the status of the built environment (such sidewalks, neighborhood design, parks, roads, schools, etc.) and its impact on children's health in the community. Local health departments, community coalitions, schools, businesses, healthcare, and faith-based organizations are encouraged to identify areas for improvement and implement model programs. Resources are available at