MDCH Celebrates Public Health Week 2008

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

April 21, 2008

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) - in conjunction with its partners in local public health across the state - will conclude Michigan Public Health Week from 10 - 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22, in the Capitol Rotunda by highlighting several core health issues. Health advocates and state legislators will be recognized for their extraordinary work on health issues. This year's Public Health Week theme, "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance," focuses on the role our climate plays in public health.

"Our public health advocates and workers throughout the state play a vital role in working collaboratively in making their communities healthier places to live and grow," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "Their hard work propels our mission to create a healthy living environment for families and communities."

Olszewski recognized five "Public Policy Champions" who have either introduced new legislation to address gaps in the state's safety net, or who have been long-time supporters and advocates of programs crucial to maintaining good public health such as access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity, injury prevention, and clean air. Michigan's 2008 Public Policy Champions include:

  • Sen. Liz Brater - (D-Ann Arbor)

  • Sen. Tom George - (R-Texas Township)

  • Rep. Kathy Angerer - (D-Dundee)

  • Rep. Ed Gaffney - (R- Grosse Pointe Farms)

  • Rep. Fred Miller - (D-Mount Clemens)

Dr. Greg Holzman, State Chief Medical Executive, called on individuals and organizations to work together on a community-wide approach to promote public health and to help recognize the 10 individuals and coalitions who have worked collaboratively to make their community a healthier place.

"I commend these Hometown Health Heroes for their tremendous work in their communities and in the state," Holzman said. "These heroes all share one thing in common - they began their efforts with small steps toward an overarching goal of minimizing the effects of climate change on the health of their local communities."

The 2008 Hometown Health Heroes include:

Additional information on each Hometown Health Hero is attached. Michigan Public Health Week follows National Public Health Week. To learn more about National Public Health Week, which takes place April 7 through April 13, please visit For more information on National Public Health Week observances in Michigan, please visit and click on the last logo on the left of the homepage.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health, Michigan State University, 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.