MDCH Kicks Off Public Health Week 2009

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

April 15, 2009

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) - in conjunction with its partners in local public health across the state - will celebrate Michigan Public Health Week April 19-27, following a nationwide awareness campaign that highlighted several core health issues.

MDCH will highlight the week at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21 at its annual Hometown Health Heroes celebration in the Capitol Rotunda. During the event, the department and its partners will recognize eight "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 good public health programs. MDCH also will recognize 12 "Hometown Health Heroes" who have worked collaboratively to make their community a healthier place to live and grow.

"I congratulate our Public Policy Champions and Hometown Health Heroes," said MDCH Director Janet Olszewski. "These individuals and groups are premier examples of what it means to be a health advocate for the people of Michigan. Our honorees have done everything from implementing health programs in their school districts to providing health care to the uninsured. All of their actions have made our state a healthier place to live."

Michigan's 2009 Public Policy Champions include:

- U.S. Rep. John Dingell, Detroit area (SCHIP legislation)

- U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, Kalamazoo (sponsored LEAN act)

- Rep. Gary McDowell, Cheboygan, Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, Sault St. Marie

- Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, Ann Arbor

- Sen. Ray Basham, Detroit area (downriver area)

- Sen. Michele McManus, Big Rapids, Roscommon, Cadillac, Clare, Manistee, Kalkaska (booster seat law)

- Judge Paula Baird, Lansing (smoking cessation with adoptive families)

The 2009 Hometown Health Heroes include:

- Social Justice Facilitator Team, Ingham County Health Department (Lansing, MI)

- Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District (Escanaba, MI)

- Genesys Maternal Infant Health Program (Flint, MI)

- Dan Gorman (Montague, MI)

- James Hiller, CEO, Hiller's Markets (Southfield, MI)

- David M. Luoma, MD, MMM, CPE (Marquette, MI)

- Sameer Ohri, DO (Pontiac, MI)

- Patricia O'Neill (Grand Rapids, MI)

- Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital Riley Foundation (Pontiac, MI)

- Kelly Potocki (Standish, MI)

- Lucy Tomasi-McGuire (Cadillac, MI)

- Washtenaw Area Immunization Action Coalition (Ann Arbor, MI)

Additional information on each Hometown Health Hero is attached. The Michigan Association for Local Public Health, the Michigan Public Health Association, the Michigan Public Health Institute, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan School of Public Health have partnered with MDCH to implement Public Health Week activities and promote each daily theme.

To learn more about Michigan Public Health Week and events taking place across the state this week, please visit