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Public Health Week 2010 Celebrates Local Heroes

April 13, 2010

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 11-17. This year's theme, "A Healthier America: One Community at a Time," embraces the concept of improving America's health system in one generation. If every person commits to promoting good health in their community, we can create momentum to improve one community at a time. Healthier communities create a healthier nation.

MDCH will highlight the week at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14, at its annual Hometown Health Heroes celebration in the Capitol Rotunda. During the event, the department and its partners will recognize five legislators as "Public Policy Champions" for their efforts in championing the new Clean Air Bill into law. MDCH also will recognize 12 Hometown Health Heroes who have worked collaboratively to make their communities healthier places 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 establishing and operating free health clinics to spearheading the development of a 48-mile nature trail in the Upper Peninsula. All of their actions have made our state a healthier place to live."

2010 Public Policy Champions include:

-Senator Ray Basham of the 8th district

-Senator Thomas George of the 20th district

-Senator Ron Jelinek of the 21st district

-Representative Joan Bauer of the 68th district

-Representative Gary McDowell of the 107th district

2010 Hometown Health Heroes include:

-Dr. Lisa Harrington - Grayling Family Practice Clinic and Mercy Hospice in Grayling

-Dr. Roderic Tinney - Pediatrician - Charlevoix

-Barb Grinwis, PA - Oasis of Hope, Grand Rapids

-Angela Stevenson - Wayne County Department of Public Health

-Jim Thomas - Iron Ore Heritage Trail, Upper Peninsula

-Don Britton - Iron Ore Heritage Trail, Upper Peninsula

-Rhona Colbert - Muskegon County Medical Reserve Corps

-Alicia Armstrong - Community Partners in Michigan, Lansing

-Arlene Brennan - Coalition Health Access Program, Grand Traverse

-Jonnie Hamilton - Detroit Black Nurses Association

-Dawn Bause - Birmingham Community House, Metro Detroit

-Helen DeFlorio - MSU Extension, Ogemaw County

Also honored are the State Board of Education of Michigan for their leadership and efforts to improve the health and nutrition of Michigan's school children, and Commissioner Evelyn Kolbe of District Health Department #10. Kolbe, who is the past president of the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) and of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health (MALPH), has been a leader with MAC, MALPH and the District 10 Board of Health.

The Michigan Association for Local Public Health, the Michigan Public Health Association, the Michigan Public Health Institute, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Wayne State University have partnered with MDCH to implement Public Health Week activities.

To learn more about Michigan Public Health Week and events taking place across the state, please visit: and click on the "A Healthier America" icon on the left side of the Web page.