Governor appoints new council to improve state's response to emerging state and local public health threats

To ensure the efficiency and accountability of the state’s public health system, Gov. Rick Snyder Monday signed Executive Order 2017-10, establishing the Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC). The governor also announced the appointments of 18 of the council’s 20 members.

The council, which was recommended by the Michigan Public Health Advisory Commission, initially will develop an action plan for implementing the recommendations of the commission. It also is tasked with providing advice about emerging issues in public health, monitoring the effectiveness of Michigan’s public health response system, and reviewing multiagency efforts to support collaboration and a unified approach on public health responses.

“The Public Health Advisory Commission laid the groundwork for a more responsive and cohesive public health system in Michigan. The new council will continue this important task by turning recommendations into actions and improving the state’s response to public health threats,” Snyder said. “Our residents and their health should always come first and I’m confident this council will help improve the public health and safety of all Michiganders.”

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells will lead the council in conjunction with 20 voting gubernatorial appointees and the directors (or their designees) of the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environmental Quality; Health and Human Services; Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; and State Police or the MSP’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.

“The creation of this new Public Health Advisory Council is a vital step forward for Michigan in preparing for and responding to emerging public health issues,” Wells said. “Thanks to the expertise of the Public Health Advisory Commission, the council has a strong and strategic path forward, and I’m confident the council members will be committed to a successful implementation.”

In April, the commission released a report of recommendations to the governor to ensure the protection and promotion of public health and safety in the state. The new council will continue these efforts through further analysis and implementation of the commission’s recommendations.

PHAC will meet at least twice per year at the call of the chair, and may establish workgroups or committees comprised of council members and invite public participation as necessary.