| Lansing State Journal
Throughout my tenure as deputy well being officer on the Ingham County Well being Division, I nominated Dr. Maurice Reizen for the 2013 “Roy R. Manty Distinguished Service Award” — and I used to be thrilled when he was chosen because the winner!
This award is the best particular person award given by native public well being departments and is awarded for excellent contribution to public well being within the state of Michigan.
I consider Dr. Reizen is the strongest instance of a person dedicated to the advocacy and promotion of the general public’s well being. The legacy of his public well being work within the state of Michigan is clear in quite a few methods, however probably the most important contribution was independently and creatively figuring out the necessity for a State of Michigan Public Well being Code.
The 1978 Michigan Public Well being Code stays in place at the moment, and county public well being departments across the state are at present using its language and energy by imposing emergency orders to guard their respective communities throughout our present COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Reizen served because the director of the Michigan Division of Public Well being in 1967, and was an outspoken advocate for group social providers — together with a statewide immunization program referred to as “Rub-Out-Rubella” which supplied over 350,000 free doses to vaccinate greater than 90% of Michigan’s kids.
He completed a monumental activity: having one code of data and references in an act to codify, revise, consolidate and supply classification data for public well being points. This arduous work, and years of effort, included not solely the work on analysis, knowledge assortment and language to incorporate within the code itself, however collaborative political efforts to work with bipartisan legislators to speak and educate members on the need of supporting this laws for its eventual passage.
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Dr. Reizen is at present 101-years-old. Throughout my go to with him final month, divided by a glass window and unable to hug or be in the identical room with him (my cherished mentor and pal), we nonetheless shared laughs and tears and stimulating scientific dialog.
We talked about our households and the way we missed spending time collectively, after which we mentioned our present state of public well being and the way our state continues to grapple with how greatest to manage the unfold of COVID-19 and shield residents.
I made positive to thank him, the generally unrecognized and sole inventive thoughts of Michigan’s first Public Well being Code.
He added consistency, logic and reasoning to our public well being legal guidelines, and his lifelong management and commitments proceed saving lives even at the moment as we confront the intense risk of COVID-19.
Nancy Hayward is a registered nurse with a grasp’s diploma in public well being. She owns a consulting observe referred to as Well being Schooling Coaching and Consulting primarily based in Ann Arbor.