(WXYZ) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a bipartisan commission to educate the state on the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine.
The Protect Michigan Commission has been established by Executive Order and is within the Department of Health and Human Services.
It will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II; Former Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley; Chief Medical Executive and DHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun; Detroit Pistons player Blake Griffin; Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health; SER Metro CEO Eva Dewaelsche; Soumit Pendharkar, MHA, FACHE, Health Administrator for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians; Spectrum Health President & CEO Tina Freese-Decker; and Jamie Brown, Registered Nurse and President of the Michigan Nurses Association.
It will be comprised of at least 50 members who represent the diversity of the state. To apply to serve on the Protect Michigan Commission, visit michigan.gov/appointments and apply by December 28.
“Right now, we are on the brink of great breakthroughs when it comes to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, and we must begin to educate Michiganders about how important it is that we all get vaccinated so we can eradicate this virus once and for all. That’s what the Protect Michigan Commission is all about,” said Governor Whitmer. “This bipartisan group of leaders is uniquely equipped to help reinforce the importance of everyone getting vaccinated. Until we eliminate COVID-19 once and for all, we must continue to wear masks, practice safe social distancing, and wash hands frequently. Let’s all continue to do our part.”
The commission will "serve in an advisory capacity to Governor Whitmer and MDHHS, and will, among other things, provide public leadership to elevate and reinforce the importance of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, identify barriers that may impede the acceptance of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by Michigan residents, including identifying areas or groups within this state that are likely to experience vaccine hesitancy, and develop an outreach action plan designed to overcome these barriers."
It must complete its work and report to the Governor by December 31, 2021.