Legislators named friends of public health

Sens. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, and John Moolenaar, R-Midland, and Rep. Matt Lori, R-Constantine, pose with plaques from the Michigan Association for Local Public Health declaring them to be friends of public health. (Courtesy photo)

Sens. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, and John Moolenaar, R-Midland, and Rep. Matt Lori, R-Constantine, pose with plaques from the Michigan Association for Local Public Health declaring them to be friends of public health. (Courtesy photo)

LANSING — The Michigan Association for Local Public Health (MALPH) recently recognized sens. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, John Moolenaar, R-Midland, and Rep. Matt Lori, R-Constantine, as friends of public health.

 Meghan Swain, director of MALPH, said they have worked together in their respective chambers and leadership roles to promote resources that support positive public health outcomes for the State of Michigan.

As members of the Senate Community Health Appropriations Subcommittee, Moolenaar and Booher have taken time to understand the challenges faced by local health departments and have advocated to restore funds for mandated services, which includes: immunization, sexually transmitted disease control, communicable disease control, food protection, on-site sewage protection, water protection and hearing and vision screening.

These services are essential to every county in promoting healthy communities, and there is a significant return on investment to the state, Swain said.

Linda VanGills, health officer with District Health Department No. 10 said Booher and Moolenaar, who each represent a portion of the jurisdiction, have a strong commitment to disease prevention and locally-based services. Booher has advocated for state beach monitoring funding, and committed to assuring a strong hearing and vision screening program for children. Moolenaar is an advocate for rural population health, especially around maternal and child health, including increased Medicaid reimbursement for obstetric services.

In addition, both are strong advocates for the Healthy Kids Delta Dental expansion. VanGills said this program has an immediate effect on improving residents’ health.