Elizabeth Hertel named new Michigan health director, Gov. Whitmer announces

Gordon announces resignation on Twitter

Elizabeth Hertel
Elizabeth Hertel (WDIV)

Elizabeth Hertel has been named the new director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, replacing Robert Gordon, who resigned Friday.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Hertel as the new Michigan health director minutes after Gordon tweeted his resignation.

“Today, I am resigning from the Whitmer Administration,” Gordon tweeted at 2:52 p.m. Friday. “It’s been an honor to serve alongside wonderful colleagues. I look forward to the next chapter.”

LATEST: Michigan health director Robert Gordon announces resignation

“Robert Gordon has resigned from his position, and the governor has accepted his resignation,” the state release says.

Hertel is currently the senior chief deputy director for administration at MDHHS. According to the state, she “oversees external relations and communications, finance and administration, legislative services, legal affairs, policy and planning, strategic integration, organizational services, workforce engagement and community and faith engagement.”

“As we work to ramp up distribution of the safe and effective COVID vaccine and end the pandemic, I am eager to work with Gov. Whitmer and her administration to keep Michiganders safe and healthy,” Hertel said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the department at this time.”

Michigan health department director Robet Gordon resigns
Michigan health department director Robet Gordon resigns

“Elizabeth Hertel has dedicated her career to protecting Michiganders’ public health, and she is uniquely prepared to lead MDHHS as we continue working together to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” Whitmer said. “She has served across multiple administrations from both parties, and knows how to bring people together to get things done. In her service to the state, she has proven time and again that she will do everything in her power to ensure the health and safety of Michigan families everywhere.”

Hertel has been with MDHHS since 2013. She was promoted from senior assistant for policy and planning and appointed director of policy and planning in February 2014. In 2015, she served as senior deputy director for policy, planning and legislative services.

In October 2016, she left that position to serve as director of Michigan Advocacy for Trinity Health and returned to MDHHS and her current position in February 2019.

She earned a bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University and an MBA at Michigan State University.

“Ending the COVID-19 pandemic is going to take hard work and partnership between state, government, businesses and organizations across the state,” Whitmer said. “I know that Elizabeth is ready and eager to start working with partners everywhere to get it done.”

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