Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director unexpectedly resigns, replacement announced
(WWJ) The Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced his resignation.
In a tweet posted around 3 p.m. Friday, Robert Gordon announced: “Today I am resigning from the Whitmer Administration. It’s been an honor to serve alongside wonderful colleagues. I look forward to the next chapter.”
Gordon did not give a reason for the resignation.
He was in charge of signing Executive Health Orders including restrictions on indoor dining.
“I am grateful to Director Gordon for his service,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a tweet. She said nothing else about him in a lengthy statement announcing his replacement, Elizabeth Hertel.
“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 in a release. “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.”
Governor Whitmer appointed Elizabeth Hertel as Director of MDDHS.
In the statement, Hertel said her top priorities are “ramping up distribution of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and ending the pandemic.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the department at this time. Michigan is faced with a crisis unlike any we have seen before, but our aggressive action against this virus is working. Let’s finish the job and end the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all,” Hertel said.
Hertel currently serves as the Senior Chief Deputy Director for Administration for MDHHS, where she oversees External Relations and Communications, Finance and Administration, Legislative Services, Legal Affairs, Policy & Planning, Strategic Integration, Organizational Services, Workforce Engagement and Community and Faith Engagement.
She joined the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) in 2013 as the senior assistant for Policy and Planning, and in February 2014, was appointed director of Policy and Planning. Following the merger of the Departments of Community Health and Human Services into MDHHS in 2015, Hertel 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