2020-2021 Salute! to Healthcare Honorees

Sy Gottlieb Award

About the Award

The Sy Gottlieb Award was established in 1992 in recognition of Symond Gottlieb, a former executive director of the Greater Detroit Area Health Council [GDAHC]. Mr. Gottlieb was an outstanding leader who made numerous contributions to healthcare reform in our region. This award recognizes an outstanding healthcare professional who has demonstrated sustained visionary leadership in southeast Michigan.

Selection criteria include:

  • Long-term commitment and dedication to influencing change and improvement in healthcare;

  • Active participation in GDAHC and support of its mission;

  • Advocator for racial equity and elimination of disparities in care; and

  • Broad understanding of community health needs and demonstrated collaborative approaches to achieve health care reform in southeast Michigan.

Joan Budden

Past President
Priority Health

Read Joan's Bio

Joan Budden is a veteran health care executive with extensive experience with strategic planning, public policy, business process and product development. Budden recently retired from her role as President and CEO of Priority Health, a $5 billion health plan that is nationally recognized for improving the health and lives of the people it serves. Under Budden’s leadership, Priority Health became the second-largest health plan in Michigan and the fourth-largest provider-sponsored health plan in the country.

Budden has more than 30 years’ experience in health care and is a tenacious advocate for lowering costs for individuals and employers. During her tenure with the company, Budden led Priority Health’s focus on prevention and quality, while constantly working to make sure members got the right care, at the right place, at the right time, for the right price.

Budden also previously served as the chief marketing officer of Priority Health. She has led strategy and held various leadership and executive management positions in the health insurance industry.

Community involvement

Budden is “bi-coastal” in Michigan and is committed to supporting communities on both sides of the state. Throughout her career Budden has served on a variety of boards and committees including:

  • The Detroit Economic Club

  • The Grand Rapids Economic Club

  • Van Andel Institute

  • Universal Forest Products

  • Independent Bank Corporation

  • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Children’s Center in Detroit

  • Frederik Meijer Gardens

  • YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

  • Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) National Board of Directors

Education

Masters of Public Administration
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan

BS, General Studies
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Joan is a mother of two and is an “empty nester” with her husband Doug.


Robert Casalou

President and CEO
Trinity Health Michigan

Read Rob's Bio

Rob Casalou is the President & CEO of Trinity Health Michigan & Southeast Regions overseeing Trinity Health operations in Michigan, Georgia, and Florida. He was the first Regional President & CEO of Trinity Health Michigan that was formed when Trinity's Mercy Health System in Western Michigan and Trinity's Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) in Southeast Michigan came together to form one statewide health system in January 2018. Beginning January 2020, he expanded his role further to include the Trinity Health Southeastern U.S. regions in Georgia and Florida.

He first joined SJMHS in 2008 as President and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals, which made the "100 Top Hospitals" list seven times under his leadership. In 2015, he was named Regional President and CEO of SJMHS, comprised of five hospitals, six cancer centers, five ambulatory care centers, and more than 2,700 physicians and 14,000 employees.

Prior to coming to SJMHS, he served as President of Providence Park Hospital where he was responsible for overseeing the construction of the 200-bed, full-service teaching hospital in Novi, Michigan.

Rob is a Board Member and Past Board Chair of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA). Board Member, Board Chair of the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board 5 and Board Member of the American Hospital Association. Past Board Chair and current Vice-Chair of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan and a Board Member of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan. Rob is also a member emeritus of the Griffith Leadership Advisory Committee, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

An avid health and wellness enthusiast, Casalou founded and currently serves as the captain of the Team Trinity Cycling Team. He resides in Northville, Michigan.

Robert (Bob) Riney

President, Healthcare Operations & Chief Operating Officer
Henry Ford Health System

Read Bob's Bio

Bob Riney was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Henry Ford Health System in 2003 and President, Healthcare Operations/Chief Operating Officer in 2017. In this role, Bob oversees all hospital and service operations for the six-hospital health system consisting of more than 60 clinical locations, 30,000 employees, and annual revenues of $6 billion. In addition, Bob is responsible for Corporate Information Technology, Corporate Facilities & Security, International Strategies, and the System Chief Nursing Office.

Bob, a graduate of Wayne State University, joined Henry Ford Health System in 1978 and has had the privilege throughout his career to work in almost every business unit in the System. As a result of this rare career track, he has a deep understanding of health system operations and organizational culture and its impact on operating performance. His relationship and negotiation skills, as well as his ability to translate complex challenges into actionable solutions, have served him and Henry Ford Health System well.

Bob has held numerous Henry Ford Health System leadership positions, including senior vice president and chief administrative officer (2002–2003); senior vice president and chief human resources officer (2000–2002); and vice president of organizational design and effectiveness (1998–2000).

Bob is a passionate contributor to the overall quality of the community as well as his profession, and he is often sought out for input on major community strategic issues. His current board and community roles include chair, Nemours Foundation – one of the country’s largest foundations; vice-chair, National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL); board member, past chair, Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA); board member, Detroit Zoological Society; board member, M1 Rail Transit Authority; board member, The Parade Company; and, board member, Hudson-Webber Foundation.

Bob’s past board and community roles include board president, Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit; board member, Wayne State University School of Business Administration; board president/board member, Dominican Healthcare Board; board chair/board member, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau; board member, ACCESS; president, American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration; chair, Leadership Detroit; and board member, American Hospital Association Commission on Workforce.

Eagle Award

About the Award

In 2004, the Greater Detroit Area Health Council [GDAHC] established the Eagle Award for Visionary Leadership to recognize the contributions of an organization in southeast Michigan that has made steady progress in advancing healthcare quality, access, or cost.

Selection criteria include:

  • Commitment to influencing change and improvement in healthcare in southeast Michigan;

  • Demonstrated efforts to advance a significant quality, access or cost issue;

  • Exhibits partnership or collaborative approach to the solution;

  • Significant progress in outcome and desired impact of the program;

  • Community benefit - creating awareness, best practices, and shared knowledge; and

  • Recognizes and works to resolve racial disparities and inequities in care.

MyCare Health Center

Award accepted by Karen Wood, Chief Executive Officer

Learn about MyCare Health Center

MyCare Health Center is on a mission to make a profound and lasting difference in the lives of our patients and their families (or loved ones, or those they care about). This mission is guided by an extraordinary team of health care professionals. Our group is deeply rooted in the Macomb County neighborhoods in which we live, work, and play, building stronger communities and relationships. We do the hard work that is necessary to make area residents healthier and happier. We are a true partner to our patients; helping them with their needs, cost, translation services, and other support. Our team understands that regardless of where you live, or your personal background, all patients deserve to feel safe, be heard, and empowered to make decisions about their health. MyCare Health Center’s services include medical, dental, podiatry, and, behavior health.

Corktown Health Center

Award accepted by Teresa Roscoe, Chief Operating Officer

Learn about Corktown Health Center

Coming soon!

Breakthrough Award

About the Award

The Breakthrough Award recognizes an individual or organization for their impact on the health and well-being of southeast Michigan through community engagement and innovation.

Selection criteria include:

  • Commitment to improvement in healthcare in southeast Michigan;

  • Demonstrated efforts to innovate and energize healthcare;

  • Strong community engagement efforts; and

  • Commitment to the elimination of racial disparities in care.

Dr. Erik Stier

Director of Population Health and Utilization Management
Delta Dental of Michigan

Read Dr. Stier's Bio

Dr. Stier was raised in New Haven Michigan, a small melting pot of a town, where he learned the value of collaborating with others to achieve goals while working on farms, in construction, and on community projects. Erik gives praise to family, friends, and mentors for guiding him along his path to becoming a healthcare professional, which through the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, led to an oral surgery residency, private practice, and ultimately to Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

In the first 10 of his 13 + years at Delta Dental, Erik was heavily involved in utilization management, which consists of numerous quality processes in support of dental benefits administration, but when given the opportunity in 2018, Erik accepted the position of Director of Quality Assessment, Population Health, and Utilization Management. In this role, Erik has overseen the efforts of a purpose-driven team of subject matter experts in the collection and analysis of relevant data to facilitate segmented, culturally, and age-appropriate outreach and education efforts, with the ultimate goal of empowering patients to access and utilize the services available to them in support of overall health.

Central to the team’s mantra of open communication, and in recognition of external expertise and knowledge, the team continually pursues innovative population health initiatives with like-minded stakeholders around the State. The department continually fosters Delta Dental’s integration with a variety of health departments, coalitions, schools, community, medical and dental groups in support of a “whole person, whole community” approach to wellbeing. Ultimately the most important voices to be heard are those of the patients and families we serve, to whom Erik gives credit for his daily inspiration, as listening can be turned into action and building relationships lead to sustainable success.

Lawrence Kenyatta

Substance Abuse Therapist, Certified Prevention Consultant
Spectrum Child & Family Services

Read Lawrence's Bio

Lawrence Kenyatta is an expert on substance abuse, mentoring and male responsibility. He has dedicated his life to working in the field of substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery having witnessed first-hand the devastation that drug abuse and the drug culture have caused inner-city America. Lawrence received his Bachelors of Science in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. He’s also certified by the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP) as a Substance Abuse Therapist and a Prevention Consultant. Lawrence has worked throughout the State of Michigan educating individuals, families, and communities about the negative consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and drug/substance abuse. Over the course of 35 years, Lawrence has mentored over 2,000 youth.

As the founder of Real Brothers, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides after-school programs for young men, Lawrence currently services Central High School students in Detroit, where he helps them develop positive self-esteem, self-concept, dignity, and pride and how to serve their communities. Lawrence has received many prestigious awards including the Michigan Prevention Association’s Prevention Person of the Year, the City of Detroit Youth Division Award, the Youth Advocate Award, the Youth Development Institute’s Grateful Heart Award, and the Detroit Recovery Project Award of Endurance. He has been published in the Michigan Chronicle and has working relationships with Detroit Public Schools, the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Partnership for a Drug-Free Detroit, and the Youth Development Institute.

He is the Executive Producer of two film documentaries, Fratricide – The Killing of Ones Own and Fratricide II – How Many Must Die? They both examine the underlying causes of black-on-black murder and the effect violence has on urban communities.

As of July 2018, Lawrence released his first book, “When the Streets Call Don’t Answer”. This literary work inspired by real people and urges the importance of decision-making while educating its readers about the harm that comes along with abusing substances, and the resulting devastation.

Join Lawrence in this movement as he inspires youth to make life-saving decisions while spreading his message across urban America.

Guardian of Health Award

About the Award

The Guardian of Health Award recognizes an individual or organization who has gone above and beyond their “normal” responsibilities, stepped out of their comfort zone, provided extraordinary care, or carved a new and innovative care pathway in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carina Jackson

Chief Operations Officer
Mariners Inn

Read Carina's Bio

Carina Jackson is the Chief Operations Officer for Mariners Inn – a human services organization that provides services to men and their families in Detroit, Michigan. Mariners Inn was founded in 1925 by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Ms. Jackson supervises the Residential and Housing Programs, the Facilities Department, and the Social Enterprise Program. She served as Interim CEO from March 2018 to May 2019 while David Sampson, CEO, was on sabbatical.

Ms. Jackson has a very diverse background that includes education, entrepreneurship, and government. Carina co-founded Youth Vision – a non-profit organization that provided after-school programs and summer camp to more than 400 youth in Southwest Detroit. She worked on the campaign for Saunteel Jenkins for Detroit City Council. Ms. Jenkins won the election in 2010 and Ms. Jackson became her Chief of Staff and worked with the Council Member on the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force, General Pension Board, and various committees. Carina also owned C.L. Jackson and Associates – a management consulting firm - for over 5 years providing support for small businesses.

Ms. Jackson is currently a member of the second class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellowship with a focus on leadership, community engagement, and racial equity. Carina became a 92Y Ford Fellow in June 2016, and participated in a program “designed with the goal of enhancing the efforts of emerging leaders in communities throughout the world”. Ms. Jackson spent two weeks in New York working with fellows from Brazil, Israel, Bangladesh, and India. In July 2015, Carina was selected for the class of XXXVII of Leadership Detroit. Leadership Detroit, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, is a transformational leadership program for existing and emerging regional leaders. Ms. Jackson was also selected to be a German Marshall Memorial Fund Fellow and represented Mariners Inn, as well as the City of Detroit, in 2013. Selected fellows engage in 6 months of preparation designed to enhance their understanding of transatlantic relations before embarking on 24 days of policy immersion across the Atlantic. She traveled to Brussels, Belgium; Freiburg, Germany; Bilbao, Spain; Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Berlin, Germany.

Janet Banks-McElrath RN BSN MA

Faith Community Nurse
New Calvary Baptist Church

Read Janet's Bio

From the beginning of the pandemic, it has been Janet McElrath's mission to provide evidence-based and accurate information, education, and guidance to her congregation, New Calvary Baptist Church, the Henry Ford Health System faith-based networks she coordinates, and communities she serves. Addressing myths and misinformation was critical with the Coronavirus spreading worldwide. In the beginning, it hit her social and congregation community hard, losing 15 members of the senior dance community and 17 of the high-level officials in the COGIC community to COVID-19 brought about a fear that dug deep.

Turning to Henry Ford Health System leadership was the first step in providing resources and information to the network of over 40 congregations combined in Detroit and Macomb Counties. Requesting and receiving commitments from leadership, McElrath coordinated weekly zoom/ skype meetings to address a variety of topics. This virtual platform and effort were acknowledged in the American Hospital Association publication.

The network congregations worked collaboratively to create policies, procedures, and processes that are compliant with the ever-changing and real-time CDC standards. She provided contributions to 3 Special Edition publications for the Michigan Progressive Baptist Convention on COVID-19 information as the 2nd Vice President of the Health Ministries and President of New Calvary Baptist Church Health Ministries.

Preventing COVID-19 from impacting health-related activities, she encouraged others to continue to engage in activities that providing a shift and remain healthy. She coordinated daily walks in various areas of metro Detroit where members of the congregation joined, these walks created fellowship from a distance and allowed congregants to share conversations, and provided them with mental health support during quarantine.

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health, the congregations engaged in activities to address, food insecurities and the rise in COVID-19 numbers by providing food distribution, education materials, personal protective equipment, and COVID-19 testing sites at the congregation. She also secured grant funding to support the efforts at New Calvary, this provided financial support to continue the COVID-19 efforts to reach out to the community. Currently, she is working to develop a collaborative network with other congregations on the eastside of Detroit to host vaccine administration to provide access for those in need.

Jennifer Caruso, MSNM

Director, Clinical Services, Wayne County,
Department of Health, Human & Veterans Services
CEO, Wayne County Healthy Communities


Read Jennifer's Bio

Jennifer Caruso has spent her career either on the front lines serving or advocating for vulnerable populations or has been in management positions overseeing the programs established to assist underserved populations. Driven by the desire to “be the difference in someone’s life,” Jennifer doesn’t stop fighting for the rights of those who need it the most and empowering those around her to develop and reach their goals.

Jennifer received her education in Chicago from the Spertus Institute where she obtained a Master’s in Nonprofit Management. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Justice Studies and Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University.

Jennifer is currently working at Wayne County, as the Director of Clinical Services, in the Department of Health, Human and Veterans Services, where she oversees jail health services, adult community corrections, and juvenile detention health services. She also serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Wayne County’s Federally Qualified Health Center, Wayne County Healthy Communities. Prior to her work in Wayne County, she spent over 20 years in Chicago serving vulnerable populations, including as the Director of the HIV/STI Disease Investigation Unit at the Chicago Department of Public Health. Prior to working in the HIV/STI sector, Jennifer worked on the frontlines of the legal advocacy sector as a legal advocate assisting survivors of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence, in a nonprofit organization within the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse. Just six months into her role as a legal advocate, she received a promotion, to Director of the Victim Advocacy Support Program, overseeing legal advocates responsible for serving survivors of stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence at the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse through direct referrals from two Chicago Police Districts.

When not working, Jennifer can be found either outdoors on a run or walk, in the gym watching her niece tumble or learning how to master the balance beam, or on the ice showing her niece how to fall and get back up and try again (forget about that triple axel now but she still gets out there and tries), or at home in Royal Oak decompressing from busy days with her two cats

Wayne Health Mobile Unit

Learn more about the Wayne Health Mobile Unit

Wayne State University and Wayne Health’s Mobile Testing Program – Innovation Built on Collaboration

Within days of the first COVID-19 cases in Michigan, Wayne State University (WSU) and Wayne Health (WH), in partnership with ACCESS, launched Southeast Michigan’s first, high-throughput, drive-through COVID-19 testing program. Within 3 weeks, nearly 3000 individuals were tested. Soon thereafter, WSU and WH rolled out their innovative mobile testing program which has since gone on to provide COVID-19 testing to more than 32,000 people statewide (https://www.waynehealthcares.org/mobile-health-unit/). In addition to COVID-19 testing, the WSU and WH mobile units provide blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and kidney function screening, as well as HIV testing and on-site referrals for public benefits like Medicaid and cash assistance, unemployment assistance, emergency food and shelter services, and other vital linkages to care. Now with a fleet of 5 fully upfitted vehicles that include temperature-regulated medical-grade refrigeration, the mobile units are being deployed in support of community-wide COVID-19 vaccine administration.

Designed to bring services to those in greatest need, the mobile health program reflects WSU and WH’s longstanding dedication to improving care for vulnerable and high-risk communities across metropolitan Detroit. That it has achieved success reflects the willingness of regional, Michigan-based partners to collaborate and work towards a common goal. Because of such collaboration, the de novo development of a HIPAA compliant, text message-based intake and result reporting software program with Patient Education Genius, the establishment of a highly reliable testing supply chain solution that incorporates multiple biomedical industry partners including Garcia Laboratory, Nx Gen MDx, World Wide Health & Safety, Rapid Bio, and the creation of a completely new vehicle concept for our mobile health program with the Ford X team, were possible. Because of such collaboration, lives were undoubtedly saved.

However, it took more than industry partnerships to enable this work. The philanthropic community within Michigan and beyond was critical with a tremendous outpouring of support from individual donors and non-profit organization including United Way, the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan/Detroit Medical Center Foundation, the Ralph Wilson Foundation, Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), DTE Energy Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI, and the Cielo Foundation. Their generosity allowed us to provide community-wide testing for COVID-19, both viral (PCR) and antibody (IgG), free of charge with no prescription or appointment needed, through the first and second waves of the pandemic, while also planting the seeds for broader health outreach efforts. It also drew visibility to our program and directly led to the inclusion of mobile health infrastructure expansion as one of the strategic initiatives proposed by the Michigan Coronavirus Racial Disparities Task Force.

Endorsement of our mobile health program by the Task Force brought a collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and funding to support further growth of our model and extension of our services. Included among the latter was the addition of on-site patient health navigators who provide linkage to care for anyone requesting assistance with medical or social service needs. Developed and delivered in partnership with the Detroit Parent Network (DPN), the navigator program has fielded more than 1800 requests for assistance since October 2020. Through a separate, CDC-funded program with the MDHHS Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention unit, we also offer cardiometabolic risk factors screenings and ensure that patients who need medical follow-up for management of related conditions including hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia, receive appointments before leaving the test site.

While all of this is necessary for success it is definitely not sufficient for without community trust in the process, failure is assured. Cognizant of this, since the initiation of the mobile testing program in April 2020, we have partnered with more than 200 different organizations, many of them faith-based, all of whom serve as an inlet to their community for our services. By collaborating at all stages from event planning to execution, we ensure that delivery aligns with expectations and that our partners are engaged throughout, helping to drive participation. To amplify the message, we have also worked closely with iHeart Media to develop a radio and social media campaign, aimed at reaching a younger audience.

As we transition to the vaccine phase of the pandemic, testing still has an important role to play, as does the mobile outreach model. Throughout, we have used data to target communities at the greatest risk to suffer from COVID-19 and we will continue to deploy our resources in an effort to reach those in greatest need. As we work to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine, new collaborations will arise but the mission will remain the same – to battle in unison against COVID-19, the most important enemy of our time.

Phillip D. Levy, MD, MPH, FAHA, FACC

Edward S. Thomas Endowed Professor and Associate Chair for Research - Department of Emergency Medicine Assistant Vice President for Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation - Wayne State University Chief Innovation Officer - Wayne Health

Wayne Health & Wayne State University

Madiha Tariq, MPH

Deputy Director

ACCESS Community Health &
Research Center

Award accepted by Kristin Welch, Manager, Strategy and Operations,
Ford X

Read Phil's bio

Phillip Levy, MD, MPH is the Edward S Thomas endowed Professor at Wayne State University where he currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Translational Sciences and Clinical Research Innovation, and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine; in addition, he is also the Chief Innovation Officer for the Wayne Health. Dr. Levy is a Fellow of multiple professional societies including the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Dr. Levy is a leading cardiovascular disease researcher having overseen more than 100 funded studies from various entities since his arrival at Wayne State in 2002 including the CDC and NIH. In addition, he has published more than 230 manuscripts and textbook chapters and has been an invited lecturer on cardiovascular disease-related topics more than 250 times.

Since March 2020, Dr. Levy has been leading WSU’s COVID-19 testing program and has overseen the development of its mobile testing platform. In addition, Dr. Levy is leading Wayne State’s PHOENIX project which seeks to create a fully integrated platform that combines comprehensive patient-level health information with a broad range of social determinants, streamlining the ability of researchers, foundations, funders, and community members to identify upstream targets for intervention and passively track downstream outcome benefit.

Read Madiha's bio

As the Deputy Director at the ACCESS Community Health and Research Center Madiha Tariq oversees health promotion and disease prevention programs including substance abuse and infectious disease prevention, maternal and infant health, and refugee health and wellness programs. Ms. Tariq has served as project director on several complex federal grants and cooperative agreements, including a SAMHSA-funded Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration project, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement-funded Ethnic Community Self-Help Program grant, and a highly successful Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services funded health insurance navigator program which gained recognition by President Barrack Obama, the US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and other leaders in health. She has published research on health insurance disparities among low-income people of color and the mental health burden of Arab refugees, immigrants, and United States-born Arab Americans in Southeast Michigan. She has also planned various international Arab health conferences – which have been the platform for ground-breaking research on Health Issues in Communities of Color. Ms. Tariq has led multiple education and awareness-raising campaigns in the community pertaining to discrimination and hate, physical activity, and substance abuse.

Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Tariq has played a critical role in ensuring the COVID 19 vaccine has been administered equitably by ensuring that immigrants, refugees, and communities of color have access to the vaccine. She also serves on the Governor’s Protect Michigan Commission which helps advise Governor Whitmer and the Department of Health and Human Services on vaccine distribution, identifying barriers to access, and addressing vaccine hesitancy. Madiha Tariq is also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leadership Program Fellow. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College in Vermont.

Learn more about Ford X

Ford X is Ford Motor Company’s corporate venture incubator. We are a group of entrepreneurs, designers, and engineers that proactively envision, build, and validate the future of Ford.


Press Release, December 21, 2020:

Wayne Health and Wayne State University are expanding their COVID-19 mobile testing program thanks to a donation of Ford developed and up-fitted Mobile Health Units from Oscar-winning film director Stephen Soderbergh and funding support from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The program is being expanded to five vehicles – including two Ford Mobile Health Units purchased by Soderbergh in appreciation for COVID-19 testing services by Wayne Health that kept his crew and cast safe during the recent filming of his latest film, “No Sudden Move,” in Detroit.

The new Wayne Health/WSU vehicles are equipped to provide a number of valuable health care screenings and include cold temperature-regulated storage to distribute COVID-19 vaccines when they become available to the general public.

One of the new vehicles was placed into service at a testing event at the Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit on Dec. 19.

Wayne Health, Wayne State University, and Ford rapidly developed and launched the free mobile testing program in April – the first of its kind in the nation – to bring much-needed COVID-19 testing to community-based locations throughout Michigan.

The State of Michigan detailed its plan to expand upon the mobile testing infrastructure created by Wayne Health and WSU in its Dec. 3 Racial Disparities Task Force Interim Report detailing Michigan’s success in protecting communities of color from COVID-19.

Training videos are being developed for the launch of new mobile testing programs based upon the Wayne Health/WSU model in Flint, Ingham County, and Muskegon.

“It is gratifying to see our testing model being supported, expanded, and adopted by others to enhance health and safety for more people in communities across the state,” said Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H., who leads the Mobile COVID-19 Testing Program for Wayne Health and WSU. “And it is exciting to see our mobile model pivoting to the delivery of the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines.”

Dr. Levy is WSU’s assistant vice president for Translational Sciences and Clinical Research Innovation, a professor and associate chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and Wayne Health’s chief innovation officer.

“Through close work with Dr. Levy and the WSU/Wayne Health team, we have developed an upfitted Ford Transit designed initially for mobile COVID 19-testing, then improved upon for general public health care provisioning. We believe the purchase of these Mobile Health Units reflects the quality of our collaboration, accuracy of the upfit design, and the benefit to their staff and the communities where they are being deployed,” said Kristin Welch, manager of Strategy and Operations for Ford X.

Since the program’s launch, the Wayne Health/WSU/Ford mobile testing vehicles have visited more than 200 locations and tested nearly 30,000 people. Testing is free and does not require a prescription or symptoms of COVID-19. Testing has been provided at schools, churches, nursing homes, and other municipal centers throughout Michigan.

Along with COVID-19 testing, participants in the mobile testing events can receive flu shots, blood pressure screening, HIV testing, and on-site referrals for public benefits like Medicaid and cash assistance, unemployment assistance, emergency food, and shelter services. Such linkages are provided through partnerships with ACCESS and the Detroit Parent Network.

For more information on the mobile testing units, including the site schedule, visit https://www.waynehealthcares.org/mobile-health-unit/.