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Kresge ELPH grantee partner named to federal COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force


Dr. Joneigh Khaldun

The Health Program Team congratulates Kresge grantee partner Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the State of Michigan and chief deputy director for health in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on her appointment by the Biden-Harris administration to serve on the federal COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.

Chaired by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the administration established the 12-member task force to help inform the nation’s COVID-19 response and recovery. Its work will include making recommendations on equitable allocation of COVID-19 resources and relief funds, effective outreach and communication to underserved populations and improving cultural proficiency within the federal government. The task force will also make recommendations to improve data collection and use, as well as create a long-term plan to address data shortfalls regarding communities of color and other underserved groups.

As chief strategist of Michigan’s coronavirus response, Khaldun helped lead the state’s efforts to address racial disparities among COVID-19 cases and deaths.

“I am honored to be part of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and to play a part in helping address inequities as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Khaldun said in a news release. “The virus has had a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable communities, including communities of color. I look forward to making contributions as part of this task force that will ensure that future pandemic responses do not ignore or exacerbate health inequities.”

In her previous role as director and health officer for the Detroit Health Department, Khaldun was one of 40 leaders in the third cohort of Kresge’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health initiative.

As part of ELPH, Khaldun was one of 100 visionary leaders across the country who worked to transform the role of local public health departments and improve the health and well-being of people in their communities.

“Dr. Khaldun is an amazingly energetic and passionate leader and we are certain her contributions to the Task Force will be highly innovative and meaningful, Kresge Health Program Senior Fellow Phyllis Meadows, Ph.D., said. “We must make every effort to ensure that our country’s future pandemic response does not ignore or exacerbate health inequities and thank Dr. Khaldun for her service on this vital task force.”