GRAND BLANC — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced a group of 25 leaders in health care and education to serve on the COVID-19 return to learn advisory council. The group of experts includes educators, parents, and students who will work closely with the governor as she continues to put the health and safety of our students and educators first.
Among the appointees is Gwendolyn R. Reyes, M.D., of Grand Blanc, the assistant clinic director at the Hurley Children’s Clinic, director of the pediatric residency program at the Hurley Children’s Hospital, medical director for the Flint Community Schools Wellness Program, and a clinical assistant professor in the Michigan State University Department of Pediatrics and Human Development.
She earned her Doctor of Medicine from Michigan State University. Dr. Reyes is appointed to represent individuals with expertise in pediatrics for a term from June 3-Dec. 31.
“This group brings together experts in health care and education, including students, educators, and parents to think about how to ensure the more than 1.5 million K-12 students across Michigan get the education they need and deserve,” Governor Whitmer said. “On behalf of our kids, their families, and the more than 100,000 educators in our state, we must all work together to get this right. I know this group is prepared to carefully examine the data and consult with experts when helping me determine what is best for our kids.”
On May 15, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order No. 2020-88 creating the COVID-19 Return to School Advisory Council. The Advisory Council was created to identify the critical issues that must be addressed, provide valuable input to inform the process of returning to school, and to ensure a smooth and safe transition back to school. The Council will act in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the COVID-19 Task Force on Education and will develop and submit recommendations to the COVID-19 Task Force on Education regarding the safe, equitable, and efficient K-12 return to school in the Fall.
The Return to Learn Advisory Council will recommend actions to remove statutory and administrative barriers to delivering education before Phase 6 of the MI Safe Start Plan and help develop and improve systems for academic support for students who experienced learning loss during the Spring/Summer 2020. The Council must report regularly to the COVID-19 Task Force on Education on its activities and make recommendations on an ongoing basis.
The Advisory Council will also include four participating members of the Michigan Legislature: Senators Wayne Schmidt and Dayna Polehanki and Representatives Aaron Miller and Sheryl Kennedy.
The Advisory Council will also include a public health workgroup that will be chaired by Denise Fair, the chief public health officer for the City of Detroit. She holds a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the University of California-Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University. — G.G.