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Local health official honored in Lansing

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Champions are described as individuals who have a vision of what the future could hold and possess the courage to risk failure, knowing that setbacks produce growth. They are people who see their opponents as partners and their challenges as opportunities for improvement. The Michigan Department of Community Health says Dr. James Phillips, M.D., Medical Director for the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is one such individual. Dr. Phillips was recognized this month by the MDCH and its partners as one of Michigan’s three Public Health Policy Champions for 2013 with the award presented in the Capitol Rotunda in Lansing.

This year’s theme, “Return on Investment,” highlighted the cost savings associated with public health prevention. The state said Dr. Phillips has earned his title, working at the state level to promote the adoption of expedited partner therapy to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Locally, he has been very involved in expanding access to walking trails and paths, as a way to address health issues associated with the obesity epidemic.

This year’s annual public health event showcased that investing just $10 per person per year in proven, community-based public health efforts can save the nation more than $16 billion within the next five years. That’s a return on investment of $5.60 for every $1 invested.

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