Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Doc charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint crisis wins top health award

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

Hard to swallow —

Award for “achievements, passion, and commitment of excellence” in public health.


Hexbyte - Tech News - Ars Technica | Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, pictured, called the award
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Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, pictured, called the award “just disrespectful.”

Health officials in Michigan this week honored Dr. Eden Wells with the state’s top award for an eminent career in public health—despite that Wells is currently facing several charges in connection with the Flint water crisis, including involuntary manslaughter.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that Wells was awarded the Roy R. Manty Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Association for Local Public Health (MALPH) and the Michigan Public Health Association (MPHA).

The award is described by the two associations as the “highest individual award given by the local public health community.”

In a statement, Dr. Annette Mercatante, president of MALPH, explained the selection, saying:

Dr. Wells consistently provides local public health departments and practioners[sic] timely (usually immediate), intelligent, expert, reliable, and compassionate support for the entire array of expected and unexpected community health issues that arise daily in our State. Her contribution to the health and well-being of the people of Michigan is huge and greatly appreciated by all those privileged to work with her, and should be acknowledged on behalf of every person who lives or works in Michigan.

Wells took up the job of the chief medical executive for MDHHS in May 2015. That was just a year after state-appointed emergency managers made the catastrophic decision to switch the city of Flint’s water supply to cut costs. The swap from treated water sourced from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to improperly treated water from Flint River caused lead and other heavy metals from aging plumbing to pour into the city’s water, exposing residents to dangerous levels.

Researchers also linked the water crisis to a flood of Legionnaires’ disease cases. The poten

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