Last week, Wayne County tapped Abdul El-Sayed, Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence, to take over as health director in March, and, in the meantime, serve as a project consultant for its Health, Human & Veterans Services Department.
"But beginning today, I am serving as a consultant to the CEO’s office — taking the time to identify opportunities for the department to learn and grow from the experience of COVID, and to scope out new, innovative projects to deliver on health equity, maternal and child health, environmental health, and senior wellbeing for Wayne County residents," El-Sayed wrote in the Detroit Metro Times. "I hope to use this time to hit the ground running in March."
He previously served as executive director of the Detroit Health Department and Health Officer for the city.
"Health equity has to really be the focus and the frame for everything that we do," El-Sayed told the Detroit Free Press. "I learned a lot about how you design a health department to serve the needs of a really diverse community in Detroit and those experiences I'm certainly going to bring with me to the county. With the change in leadership in Lansing, there's going to be a lot more opportunity to work with the state Legislature to find some long-term solutions and we'll continue to do work from there."
He is looking forward to returning to public service and serving his county.
"I’m grateful to County Executive Evans for his leadership and for giving me the opportunity to serve alongside a team of dedicated public servants across the county," El-Sayed said. "To all the amazing health and human services champions at the department, I can’t wait to meet you and work alongside you."