July 15, 1997 (517) 335-6397

Haveman to Receive NGA "Distinguished Service" Award

Governor John Engler today announced that Michigan Department of Community Health Director James K. Haveman, Jr. has been chosen to receive the National Governors' Association (NGA) Distinguished Service Award. Haveman is among nine individuals who were selected nationally to receive the award at the NGA Annual Meeting at the end of July.

In nominating Haveman for the award, Governor Engler cited Director Haveman's years of experience and his "modesty, humility and integrity to public service."

"Jim has dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities as well as people who need more coordinated and integrated health care," said Engler.

"What distinguishes Jim Haveman's commitment to public service is his willingness to embrace change and his unwillingness to accept mediocrity. More than anything, he is a problem solver -- a public servant who quickly responds to challenges with creativity, compassion and insight," said Engler.

Engler appointed Haveman as Director of the Department of Mental Health in 1991. In 1995, when the Director of the Department of Public Health left for the private sector, Engler asked Haveman to become acting director of Public Health, where he advised the Governor on strategies to improve the health status of Michigan residents. Governor Engler then merged the two departments to create the Michigan Department of Community Health and appointed Haveman Director of the new department.

Michigan is now a national leader in consolidating health-related functions in one agency. The $7.3 billion department includes mental health, public health, substance abuse, Medicaid, services to the developmentally disabled, drug control policy, services to the aging and crime victim services.

"Over the years, Jim has served on nearly 50 boards and commissions, ranging from the Women's Resource Center to the Kent County Aids Council to the Grand Rapids Housing Commission," Engler said.

"He is a public servant I am proud to call colleague and friend," concluded Engler.

Representative Shirley Johnson praised Haveman's selection for the Distinguished Public Service Award. "Jim Haveman is a tireless public servant who constantly strives to make Michigan a better place. He is truly deserving of this distinguished award."

"I am honored to have been chosen to receive this distinguished award from the National Governors' Association. Under Governor Engler's leadership, Michigan has become a much better place to live and raise a family. This award is a testament to Governor Engler's leadership and integrity," said Haveman.

Haveman previously served as Executive Director of Bethany Christian Services, one of the nation's largest adoption and child welfare agencies. He also served as Executive Director of Kent County Community Mental Health and Project REHAB in Grand Rapids, a substance abuse treatment agency.

Past recipients of the NGA Distinguished Public Servant Award from Michigan include former Family Independence Agency Director Gerald Miller, former Department of Management and Budget Director Patricia Woodworth and Focus HOPE's Father William Cunningham.