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Duggan appoints former state treasurer as acting CFO, medical executive as nursing director

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan has appointed former state treasurer Jay Rising as the city's acting chief financial officer. 

Rising, who has served under three Michigan governors as treasurer, deputy treasurer and an advisor, replaces Dave Massaron who recently was named Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's state budget director, the city said Tuesday. Most recently, Rising served as Whitmer's cabinet secretary. 

Former state treasurer Jay Rising joins Detroit as acting CFO on Jan. 18.

Separately, Duggan appointed Dr. Iris Taylor, former Detroit Receiving Hospital CEO, as Detroit's director of nursing at the Detroit Health Department to oversee the city's clinical operations. The position had been vacant since August 2019. 

Rising will run the Office of the Chief Financial Officer as the city continues to grapple with more than $400 million in funding shortfalls prompted by the COVID-19 crisis. He will earn $191,000 per year. 

Detroit is in the midst of selling bonds to support a voter-approved plan to address blight and deploying federal stimulus funding to support the city's coronavirus response.

City officials on Tuesday said Rising will begin his tenure working at the state and federal level to gain financial support for Detroit's COVID-19 response and economic revitalization. He will join the city on Monday.

“Jay is the most knowledgeable person in Michigan on federal and state funding and will be enormously valuable in our efforts to secure funding from the Biden and Whitmer administrations for programs that directly affect the residents of Detroit,” Duggan said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have someone of his experience and accomplishment join our team."

Under the terms of the state's Financial Review Commission, a permanent CFO must be approved by City Council within six months of a vacancy. Duggan added he intends to request council's approval to have Rising fill the role permanently.

From 2006-15, Rising helped guide the Detroit Medical Center back to financial stability after it neared bankruptcy and the threat of closure of several of its flagship hospitals in 2012. 

Rising was DMC's CFO until 2013 and remained with the medical system in various leadership positions until 2015. 

Rising was one of former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm's first appointees, serving as state treasurer from 2003-06. Under his leadership, the treasury department streamlined tax processing and implemented a $1 billion investment fund aimed at diversifying Michigan's economy. In his capacity as treasurer, Rising also served as the sole fiduciary for the $50 billion public employee retiree pension fund, the city noted. 

Earlier in his career, Rising served as deputy state treasurer under Democratic Gov. James Blanchard from 1983-91 and helped create the Michigan Educational Trust college scholarship program. 

"Under Mayor Duggan and his team's leadership, Detroit has made tremendous progress managing its finances in a responsible way to provide a greater level of service to residents and prepare for the uncertainties of the future," Rising said. "I am excited to build on the work that already has been done and to leverage my experience to bring more state and federal resources to bear in Detroit."

Taylor meanwhile, in her role that pays $134,000 annually, will be Detroit's lead public health nurse, overseeing clinical operations and public outreach.

Dr. Iris Taylor is appointed as Director of Nursing for Detroit's Health Department. She began on Jan. 11

A former head staff nurse at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center, Taylor rose to director and vice president of nursing services there prior to becoming CEO, the city said. She retired from the post in 2015. 

Taylor also served as president of Detroit's school board from 2017-20. 

“Dr. Taylor fills a critical position within the Health Department as we continue to build our clinical operations,” Detroit's Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said. “We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber, experience and deep level of community trust join our team.”

Taylor began her medical career in 1975 and was responsible for nursing and patient care services for the DMC system. She served two terms as president and CEO of Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center, from 2005-10 and 2012-15.

From 2002-04, she was president of Harper University Hospital and Hutzel Women's Hospital. Formerly, she was president and CEO of the Detroit Institute for Children. 

“Dr. Taylor was an outstanding leader at Receiving Hospital as we rebuilt the Detroit Medical Center and will help strengthen the outstanding team we have at the Health Department under Denise Fair,” added Duggan. “She is greatly respected across Detroit and will serve this community well.” 

Taylor, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing and a doctorate of philosophy from Wayne State University, started with the city on Monday.

“There is no better time in our City’s history than now to serve our community during this pandemic," Taylor said in a statement. "It feels good to continue giving back to the city I love.” 

cferretti@detroitnews.com