Snyder picks health director to also run DHS

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday tapped his community health department director to also run the Department of Human Services on an interim basis after outgoing director Maura Corrigan retires this week.

Nick Lyon, who has been the community health department director since September, will also lead the 11,400-employee human services department, Snyder's office said.

The two agencies jointly operate the state's Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled. At this point, there's no talk of merging the two departments.

"I'm going to focus on trying to run the systems as they are today," Lyon told The Detroit News on Monday.

The governor has not indicated how long the interim appointment will last, Lyon said.

"I'm fortunate to have strong leadership teams in both places," he said.

Corrigan, a former Supreme Court justice, is retiring Wednesday after running the Department of Human Services during Snyder's first four-year term.

"Director Corrigan has been a fierce advocate for Michiganders in need, especially children," Snyder said Monday in a statement. "Under her direction, the department has made tremendous strides, most notably in child welfare, foster care and adoption."

Snyder will be sworn into office for a second term on Thursday during an inauguration ceremony on the east steps of the state Capitol. The DHS director job is one of his administration's most prominent openings.

Snyder promoted Lyon from deputy director to head of the agency after former director Jim Haveman stepped down after suffering a mild stroke.

Lyon worked at the Department of Community Health for 12 years and previously held positions in the state budget office and Attorney General's Office.

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