LANSING, Mich. – Geralyn Lasher, who has served as Gov. Rick Snyder’s communications director since November 2010, has been named senior deputy director for external relations and communications at the Michigan Department of Community Health.
In her new role, Lasher will lead coalition efforts for the department and Director James K. Haveman and help to establish a nonprofit entity that funds public health initiatives, which is part of the proposed regulatory overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan being discussed in the Legislature. Lasher will also oversee communications and marketing activities for the department.
“Geralyn has been a trusted adviser since Day One,” Snyder said. “She’s done a remarkable job and the respect that Geralyn has earned from her colleagues, as well as from members of the state and national news media, attests to her skills as a professional and her qualities as a person. The restructuring of Blue Cross is one of the most significant legislative issues under consideration, and there’s no doubt that Geralyn’s experience in communications and health policy will ensure the success of this initiative. Her tireless work on behalf of our team is deeply appreciated.”
Lasher is a veteran of state government who most recently served as director of infrastructure services for DCH before being named a member of Snyder’s senior staff. She began her career with DCH in 1997 as director of communications after serving as press secretary for Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumus and deputy press secretary for Gov. John Engler.
“It’s been a privilege to work with Gov. Snyder and to play a role in the reinvention of Michigan,” Lasher said. “Being a part of his incredible team will always be a personal and professional highlight for me. As difficult as it is to leave, I do look forward to returning to the Department of Community Health and partnering with the public and private sectors to improve health and wellness in our state. The men and women of DCH do tremendous work on behalf of Michigan families, and I am honored to join them.”
Lasher, a Lansing native, resides in Okemos. Her replacement will be named soon.
In a related matter, Snyder announced that Haveman will assume leadership of the administration’s People executive group. One of Snyder’s first actions was to put state departments into groupings that align with their common goals, such as economic development and quality of life. The structure enhances information sharing and ensures a cohesive approach to implementing the governor’s vision for Michigan. Each executive group is headed by a department director.
Haveman takes over the Policy group’s leadership responsibilities from Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan, who requested a transition from those duties in order to preserve her strong focus on serving the needs of Michigan families.
“I appreciate Maura’s complete dedication to ensuring the well-being of our families, especially Michigan’s children,” Snyder said. “She’s an effective advocate for our vulnerable citizens and will continue devoting her energies to helping them succeed. The strong foundation she built as a group executive allows for a seamless transition for Jim Haveman.”
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