Berrien County Health Department announces new health officer

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, November 4, 2021

BENTON HARBOR — The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has approved naming the current Berrien County Health Department Epidemiologist Guy W. Miller to serve as acting health officer beginning Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Miller brings nearly a decade of public health and healthcare education and experience to his new role, where he will be responsible for advising public entities on best public health practices and supporting the process of creating healthier communities. He will serve in an interim capacity until a full-time appointment can be made for the role. Miller’s appointment must be approved by the state of Michigan.

Miller joined BCHD six years ago as an epidemiologist, leading a variety of programs designed to make the community a safer, healthier place through the analysis of local and national data, health officials said. He played a pivotal role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as the operations section chief, designing contact tracing programs, testing strategies and disease prevention measures in high-risk facilities.

“We are delighted to welcome Guy into this critical role to serve the residents of Berrien County,” said Brian Dissette, county administrator. “Throughout the pandemic, Miller has shown himself a highly effective leader, particularly in keeping the community leaders informed of current infection rates and trends throughout the County by leading case investigation and contact tracing. He has the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in this role.”

At BCHD, Miller works with the medical director, nursing and environmental health team to monitor for food-borne illness and infectious disease outbreaks, surveys for Lyme disease and West Nile virus and supports local nursing homes and adult day care facilities. Miller also works alongside the infection prevention team at Spectrum Health Lakeland, as well as the population health team to mitigate the spread of infectious disease and decrease the number of chronic diseases. He chairs the Berrien County Health and Human Services Coordinating Council working with local community services organizations and governing bodies.

Miller began his career as a phlebotomist at Mercy Health Partners in Grand Rapids. He also served as a volunteer medical assistant with Oasis of Hope while completing his bachelor’s degree in biomedical science at Grand Valley State University.

A Berrien County resident, Miller grew up in St. Joseph and returned to work at the Berrien County Health Department after completing his master’s degree public health degree at Walden University in Minneapolis.

Miller teaches and publishes on a number of health-related topics. He succeeds Courtney Davis, who resigned as acting public health officer in October.

The County has begun a formal hiring process to fill the position permanently.  Those interested in applying or learning more should visit: bit.ly/3CKBUR9.