Health Officer Lisa Peacock Explains Decision to Resign

Lisa Peacock took on the health officer position for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan in 2015.

After experiencing what she calls a hostile work environment, Peacock has decided to resign from her position.

“It’s really the lack of the support from my employer that has made this so difficult and even encouragement of the that behavior from the public by members of the board of health at times, publicly, that have made things very difficult,” said Peacock.

Peacock was mostly scrutinized for the health department issuing a mask mandate for schools in their four counties, leading to an intense meeting in Sept. where many parents joined to voice their frustration.

“There is an attack on public health that is happening across the state and across the nation and we are living a unique example of that,” Peacock said.

Earlier this week, Board of Health member and Emmet County Commissioner Charlie MacInnis said the board is in chaos, and has lost its way. Peacock agrees.

“We’ve had several different board meetings where board of health members have discussed reducing funding for the health department and, certainly we’ve seen that challenge from our counties at different times throughout the years but I, personally, have never seen it coming from the board of health itself,” stated Peacock.Hdofnwm

Following Peacock’s resignation announcement, Board of Health member Shirley Roloff stated, “I have respect for Lisa Peacock and I think she did a great job”.

Another board member, Scott Hankins, says he disagrees the board has lost its way.

“I respectfully would disagree with commissioner MacInnis’s evaluation of the board of health and I think we have a strong board of health that can move forward and I look forward to doing so,” said Hankins.

Peacock had previously filed a formal complaint against the board of health, and may pursue further action against them.

“I’m evaluating that and I will continue to consider what needs to be done in that arena,” Peacock said. “One thing that is important to me right now is to stand up and say enough is enough.”

Peacock stated her decision to resign is final at this time, and it’s expected to go into effect April 29.