Steering committee transitions: Thank you and welcome

Founding WHI Steering Committee members Peter D. Jacobson, director of U-M’s Center for Law, Ethics, and Health, and Ellen Rabinowitz, health officer for the Washtenaw County Health Department and executive director of the Washtenaw Health Plan, will retire this summer after eight years of service. This month, we featured Ellen and Peter in our “Voices of the WHI” series to highlight their many accomplishments in the community and their leadership in the WHI.

Jimena Loveluck, recently appointed health officer for the Washtenaw County Health Department, will fill Ellen Rabinowitz’s position on the Steering Committee as our public health department representative. Jacobson’s community position will go to Julie Aronica, director of strategic initiatives at Blue Cross Complete.

  • Jimena Loveluck, who was named Washtenaw County’s first deputy health officer in January 2018, brings to the WHI 25 years of public health experience and extensive knowledge in health promotion, community engagement, and fighting health disparities. At the Washtenaw County Health Department, Loveluck manages the design and implementation of policies, procedures, and programs to promote the health of all Washtenaw County residents. Prior to joining the department, Loveluck served as vice chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Health and vice president of community research and innovation for UNIFIED – HIV Health and Beyond. She also served as the president and CEO of the HIV/AIDS Resource Center for 15 years, served as the chair of the HIV/AIDS Alliance of Michigan, and served as a member of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance Board and the Ann Arbor Sexual Health Education Advisory committee. Loveluck holds a master’s degree in social work from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

While the WHI has never had a health payer representative on its Steering Committee, the payer Aronica works with–Blue Cross Complete–is the Medicaid health plan that covers the highest number of Medicaid enrollees in Washtenaw County. As such, Aronica will be able to both provide valuable payer perspectives and to share WHI learnings–including needs and opportunities–with the payer community.

  • Julie Aronica, director of strategic initiatives at Blue Cross Complete (BCC), has extensive experience directing state government, provider, and health plan operations. At BCC, she directs the implementation of a number of plan programs such as the 298 Behavioral Health Integration pilots, the State Innovation Model program, and BCBSM Healthy Kids Dental outreach. Previously she served as BCC’s director of quality management, but she has also worked as director of medical resource and quality management at Physicians Health Plan, director of government affairs at the Michigan Osteopathic Association, vice president of health services at Great Lakes Health Plan, and director of managed care quality improvement for the Michigan Department of Community Health. Aronica is actively involved in a number of statewide coalitions and served as chair of the Michigan Association of Health Plan Quality Directors Committee for five years. She also served as chair of the board for the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan and as a trustee for Common Ground. A graduate of Michigan State and Wayne State Universities, she is a licensed counselor with 15 years’ experience practicing marriage and family therapy and managing behavioral health managed care programs for St. John Health System. She is an author of the Prevention Section of the American Society for Addiction Medicine Patient Placement Criteria.

In addition, Marci Scalera–another founding member of the WHI–will step down this summer. Marci is director of clinical and substance use disorder services for the Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan, and has served as co-chair of the WHI Opioid Project since its launch in 2013. We will feature her in a future Voices of the WHI spotlight.