April 14, 2021

Class of 1995’s Dr. Don Tynes shares Berrien County COVID information with Gov. Whitmer

Don Tynes, M.D., F.A.C.P., from left, poses with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and certified medical assistant Amy Zaal, who runs the Southwest Limb Preservation Program: Save the Leg Program.

Wayne State University School of Medicine alumnus Don Tynes, M.D., ’95, Res. ’00, F.A.C.P., met with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last month to review the status of the state’s vaccination efforts in Berrien County and the city of Benton Harbor in western Michigan.

Dr. Tynes is public health director and chief medical officer of Benton Harbor, and a clinical associate professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics for the WSU School of Medicine.

“She discovered our program may have increased the number of African American and minorities getting vaccinated to a greater degree than European Americans,” he said. “Our program is pro-choice – the residents have a right to choose; pro-informed consent – the residents have a right to know what they are taking or participating in. We present raw facts without promotional bias and highlight that the governor created two committees to address the issue of racism, which is the No. 1 public health crisis, and investigate and develop an action plan to eliminate systemic racism in health and the economy.”

Gov. Whitmer met virtually with Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad in his clinic before visiting the vaccination site at the Berrien County Health Department.

Dr. Tynes and Gov. Whitmer then met with Benton Harbor Area Schools Superintendent and Detroit native Andrae Townsel, Ed.D., received an update from Loren Hamel, M.D., chief executive officer of Spectrum Lakeland Hospital, on the COVID-19 status of admissions, intensive care unit inpatient numbers and patient demographics. The county’s assistant health director also provided an update on COVID statistics in Berrien County, Dr. Tynes said.

Dr. Tynes is a team physician for Benton Harbor School System, medical director of Benton Harbor Community Water Council, chief medical officer of Benton Harbor Health Center and a physician and pastor at Southwest Minister Alliance. He is also a governor appointee of the State of Michigan Board of Medicine.

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