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Governor Stitt Announces H.E.L.P. Task Force Members

Friday, September 09, 2022

Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the eleven members of the Helping Every Life and Parent (H.E.L.P.) Task Force. Governor Stitt created the H.E.L.P. Task Force by Executive Order 2022-14 which he issued in July 2022. The Task Force’s first meeting will be next Tuesday, September 13, 2022. More information about the meeting, including time and location, will be announced Monday.

Governor Stitt was required to appoint five members: three representatives from nonprofit organization or local faith communities specializing in pregnancy care and support, a licensed obstetrician-gynecologist, and a representative of the faith community operation a crisis pregnancy center.

His appointees are:

Juli Merciez, BSN, RN MPC, Co-Founder and President of The Cottage, a pregnancy center and residential maternity home;

David Lewis, CEO of Go Life Mobile Medical Inc.;

Dierdre McCool, Executive Vice President at Butterfield Memorial Foundation;

Dr. Michelle Brunnabend, D.O., licensed OBGYN, owner and physician at Aspen Women’s Center; and

Gayla White, Director of Hope Pregnancy Ministries.

Governor Stitt appointed Juli Merciez as Chair of the H.E.L.P. Task Force.

The other members of the task force are:

Crystal Coon, designee for Senate Pro Tempore Greg Treat;

Rep. Danny Williams, designee for House Speaker Charles McCall;

Lori Carter, First Assistant Attorney General, designee for Attorney General John O’Connor;

Sandra Puebla, Deputy State Medicaid Director, designee for Secretary of Health and Mental Health Kevin Corbett;

Samantha Galloway, interim Director, designee for Secretary of Human Services Justin Brown; and

Jackie Shawnee, chief of staff, designee for Commissioner of Health Keith Reed.

The task force will study, evaluate, and make recommendations regarding policies, programs, and proposed legislation that will support crisis pregnancy centers, make adoption easier, support mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy, and empower nonprofits organizations and local faith communities to support families and mothers before, during and after childbirth. The Task Force will submit a report of their findings to Governor Stitt on or before October 28, 2022.

Read Governor Stitt’s executive order here.

Last Modified on Sep 09, 2022
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