(Senate - July 14, 2011)

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[Pages S4605-S4606]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                       TRIBUTE TO GERALD M. CHASE

  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, it is with great pride that I pay tribute 
to a dedicated public servant from my home state of Michigan. Gerry 
Chase has devoted his professional life to helping others and improving 
the quality of public health in northern lower Michigan for nearly four 
decades, and I am pleased to recognize his life's work as he retires 
from public service this month. Through his many initiatives as the 
Public Health Officer for Northwest Michigan, Gerry has impacted many 
by working tirelessly to better the lives of the residents of Antrim, 
Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties.
  Gerry accepted the position of public health officer in 1974 at the 
urging of his mentor Roy R. Manty. Shortly after earning his bachelor 
of arts and a master's in public health from the University of 
Michigan, Gerry embarked on what he initially thought would be a short-
term assignment, but would become his life's work. Thirty-seven years 
later, Gerry can look back with pride on a fulfilling and impressive 
record of accomplishment.
  Charged with the responsibility of promoting wellness, preventing 
disease, and providing quality healthcare, Gerry has been at the 
forefront of some of the more complex and daunting public health 
issues, leading an agency that has grown from 17 in the mid-1970s to 
more than 200 employees today. Among Gerry's countless accomplishments 
as public health officer is an initiative to provide dental care to 
over 20,000 low-income residents, an effort to increase the number of 
poor women eligible for cost-free breast and cervical cancer 
screenings, and the establishment of a multicounty workplace smoking 
  Through these accomplishments and many more like them, residents of 
these counties are living healthier and better. In 2007, Gerry was 
awarded the Roy R. Manty Distinguished Service Award, Michigan's top 
public health award. This honor, which bears the name of his mentor, is 
given to a person that embodies the ``values, dedication and spirit 
Manty brought to public

[[Page S4606]]

health,'' which is a fitting tribute for a man that has dedicated his 
life to the public good.
  Gerry is also a loving and devoted husband to his wife of 45 years, 
Kay, and an outstanding role model for his children, Gerald, Harold, 
and John, and for his grandchild, Taylor. In fact, I am reminded every 
day of his efforts in this regard through the work of his son, Harold, 
a member of my staff for the last 15 years. Gerry has been an active 
member of his community as well, helping to develop the Northwest 
Academy, a charter school in Charlevoix County, leading a troop of Boy 
Scouts, and serving as a Big Brother.
  Gerry has set a high standard and has left a lasting footprint which 
will endure for many years to come. I know my colleagues will join me 
in congratulating Gerry on his many impressive accomplishments over the 
last thirty-seven years. I wish him the best as he begins a new chapter 
in life.