Dr. William Nettleton wears many hats as he strives to keep those in his community healthy. As both a medical director and an assistant professor, William’s position is a unique collaboration between a new school of medicine and two county health departments. In this role, he sees patients and teaches resident physicians and medical students, while also responding and addressing the various public health threats that impact the communities of Kalamazoo and Calhoun. He has led public health emergency responses to municipal water contamination incidents, a deadly outbreak of mosquito-borne infections and the COVID-19 pandemic.
When William started in his role, he realized that there was no standardized surveillance system for opioid overdoses in either the county or the state of Michigan. Using his research and people skills, he was able to secure data use agreements, reporting links, and collaborative buy-in from stakeholders to establish one of the first standardized fatal and nonfatal opioid overdose reporting systems in Michigan.
In 2020, William served as the president of the Michigan Association of Preventive Medicine and Public Health Physicians. He earned an MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine, an MPH from Portland State University, and degrees in philosophy and biology from Hope College. He completed residency at Oregon Health and Science University and is board certified in both family medicine and preventive medicine/public health.
In public health we work to build trust and relationships to address community challenges that require community solutions. Public health is a public good that requires public investment. A population and community perspective will be essential to overcoming the public health challenges of the 21st century.