Bloomfield Hills Schools recently hired Leonard Sanford, Jr., as the new director of health and wellness. Sanford, currently a PhD candidate in Health Administration, is a graduate of West Bloomfield Schools, Wayne State University (B.S. Kinesiology), and University of Detroit Mercy (Masters of Health Services Administration). The role with BHS will involve monitoring public health data, developing protocols for COVID-19 screening and testing, and working with the BHS staff from bus drivers to custodians to teachers and administrators to enact safety processes. In addition, Sanford will help develop mental health screening, reporting, and communications.
“Within my first 30 days, my main prerogative is to get a sense of the physical space that we have, ironing out the logistics of what it will look like when we come back, when we collectively decide it is safe to return,” said Sanford.
Sanford started on August 3, was introduced to the community via the BHS Board of Education virtual meeting on August 6, and already is connecting with experts in the Bloomfield community. Sanford explained, “I am working with Bloomfield Hills parents who also are local doctors, including Dr. Anne Chen and Dr. Pranav Kothari. I also am relying on the expertise of community health experts to identify the metrics that will help determine whether the cases are going down and whether we are achieving containment within the community.”
BHS is gathering information from a wide variety of public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Oakland County Health Department, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MI-OSHA), and from other areas of the state and from other states. “As a school district, we have a tremendous responsibility outside our community to do our part to minimize the spread of disease through the practices that we have developed,” said Sanford. “We are in the process of continuing to monitor and pull together information from many sources on best practices.”
As part of the one-year position, Sanford will provide information and direction to the BHS community in all areas related to returning to school. “Most important for the future is to give people a piece of mind that we have done everything thoroughly and paid attention to the intricate details,” emphasized Sanford. “We not only want this to be a great school year for our students, of course, but also our teachers, our custodial services, our elective teachers, our support staff, and our families.”
Having worked most recently as a practice manager in Ann Arbor, Sanford is excited to be back in the area and supporting the community. “Our number one priority is bringing students back to school when it is safe to do so,” Sanford said. “I am passionate about academics and health, and this position combines my interests in a way I can make a difference.”