Oakland County health officer dead in apparent murder-suicide, police say
- Calandra Green, Oakland County’s health officer, is dead, with the case being probed as a murder-suicide
- She oversaw the county’s responses to COVID, emerging Mpox cases, and the deadly shooting at Oxford High School
- She was ‘a beloved member’ of Oakland County leadership, County Executive David Coulter said
Oakland County health officer Calandra Green has died in a case that is being investigated as a murder-suicide, according to the Oakland County sheriff’s office.
“We are investigating a homicide and a suicide,” Steve Huber, spokesperson for the sheriff’s department, confirmed Thursday evening.
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Huber would not say where the deaths occurred or identify the second person who died. Green lived in Pontiac with her husband, according to information provided by the county last year and available on Green’s personal Facebook page.
Later Thursday night, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard told Detroit television station WDIV-TV (Channel 4) the two bodies found in the home were Green and her husband.
“Family members went to the home and started to walk into the house,” Bouchard said. “It didn’t look right, and they smartly backed out and called 911. We immediately responded, made entry into the home, and found two individuals deceased.”
The sheriff added, “It appears that our female is the victim and a male individual was the perpetrator, but that’s still early.”
The North Oakland County Health Clinics and the South Oakland County Health Clinic will be closed Friday to “allow our employees time to grieve and seek support from each other and counselors as they process this devastating news,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said in a statement released to Bridge.
Our hearts are shattered at the passing of our colleague and esteemed Health Officer Dr. Calandra Green. Words can’t express how devastating this is to our Oakland County family. She was a beloved member of our team and a light to all who had the privilege to know and love her. pic.twitter.com/aYdXljsBol— David Coulter (@davidwcoulter) May 12, 2023
Just over a year ago, in April 2022, Coulter appointed Green as the first woman of color to fill the key role of health officer. She succeeded long-time health officer Leigh Ann Stafford, who was promoted to Director of Health and Human Services.
A long-time nurse, Green began at the health department as a public health nurse in August 2019, then moved to a quality and process improvement supervisor as COVID began to tear through southeast Michigan and had been “instrumental in the pandemic response,” according to a county media statement at the time of her appointment.
Over the last year, Green moved into the public spotlight as Oakland County’s face of public health, urging residents to vaccinate against the COVID-19 virus, doing so as recently as last week in the health division’s more recent newsletter.
As the pandemic waned, she urged residents to take seriously RSV and the flu. She oversaw efforts to fight Mpox, formerly known as monkeypox. And in the midst of a statewide mental health crisis, she announced in October plans for a new youth and family-focused behavioral health program.
“She was not only a talented public health professional, she was a lovely human being,” Norm Hess, executive director of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health, which represents the state’s district, county and Detroit health departments, told Bridge Thursday night.
County spokesperson Bill Mullan declined comment, instead releasing Coulter’s prepared statement. He referred questions to the sheriff’s office.
Coulter, the county executive, called Green “a beloved member of our team and a light to all who had the privilege to know and love her.”
While at the health division, Green also oversaw the mental health response both in Oxford and countywide in the aftermath of the Oxford High School shooting in 2021.
Green held four degrees, including a doctor of education in organizational leadership from Oakland University. In 2021, the university recognized Green with the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Community Nursing, according to Oakland County.
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