DEARBORN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — The city of Dearborn announced it is launching a new health department, more than a decade after closing the previous facility.

The city says its goal is to improve the health of residents while also using a new and more inclusive way to incorporate health-related issues into city decision making.

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According to the city, the new health department will focus on rigorous population level assessment, policy development and social determinants of health (SDoH).

The old health department closed in 2011.

“By engaging in cross-sector collaboration, conducting a needs assessment, prioritizing environmental justice, and collecting timely, reliable data to assess the impact of prevention initiatives, the City of Dearborn can be a leader in advancing population health and health equity,” said Mayor Abdullah Hammoud.

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In addition to establishing the new health department, the city announced it has appointed Ali Abazeed as an inaugural director.

Abazeed, a Dearborn native, previously worked as a public health advisor for the National Institutes of Health and an advisor for the Detroit Health Department.

“I am honored and excited for the opportunity to help establish a Department of Public Health for my hometown,” Abazeed said in a statement. “There is now unprecedented awareness about the vital role of public health in all sectors of society. I look forward to building a department that addresses the broad range of factors that impact a person’s health—including where they live, learn, work, and play.”

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