FRIDAY, Jan. 20 — Dr. Adnike Shoyinka, the medical director of the Ingham County Health
Department, will succeed Health Officer Linda Vail as department head.
She was appointed by the county Board of Commissioners late last year, Vail and Ingham
County Commissioner Todd Tennis confirmed yesterday. Vail announced last year that she will
retire in February after nine years in the job. Shoyinka will take over in mid-February.
Vail said the early appointment has allowed the two to focus on a seamless transition. The two
have been meeting via Zoom twice a week.
“She’s the right person for the job,” said Vail. She said she had been mentoring Shoyinka to
become a health officer after recognizing her “ability to connect with people.” Vail encouraged
her to apply for her position when she announced her retirement last year.
“Ingham County has a history of hiring from within for health officers,” said Tennis, who chairs
the commission’s Health and Human Services Committee. “Linda Vail was an exception to that
rule.” Vail had been in the same role in Kalamazoo County before she came to work for Ingham
“We are very excited as to what Dr. Shoyinka will bring to the county,” Tennis added. “She was
a perfect fit.”
Shoyinka graduated from Ibadan Medical School in Nigeria and completed her internal medicine
residency at Harlem Hospital through Columbia University in New York City. Her infectious
“I would just be walking down the street, tears running down my face,” she said at the time.
“There were just points where I had to walk away. I had to.”
She was also a key leader in the COVID vaccine rollout in the county. City Pulse interviewed
both Shoyinka and Vail about the vaccine in December 2020.
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