Health Dept. diverts money from lead mitigation program to pay Equity Director

Taylor Coats
Taylor Coats (Martin) — Assistant Director of Health Equity, St. Joseph County Department of Health — Photo: Facebook

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Sources have confirmed with REAL News Michiana that the St. Joseph County Department of Health diverted tens of thousands of dollars from a lead mitigation program, that mainly focuses on preventing lead poisoning in minority children, to pay the salary of a Health Equity Director who has little to no involvement in lead mitigation. According to sources, the move was made unilaterally two years ago by Health Officer Dr. Robert Einterz.

Sources tell RNM the money from a county lead grant/fund is being used to pay Assistant Health Equity Director Taylor Coats’ (Martin) entire salary. Coats was moved into the position from a social worker role in 2021. It appears the appropriation was never approved by the County Council and could potentially be revoked by the elected officials, according to RNM’s sources.

It’s unclear exactly what Coats does at the Department of Health overall. However, she recently represented the county in a radical “Reproductive Justice” panel at Notre Dame and has been embroiled in recent controversy when she openly said she doesn’t like seeing white people at a Board of Health meeting last month.

“This is the room and table I like the least.” Coats said while referring to the color of everyone’s skin. “I don’t like seeing this. A bunch of white people sitting around making decisions.”

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  1. What’s not addressed here is if Taylor Coats (Martin) is Assistant Director of Health Equity in the St. Joseph County Department of Health does this mean there is a Director of Health Equity? If so what is that person doing that they are so busy as to need an assistant? Everyone in St. Joseph County is having to tighten their belts and our taxes continue to go up and we can hire dust collectors like this women in the Department of Health. How is she improving the health of the citizens of St. Joseph County exactly?

  2. Joe Ditz in the SBT reported today that Coats and Cassy White have both quit the Health Department. Good job, Clifton.


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