Over the past six months, discussions between the six counties that comprise NLCMHA have resulted in each county formally recommitting to working together through NLCMHA for the benefit of the people in our communities.
Each County Commission voted unanimously to support a revised Enabling Resolution and Agreement. The agreement was signed by county clerks and board chairs of each of the six County Commissions and is now in the process of being recognized by the state. The agreement contains a new dispute resolution process which will strengthen the organization’s capacity to continue to serve people in Crawford, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Missaukee, Roscommon, and Wexford Counties without interruption into the future. NLCMHA was originally formed 20 years ago, in 2003.
The $1.2 million contributed by the six counties to NLCMHA, along with federal and state service reimbursements, and supplemental grant funding awarded to the organization, allows NLCMHA to provide and manage a total $90 million array of services and supports.
The array includes crisis intervention services for anyone in the community experiencing a mental health crisis, regardless of insurance. Additionally, as a community mental health service program defined by the Michigan Mental Health Code, NLCMHA annually serves about 3500 adults with serious mental illness, 950 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and 900 children with serious emotional disturbance. NLCMHA is the only CMH in Michigan which also acts as a MI Choice agent for the state, helping an additional 400 disabled and/or elderly individuals remain living in the community instead of a nursing facility through its Northern Health Care Management division. Other benefits to the community include Integrated Health Clinics open to anyone in the community with any or no insurance, in Traverse City and Grayling.
Brian Martinus, NLCMHA Interim Chief Executive Officer, expressed pride and gratitude for the Northern Lakes staff. “Throughout this period of uncertainty, staff remained committed to providing world class service and did not lose focus on the families in our community. They have remained steadfast in accomplishing the mission of the organization, which is improving the overall health, wellness, and quality of life of our individuals, families, and communities we serve,” said Martinus. “Our services and supports help some of the most vulnerable in our communities. This process really reinforced just how much these services are prized by the community. We are gratified that the counties came together and collaborated for the good of the people of northern Michigan.”
Eric Kurtz, Northern Michigan Regional Entity (NMRE) CEO, assisted with communications and coordination throughout the process. Kurtz indicated he was “happy to help provide oversight to Northern Lakes and the counties.” He noted, “A healthy CMH bolsters services across northern Michigan and helps strengthen the network of partners serving the 21 counties in the NMRE catchment area with mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities and addiction services. We are all stronger together.”
The NLCMHA Enabling Resolution Agreement may be viewed at https://wp.me/PQwHb-7.