A Mental Health Tune-up for Detroit and Wayne County

tom_watkins.jpgLeadership matters and the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) applauds Governor Snyder’s decision to move to break down bureaucratic government silos by merging the departments of community health and human service and putting the focus on the individual and families in need not the artificial construct called a “program”.
“Programs” often become like sedimentary rock layered over the years until they become more important than the people they were originally created to serve. As Governor Snyder would say, regardless where a child, adult or family steps into the river of need we should be there to assist them to get the help they need and deserve.
DWMHA pledges to collaborate with Nick Lyon, the new director of this combined health and human service department and his team to assure this sensible change produces progress for some of our most vulnerable citizens.
We have been striving to improve community mental health care for over 50 years. Our staff and providers are constantly seeking improvements to assure we are providing the highest quality of care possible and to continue to enhance and improve services for the people in Wayne County.
Our standard of care is: “Is this program/residence/service good enough for someone I love?
Transitional Change
With leadership from state and county leaders, the mental health services delivery system is in the midst of transition to improve the quality of mental healthcare provided in Detroit-Wayne County.
The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA), governed by a voluntary 12-member, dedicated community board of directors has the lead responsibility to assure that persons with serious mental illnesses, intellectual and developmental disabilities, children with emotional disturbances and persons with substance use disorders receive the care and treatment they need to live a quality life in the community surrounded by their family and friends.
Our goal is to be a consumer and community focused, data-driven and evidence-based organization that strives to provide a broad array of supports and services with the highest quality care. This will be accomplished by continuing to engage consumers, families and the provider network and building collaborative partnerships with other organizations.
Continuous Improvement
There are many strengths in the existing system of care and we will follow the medical Hippocratic Oath of “First, do no harm,” as we proceed. We have been listening to stakeholders, parents, consumers and providers—to date, they have identified areas in need of improvement such as:
* Improve administrative efficiencies across the system that seek ways to redirect funds to direct     services.
* Standardize the array of services and cost rates across the system.
* Increase coordination of care across the mental health system and with other organizations.
* Integrate physical and substance use services into our system of care as called for by state and federal law.
* Advance progress toward maximizing community integration, quality of life and independence.
* Ensure services are aligned with the expectation of the DWMHA and applicable state and federal law through performance based contracting.
* Increase quality, transparency and accountability throughout the system of care.

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