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2016 Upcoming Forums

Access to Mental Health Care

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The question of adequate access to mental health care across the country often follows today’s headlines speaking of random acts of gun violence, underserved military veterans, and cases of drug addiction. The issue has been paired with conversation at the state level for how best to fund mental health care so that treatment is readily available and afforded by those who seek help or have families who are looking for support. Mental health services have become a mainstay topic for well-being and safety in our communities.

The September 7 policy forum is focused on Michigan citizens’ access to mental health services and possible models for ensuring those in need are readily and properly served. It is cosponsored by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and the Sparrow/MSU Center for Research and Innovation.

Speaker and Panelist Info:

  • Sheryl Kubiak, Professor of Social Work, Michigan State University
  • Tom Watkins, president and chief executive officer at Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority
  • Adrian Blow, Associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University
  • Joseph J. Ruth, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sparrow Health System will deliver opening remarks.

Michigan's Experience with Emergency Managers

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

When cities or school districts fall into fiscal distress, unable to pay bills nor salaries, an Emergency Manager may be assigned by the residing Governor. The role of the Emergency Manager has evolved since it was established through Public Act 101 in 1988. Its goal, however, has remained the same: to assume control, assess and manage financial responsibilities, and bring local governments back in balance before returning them to local control.

In 2011, seven Emergency Managers were active in Michigan. Today, three school districts, but no municipalities, are under Emergency Manager control, presenting for some an image of success. Yet, across the country, there has been mixed review of the effectiveness of Emergency Managers.

This forum, cosponsored by the Center for Local Government Finance and Policy | MSU Extension, will present information on the current role of Michigan’s Emergency Managers and their impact and review what research and experience suggest regarding potential reforms.

Speaker and Panelist Info

  • Eric Scorsone, director for MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy, and professor of economics in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
  • Tony Saunders, former emergency manager for Benton Harbor, now Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer for Wayne County, MI
  • Peter Hammer, director for Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and Professor of Law, Wayne State University
  • Craig Thiel, senior research associate for Citizens Research Council of Michigan

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