BoardWorks • CMHAM - Community Mental Health Association of Michigan
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The demands for competent community mental health Board members are real, complex, and much different than the demands at the time of our origins in the 1960s. Inherent in these new age competency requirements is the need for continuous learning so that Board members can stay on target as effective leaders.

We now live in a world where new knowledge quickly becomes old, requiring that a sound set of values, moral foundations, and critical thinking skills is in place so that one can interpret and evaluate the waves of new information continually being presented.  In an effort to expand and deepen educational and training opportunities for today’s CMH volunteer leaders, CMHAM has developed BoardWorksThe Governance and Leadership Development Program. This program will guide you through the core curriculum, learning venues, and certification requirements.

We believe that this program will assist Board members in fulfilling their obligations as CMH leaders, directors of policy, and advocates for those they serve.

The Learning Program Conference Presentation Series is the primary venue for presentation of the Core Curriculum. All required workshops are available at the CMHAM Fall, Winter and Spring Conferences over the course of a single year. These workshops are designed to be didactic and interactive. There are eleven workshops in the Learning Program Conference Presentation Series. Nine of these workshops serve as the workshops that constitute the minimal components of the Learning Program. Board members who complete the eleven workshops are considered to have completed the required minimum expectations of the Learning Program, thus receiving a Learning Program Certification. As indicated, each of these nine workshops are presented once per year at one of the CMHAM conferences. Two additional workshops –”Orientation” and “Critical Updates”– are provided at the spring conference.

Here’s how it works:

  • View the workshop video.
  • Complete the evaluation.
  • E-mail evaluations to Monique Francis at or mail to CMHAM 507 S. Grand Ave., Lansing, MI 48933. **As of May 5, 2022, there is no longer a $20 charge to process evaluations. These will be done at no cost to boards or their members.
  • We will keep track of your completed workshops and issue you a Certificate of Completion once you have completed all workshops in the Conference Presentation Series.

BoardWorks:  Understanding the Work and Structure of the CMH Association of Michigan & the Role of Board Members in the Rights Protection Process  (formerly Board Member Orientation and Critical Updates)

*This module is no longer required for certification.*

This workshop provides a summary overview of the most critical, substantive, and technical information of the nine Learning Program Certification related workshops, as well as an overview of the Board Members role within CMHA and in the Rights Protection Process.

1. BoardWorks: Foundations – Public Policy

In this workshop, we will explore the historical origins (particularly related to Michigan), contemporary perspective and the probable future of the public policy driven community system.  Participants will be able to:  1. Identify at least 3 key events in the evolution of the Michigan Mental Health Code and federal statutes; 2. List a minimum of 2 key areas of the consumer movement; 3. Name at least 2 key areas of the community system; and 4. Recall at least 2 current and near future critical public policy expectations.

Handout for PowerPoint

2. BoardWorks: Foundations –  Intended Beneficiary Command

In this workshop, we will focus on the public policy expectations of intended beneficiaries from the community system.  Participants will be able to:  1. Describe the relationship between the Board and community and individual beneficiaries; 2. Identify at least 3 opportunities and/or strategies for promoting and supporting individual beneficiaries in leadership, administrative, management and in the provision of supports, services, care and treatment; 3. Identify at least 3 opportunities and/or strategies for promoting and supporting community and individual beneficiaries in community system assessment, evaluation, planning, implementation management, monitoring and improvement efforts; and 4. Identify at least 2 opportunities and/or strategies for promoting and supporting individual beneficiaries choice as an informed, responsible and prudent purchaser.

Handout for PowerPoint

3. BoardWorks: Foundations – Ensuring a Consumer Focus

The presenter will address the public policy expectations of the community system, reflecting intended beneficiaries as the sole purpose of the existence of the community system itself.  Participants will be able to:  1. Identify at least 3 key elements of Commitment to the Life Plan (Person-Centered planning and support); 2. List at least 3 Self-Determination principles; 3. Learn about recovery orientation; 4. Describe the Resiliency perspective; 5. Name 3 key elements to cultural representation; 6. Identify at least two opportunities and/or strategies for building community partnerships and collaboration; and 7. Identify at least two strategies for supporting community capacity building.

4. BoardWorks:  Leadership – Fundamentals

This workshop will focus on the functional, operational, organizational and relational aspects of the board member. Participants will be able to: 1. Examine and explore the role, responsibilities and authority of the board as individual members, as elected officers and as a collective body; 2. Consider the relationship between the CEO and the board as individual members, as elected officers and as a collective body and learn at least two skills to improve that relationship; 3. Consider implications of the accountability of a public board as related to areas such as the Mental Health Code, parliamentary procedures, open meetings and freedom of information; 4. Explore board by-laws and governance policies; and 5. Develop at least two relationships within the board with a team orientation.

5. BoardWorks: Leadership – Participatory Governance and Ethical Implications 

This workshop is designed to mirror the nature of successful leadership in the public sector responsible for community well-being. The inherent wisdom of the participants will be engaged in the dynamics of addressing the following subjects and exploring, “How do we do that?” Participants will be able to: 1. Learn the qualities of leadership; capturing the passion for justice and healthy communities; 2. Cultivate the values and intent of public policy; 3. Discuss the board’s commitment to the promotion and protection of the intended beneficiary’s individual rights and responsibilities of full citizenship; 4. Explore ethical issues of special interests, influence, conflict of interests and operating outside the role and responsibilities of the Board’s defined authority; 5. Learn how to distinguish matters of Board and community ethical considerations from issues of personal morality; and 6. Discuss ethical responsibility of identifying and developing core competencies for governance members.

Handout for PowerPoint

6. BoardWorks: Leadership – Legal

This session, Leadership – Legal, is designed to provide information on the legal responsibilities of a Community Mental Health Agency (CMH), as well as a Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan (PIHP). Areas that will be covered include the Mental Health Code, specifically Chapter 2 on County CMH Programs, the contractual relationship that exists between the Michigan Department of Community Health and the CMH (for both Medicaid services and non-Medicaid services) and what those contracts require, The Open Meetings Act, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Participants will understand their role in ensuring that the legal responsibilities of CMH are met.  Participants will be able to: 1. Understand your statutory obligations under the Mental Health Code; 2. Understand at least 3 of the basic contractual obligations the Boards have with MDHHS; and 3. Examine both the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act.

Handout for PowerPoint

7. BoardWorks:  Management – Current and Future Funding for CMHSPs and PIHPs

This workshop will revolve around the public policy-driven financing and accountability expectations for which the board serves as the fiduciary. Participants will be able to 1. Examine and explore state, federal and local public revenues including each source of revenue, definition as derived by statute, contract and/or public policy directive, conditions for use, determination of amounts to be distributed/available, method of distribution/receipt, application in practice, risk implications, reporting and accounting and audit requirements; and 2.  Explore current state initiatives and proposals regarding pending changes to the funding of the CMH system and its potential implications for CMHSPs and PIHPs.

Handout for PowerPoint

8. BoardWorks:  Management – Systems

In this workshop, we will focus on the public policy oriented and defined management and organizational structures.  Participants will be able to: 1. Identify 2 management functions of public policy systems; 2. Explore 2 structural foundations of organizations as related to both managers and implementers of public policy; 3. Examine organizational infrastructure as related to both managers and implementers of public policy; 4. Learn 3 qualities of provider and manager types of public organizations, including “mixed” organizations and the cost and benefits of such an arrangement; and 5. Explore community systems as an ultimate unified community system.

Handout for PowerPoint

9. BoardWorks: Implementation – Best Practices

In this workshop, participants will explore public policy relative to the implementation of best practice supports, services, care and treatment. Participants will be able to: 1. Examine the growth and application of best, promising and evidence-based practice in the public mental health system; 2. Understand the move toward integrated physical health and behavioral health care; and 3. Consider the policy and leadership roles relative to the implementation of best practices and integrated care.

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