2020 Go To Bat Award Recipient:
Representative Sue Allor, Michigan House of Representatives, District 106
The “Go To Bat” Award is presented by the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan to an individual outside of the public mental health system (DHHS or CMH) who exemplifies extraordinary concern, advocacy or leadership aimed at improving the quality and quantity of community-based mental health services for persons with mental illness and developmental disabilities in Michigan.
Representative Allor was a Board member of North County Community Mental Health from 2011 to 2016. In 2019, Representative Allor lobbied to get a state psychiatric facility located in northern Michigan or the Upper Peninsula. Currently all five facilities in the state are located in the southern part of our state. After bringing a workgroup of legislators together in her first term in office, she was successful in getting a placeholder dedicated in the budget to plan for a satellite state psychiatric facility in the north, a first step toward addressing the lack of care for our residents. While she met with Governor Gretchen Whitmer to argue the need for this facility, the Governor chose not to plan for a psychiatric facility to meet the needs of northern Michigan. Representative Allor noted her position is to ensure mental health services are available for all citizens in the state, not just the areas that are most populated. Representative Allor has assisted the five Northern Community Mental Health organizations in advocating for the elimination of the Local Match Draw Down. She was instrumental in arranging meetings with Representative Whiteford. Representative Whiteford’s support was instrumental to the 5-year phase out of local match dollars being used to draw down Medicaid funds for the State.
2020 Nick Filonow Award of Excellence:
Thomas Cole, System Administrator, Macomb County CMH Services
The Nick Filonow Award of Excellence recognizes eligible individuals, committees or groups that have made a significant contribution or effort to improve the public mental health community-based system at a local or state-wide level through finance, technology or quality efforts.
Since playing a critical role in our ability to successfully recover from a serious cyber-attack in May 2019, Thomas has led Macomb County Community Mental Health efforts to not only restore our network but to implement sustainable processes for heightened security across the board. Thomas kept his technology “wish list” current by constantly researching best practices and vendors which greatly reduced the implementation time. Then came the pandemic and the transition to remote work. The previous improvements made by MCCMH and led by Thomas made our transition to remote work highly successful. Throughout, Thomas has continued to have the support of management and finance, and has moved us forward in an impressive manner; ultimately leading to his nomination for the Nick Filonow Award!