I came to the OCHN Board with a lifetime of professional public nursing experiences, public and private sectors in New York and Michigan as a staff nurse, supervisor, administrator, state nursing consultant and educator. I hold a BS in nursing, MSPH in nursing supervision, MPH in administration. Both the fields of public health and mental health focus on the heath needs of consumers in a family setting within the community.
As I retired from Washtenaw County Health Department I began looking for volunteer opportunities. I applied, and was nominated, to a board position with OCHN. I was motivated to accept this position for two reasons: the personal involvement with a young woman who had serious mental health issues who was dating my son presented a need for me to more fully understand how the mental health system worked. Secondly, I had a continuing professional interest in the critical health care issues the community faces.
My experience on the Board has been challenging and satisfying. One can see the direct connection between the Board members’ role and the consumers we serve by having on-going input from consumers. I am involved with a number of committees within the agency and support groups in the broader community to increase my working knowledge. The ability to work with members of the Board is very rewarding because we all are focused on providing the highest quality of care for all those we serve. I have the highest regard for our consumer/board members who always teach us what the consumer is experiencing through their personal journeys.
My special vision for the future of the agency is the desire for all systems that impact mental health consumers to be always in on-going dialog with our consumers and have one focus—the consumer’s recovery/improvement of quality of life---a seamless system.