Service Numbers

Main Line: 800-676-0423
Customer Service: 800-890-3712
Compliance Hotline: 800-783-0914
MI Health Link Customer/Crisis: 800-675-7148
Substance Abuse Treatment Access: 800-781-0353
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Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health Board

SWMBH is organized around an independent Board of Directors with one primary representative and one alternate representative from each of the eight county’s Community Mental Health Board Members.  Their responsibility is to administer the Governance Policies and direct the Executive Officer who organizes and oversees all operations.

A second Board, the Substance Use Disorder Oversight Policy Board (SUD OPB), oversees, advises and makes recommendations regarding SWMBH’s budgets for substance use disorder treatment or prevention using Public Act (PA 2) Funds, and advises and makes recommendations regarding contracts with substance use disorder treatment or prevention providers. The SWMBH SUDOPB members are appointed by one of the County Commissions in each of the eight Counties in the SWMBH SUDOPB region. The SUD OPB and the Board of Directors work independently to achieve optimal efficiency and to maximize our impact in the areas that we serve.

Board of Directors

Applying his Master degree in Clinical Psychology, School Psychology, Master Degree in Clinical and Macro Social Work, as well as his National Certification for School Psychology, Tom advocates for children, adolescents and adults with mental health needs and substance use disorders. Tom is a retired school psychologist. He has served as a Community Mental Health Board member for the past twenty-five years and is currently Chairman of the Board at Pines Behavioral Health.

Tom Schmelzer
Vice-Chair
Branch County
Primary

Serving as the Vice Chair of the SWMBH Board, Edward is passionate about giving back to the community and serving where needed. He is interested in Community Mental Health and compassionate about the consumers served. He has an extensive history working on numerous boards including the St. Joseph Charter Township Board of Trustees, Berrien County Community Mental Health Board, and St. Joseph Public Schools Board. He attended Michigan State University as well as Western Michigan University.

Ed Meny
Chair
Berrien County
Primary

As a retired educator, Susan devoted her professional career to elementary school age children with special needs. She worked with children in Resource Rooms as well as self-contained Cognitively Impaired Classrooms in the Paw Paw Public School system for 24 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a K-12 Certification from Central Michigan University. Susan has decided to continue her community support for consumers by serving on both the SWMBH and Van Buren Community Mental Health boards.

Susan Barnes
Secretary
Van Buren County
Primary

• Educational Background: Graduate of New York University with B.S. English Education. Licensed K-12, 7-12 English. Graduate work for Special Education and Reading at Post University, Long Island, NY and Western Michigan for Continuing Education and Certification in Michigan.

• Professional History: Taught in NYC City School System. Taught under Title I Reading Mohansic, New York. Taught in autism program as part of POST graduate work and then at Harmony Heights Residential School for girls diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders in Oyster Bay, NY. Finished teaching career in private school setting in Kalamazoo.
• Board member BCCMHA. Member of Recipient Rights Committee BCCMHA and Appeals Committee. Have served on the BCCMHA since 2016. Was encouraged by Bob Nelson to interview for the position after sharing common family experiences with suicide and mental health and my experiences in New York at a residential school for high school girls who had emotional and behavioral disorders. I work with other committees and through the GFWC-GLA Women’s Club that includes four townships and 100 members to highlight mental health needs. This is the way I try to give back after being fortunate enough to often be on the receiving end.

• Interest in serving: Bob Nelson has been hospitalized for a nine weeks in ICU and will have a long recovery period. Our alternate, Bob Becker is unable to attend all the SWMBH meeting in Bob Nelson’s stead. I know that Bob N. enjoyed his tenure on SWMBH and I have always been interested in the reporting between our organization and the role we play within SWMBH.

Ruth Perino
Board Member
Barry County
Primary

Angie is a Western Michigan University graduate and has used her education to work with Head Start and Great Start Collaborative in multiple roles. As a Parent Liaison with the Parent Coalition, she ensured children are developmentally ready to succeed in school and in life. Angie’s commitment is to making a difference in the lives of others and serves as a Board Member for the Van Buren Community Mental Health Authority Board and SWMBH.

Angie Dickerson
Board Alternate
Van Buren County
Alternate

Educated in criminal justice and employed within the Michigan Department of Corrections system for nearly 30 years, Jon continues to serve his community believing that in order to have a strong healthy society, quality mental health services have to be available. Elected as a County Commissioner for multiple terms, Jon’s keen awareness is a valuable asset to the Branch County Pines Behavioral Health Services and Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health Boards.

Jon Houtz
Board Alternate
Branch County
Alternate

Kathy-Sue Vette is a Commissioner for Calhoun County District 1. As part of the Commission, she serves as Chair of the Calhoun Visitor Bureau and a member of the Calhoun County Board of Health. Kathy-Sue also serves as a member of various community entities, including Southwest Michigan First and Southwest Michigan Community Development Corporation. She also currently serves as Chairwoman of the Kellogg Community College Foundation and a founding member of Women of Impact Battle Creek.

Kathy Sue Vette
Board Alternate
Calhoun County
Alternate

Before retiring in 2018, Mike was employed with Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network in Cass County, serving for seven years on the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Team. Following a career in retail management for companies in Chicago and Kalamazoo, Mike decided to return to college in 1990 and earn his B.S.W. degree in order to enter the helping professions. After graduating, he was employed in a senior administrative capacity for fourteen years with the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, Indiana. As a former Woodlands client (the term he prefers over 'customer' or 'consumer') himself, Mike is passionate about ensuring the rights of all clients, including universal access to highly professional and empathetic provision of services.

Michael McShane
Board Member
Cass County
Primary
Randy Hyrns
Board Alternate
Berrien County
Alternate

Patricia is a current member of the Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Board. She is retired from the Kalamazoo City Commission as well as Western Michigan University Office of Public Service. She holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Western Michigan University. Patricia is enthusiastic about serving those in our community with mental health disabilities to live their best lives.

Patricia Guenther
Board Alternate
Kalamazoo County
Alternate

Committed to the dignified treatment of all persons, Robert has an extensive history of serving adolescents in the public school system. With a Doctorate of Education Degree from Eastern Michigan University and Master Degree in Educational Leadership, Robert has served in the Public School System for nearly twenty years. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Barry County Mental Health Authority and is dedicated to serving special populations in the community in a continued effort to fight for their right to dignified treatment.

Robert Becker
Board Alternate
Barry County
Alternate
Cathi Abbs
Board Member
St. Joseph County
Alternate

Patrick Garrett is owner of Garrett Healthcare Consulting and former CEO of the Battle Creek Health System. He has also served as CEO of hospitals in Montana, Missouri, and Florida. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Ferris State University and a Master's Degree in Health Services Management from the University of Missouri. He has served on various area nonprofit boards and committees since moving to Battle Creek in 1999.

Patrick Garrett
Board Member
Calhoun County
Primary
Erik Krogh
Board Member
Kalamazoo County
Primary

As a retired special education teacher, then the Coordinator for Special Education for Berrien Springs Public Schools, Jan knows that the need for high quality mental health care in today’s society outweighs the availability and accessibility of services. As a Curriculum Director for several years, she worked with staff members to meet students where they were, focusing not only on academic achievement, but on their social and emotional development, as well. Her current focus is with an online group of volunteers supporting those who are survivors of suicide loss, and with her church in a grief support group. Because she lost her son to suicide in 2018, she has developed a deep interest in further reducing the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness and hopes to work with her county in developing prevention and survivor opportunities using volunteers. Jan is beginning her fourth year as a Board Member for the Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County.

Janet Bermingham
Board Member
St. Joseph County
Primary
Mary Middleton
Board Member
Cass County
Alternate
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