ATLANTA - Mackinac Health Care Consultants President Clint Bohlen presented information to the Montmorency County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday about the progress of the Northeast Michigan Children's Behavioral Health Initiative and where the program is headed in the near future.
Bohlen said the Northeast Michigan Children's Behavior Health Initiative is a WK Kellogg Foundation-funded children's health initiative with an objective to treat behavioral issues that create hindrances and barriers to achieving stability and success.
"Behavioral health is the greatest need for children," he said. "Thunder Bay Community Health services are open in Hillman and we would like to open another in Montmorency, in Atlanta or Lewiston."
However, the main focus of the presentation involves the Day One abuse prevention program that will serve 15 families in Montmorency. Bohlen said the program ultimately would keep children in safe, constructive, healthy, and secure families while focusing on life long successes and school.
"The Day One program is a parenting education program that will improve homes and eliminate child abuse and neglect. Our only concern is sustainability, and finding alternative funding to support it," he said.
According to Bohlen, Kellogg will fund $77,000, but $33,500 would need to be matched through child care funds. However, he said the Day One program will save the county money through its extensive 12-24 month program that operates through at risk families for abuse and neglect.
"It's all about the kids ...we'll do it with as many families as we can," he said.
The Day One abuse program is projected to begin in Montmorency County by Dec. 1, while the initiative continues to move forward. WK Kellogg Foundation awarded $2.4 million over three years for a two phase children's health project, primarily serving children 12 years old and under, who live in Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties.
In other business:
Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.