**PHOTO ADVISORY**

For Immediate Release       Contact: Patrick Tiedt
Feb. 3, 2014         517-373-1725

LANSING? Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, and Centra Wellness Network executive director Chip Johnston (left) tell members of the Senate Health Policy Committee on Wednesday about the importance of improving mental health services. Johnston expressed his support for Booher’s bill, Senate Bill 713, to allow community mental health service programs to partner with health care providers such as hospitals, health systems and physician groups to better provide services to mental health patients.

“This would permit community mental health programs to have an active participation in the total treatment of a patient for the benefit of the health care consumers and the taxpayers,” Booher said. “The coordination of all essential medical and behavioral care will be done more easily, which is very important in our rural areas.”

Under SB 713, a community mental health services program would be able to partner with entities that provide and/or manage health care and rehabilitative services for purposes directly related to fulfilling the general health, welfare and service obligations of the programs.

Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, plans to introduce similar legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives soon.

A print-quality version of the above photograph of Booher and Johnston is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center Tab.