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Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority

Willie Brooks
Oakland County

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority has named Willie Brooks its new CEO.

This is actually the second time Brooks has been offered the job as head of the state’s largest community mental health services provider.

Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

Wayne County Prosector Kym Worthy has charged a former Michigan State Police trooper with 2nd degree murder. Last summer, Mark Bessner fired his Taser from a patrol car during a chase in Detroit. The Taser struck a teenager who was fleeing police on an all-terrain vehicle. The 15-year-old crashed the ATV and died. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the case.


Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Lansing has put Michigan’s biggest mental health agency on notice that its state certification may be in jeopardy.

That agency is the Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority. This year, it doled out over $700 million to community mental health service providers serving about 80,000 people.

The warning came in a December 18th letter from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to DWMHA leaders, after Michigan Radio reported on concerns about how the Authority conducts business.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is under fire for wasting millions of its $730 million Medicaid budget on overpayments to subcontractors, which its board frequently chooses not to recoup.  

That means fewer dollars are getting to people in need.

But there's no question the authority still helps a lot of people with essential services that improve the quality of their lives. Eighty-thousand of them, in fact.

Wikimedia Commons

The state Office of the Inspector General is recommending new language be included in the next contract between the state and its 46 mental health authorities and community mental health agencies.

That's after a botched CEO search brought attention to the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority board's pattern of not recouping millions of dollars in over billing and waste from its subcontractors.

Tracy Samilton

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority can't seem to seal the deal with a new CEO.

The state's largest such authority is responsible for a more than $700 million Medicaid budget to care for 80,000 people with mental illness, developmental disorders, and substance abuse disorders.  

The decision by two consecutive CEO choices to pull out of contract negotiations with the authority is bringing long-overdue attention to the way the authority spends its money and manages contracts.  

New Center Community Services

Joy Calloway has withdrawn from contract talks to lead the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) as CEO.

The move came after Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, who appoints six members of the authority's board, wrote two letters to board chairman Herbert Smitherman asking that the offer to Calloway be rescinded, because of a conflict of interest.

Calloway is CEO of New Center Community Services, an agency that receives funds from the DWMHA.  An audit recently found that New Center may have overbilled DWMHA by nearly two million dollars.  But the board decided to settle the matter for $95,000, the amount found in a 5% sampling of New Center's claims.

Calloway wrote an impassioned letter to two members of the board on the search committee, in which she said she was retracting her acceptance because "it is abundantly clear that I am not the candidate the

Warren Evans
Warren Evans on Instagram

  The state's largest mental health authority has selected Joy Calloway as its next CEO, but Wayne County Executive Warren Evans says the board should resolve a conflict of interest before hiring her.

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is currently in contract negotiations with Calloway. 

The authority has a budget of over $700 million, and cares for 80,000 people with mental health and substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities in Detroit and Wayne County.