Tri-county officials gather for annual summit


Gathering at the 15th Tri-County Summit at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial were (left to right) Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chair David Woodward, Wayne County Commission Chair Alisha Bell and Macomb County Board of Commissioners Chair Don Brown.
(Photo courtesy of Oakland County Board of Commissioners)

Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne county legislators met recently at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial for the 15th Tri-County Summit.

Attendees received an update on progress towards regional goals on broadband equity, and they explored new ways to collaborate on behavioral health and electrification solutions.

To finish the day, leaders from each county formed a behavioral health task force and committed to finding solutions to support an electric vehicle future.

“Collectively, as county leaders, we are stepping forward to address the challenges in mental health and the electrification of the automobile,” said Macomb County Board of Commissioners Chair Don Brown (R-Washington Twp.).  “The pooling of ideas and resources will generate a more efficient and positive result.”

With the continued theme of “Moving Forward. Moving Together,” participants continued to develop ways to work together to improve and strengthen the region’s approach on shared issues. The Merit Moonshot Project presented on the tri-county broadband survey, an outcome from the 2022 summit that is seeking resident feedback regarding high-speed internet service accessibility, affordability and availability.   

“Together we can accomplish more, and the Tri-County Summit provides us a regular opportunity to join forces and have the conversations that increase regional collaboration like never before,” said Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chair David T. Woodward (D-Royal Oak). “Whether through partnering on the broadband survey, gaining a better understanding of behavioral health or exploring comprehensive solutions for our electric future, we have demonstrated time and time again that we are stronger together.”  

In addition, Nicole Faulds, Macomb County Juvenile Division administrator, and David Joseph, Macomb County Court program director, presented on juveniles with behavioral health issues and their risk of interaction with the justice system, plus interventions to prevent these instances. Wayne County Probate Court Judge Freddie G. Burton Jr. provided the group with insight on the Wayne County Jail Mental Health Initiative, which seeks to end the cycle of incarcerating individuals with mental health disorders. Burton also facilitated a panel discussion between Eric Doeh, president and CEO of Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network; Dana Lasenby, executive director/CEO of Oakland Community Health Network; and Captain Lori Misch, jail
administrator at the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. During this session, panelists explored efforts and programming being undertaken by each county to address individuals with behavioral needs in the justice systems.

“There is perhaps no more pressing issue than behavioral health,” Wayne County Commission Chair Alisha Bell (D-Detroit) said. “All three of our counties and, indeed, every county, is challenged with finding new and better solutions in assuring those with issues receive the help they need. We must work together to break the cycle where individuals are arrested, jailed and released over and over again. The panel offered significant input on how we can do just that, leading to better outcomes for all.”

County commissioners and attendees also heard from experts that represented a cross-section of the electric vehicle industry, including those from DTE Energy, General Motors and ChargePoint, which operates the largest online network of independently owned EV charging stations.

Following all sessions, Brown, Woodward, and Bell announced the formation of the Tri-County Behavioral Health Task Force, which will examine methods to share behavioral health information through existing health information networks and solicit additional ideas for addressing behavioral health within justice systems. Additionally, the counties committed to supporting holistic efforts that create a region that enables electric vehicles.

The Tri-County Summit was first hosted in 1998 to create a forum to identify common issues for cooperative action. Previous topics have included mental health, criminal justice, transportation/transit, economic development and regional quality of life.


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