MARQUETTE - Former Marquette County resident Paul Palmer was presented with the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards' Partners in Excellence Award at the association's fall conference recently in Traverse City.
A 1983 graduate of Westwood High School, Palmer is a member of the board of directors of the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties and a longtime advocate for persons with disabilities
The Partners in Excellence recognizes individuals who have advanced the cause of community-based mental health services and worked to reduce and eliminate stigma in the public's perception of mental health and developmental disability needs.
Westwood High School graduate Paul Palmer, left, receives an award from the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards. Presenting him with the honor is Bob Sheehan, executive director of the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, Ingham counties.
The award is voted on annually.
For decades Palmer has committed himself as an advocate and an individual dedicated to advancing the field of behavioral health and developmental disabilities services, according to information provided by the association. He was the acting chairman for the Michigan Protection and Advocacy for Developmental Disabilities from 1990-1992. He later apply his advocacy efforts to the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Michigan and the Marquette County Transit Authority, to ensure that the rights of full citizenship were provided for persons with disability in all facets of life, including public transportation.
Palmer then moved to Lansing, allowing him to work with a number of efforts that centered in the Capital region. He was appointed to the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council and has served for the past several years. He has served as the co-chair for the Public Policy Committee, co-chair of the Transportation Workgroup and co-chair of the Health Issues Work Group, as well as a member of the board of directors of the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties.
He is also one of this CMH's representatives on the Steering Committee of the Community Mental Health Affiliation of Mid-Michigan.
Palmer represents the interests of the CMHA-CEI and the Community Mental Health Affiliation of Mid Michigan accurately and passionately.
"Paul's advocacy has always been guided by the long view. With an advocacy record that spans greater than two decades, Paul retains his passion to press forward toward full citizenship for persons with disabilities," said Robert Sheehan, executive director of the CMHA-CEI. "This passion is sharpened by the wisdom that comes from experience - experience gained in his continual efforts to improve the quality of life for Michigan's citizens, especially those with disabilities."