Call to Action for an Aging Michigan: Increased Demand for Health Services and Innovation

November 19, 2019

Agenda

As baby boomers continue to expand as a percent of Michigan’s population, new demands will be placed on our health and healthcare delivery systems. Innovative new programs will be required to continue to meet these growing demands. This forum featured a panel of experts who described how an aging Michigan will create new stresses on the health and healthcare delivery systems, and to discuss innovations that are emerging to meet the growing need.

Forum video: click here to open the forum video player in a new window

Speaker Presentations

Forum Speakers

Randolph Rasch photo

Randolph Rasch, PhD, RN, FAANP

Dean, MSU College of Nursing

Dr. Randolph Rasch is Dean and Professor of the Michigan State University College of Nursing. He has been the Director/Coordinator of two well-known family nurse practitioner (FNP) programs. Dr. Rasch has over twenty-five years of experience teaching in BSN, MSN, DNP and PhD programs in nursing. He has published and presented in the areas of primary care, HIV risk reduction, and diversity in health care education and clinical practice. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Dr. Rasch served as Chair of the Department of Community Practice Nursing in the School of Nursing at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and as the Director of two well-known family nurse practitioner programs in the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Rasch was the first State-wide Director of Nursing Services/Programs Director in the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), where he provided leadership and direction for nursing services, and assisted the Director of Health Services with the overall development, management, and operation of Health Services in the TDOC. As part of a three-member management team, Dr. Rasch was responsible for designing and implementing a system of health care for the TDOC, and as Programs Director, leading the development and facilitating the implementation of the Quality Assurance Program for Health Services in the TDOC.

Dr. Rasch has consulted on a multitude of projects including analysis of nursing productivity and workload, and process improvement. Notably, his expertise is in the area of primary care and community health, particularly the roles, functions and appropriate skill mix for all levels of nursing; licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, advanced practice nurses/nurse practitioners, and cultural diversity in healthcare services.

Dr. Rasch’s clinical experiences as a registered nurse include charge nurse on a surgical unit in a community hospital and public health nurse (PHN) and PHN Team Leader and home health nurse in a county health department. As a FNP, he has provided care in a prison system; a corporate health care center; and a nurse managed clinic recognized as a clinical agency by the NC Board of Nursing.

A Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) and a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow in the National Academies of Practice (DS&FNAP), Dr. Rasch holds the distinction of being the first African American male graduate of the nursing program at Andrews University, and the first African American male Masters-prepared FNP (a graduate of the FNP program at Vanderbilt School of Nursing). He is the first African American male to hold a PhD in nursing, and was the first African American male public health nurse in the State of Michigan.

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Jeffrey Kullgren, MD, MS, MPH

Associate Director of the National Poll on Health Aging, University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation

Jeffrey Kullgren, MD, MS, MPH, is a Research Scientist in the VA Health Services Research & Development Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Kullgren holds undergraduate and medical degrees from Michigan State University and a master of public health degree from the University of Michigan. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kullgren's research aims to improve patient decisions about preventive behaviors and utilization of health care services. The main focus of his work is identifying effective and scalable approaches to promote modification of behavioral risk factors among patients at high risk for developing chronic diseases. Dr. Kullgren's Health Services Research & Development Career Development Award is focused on identifying new opportunities to improve Veteran engagement in evidence-based ways to prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus. (Source)

Angela Witwer photo

Rep. Angela Witwer

Michigan House of Representatives District 71

State Rep. Angela Witwer is serving her first term representing the 71st House District, which includes much of Eaton County and the cities of the cities of Charlotte, Olivet, Potterville, Grand Ledge, parts of Lansing, as well as the townships of Bellevue, Benton, Carmel, Chester, Delta Charter Eaton Rapids, Kalamo, Oneida Charter, Roxand, Sunfield, Vermontville, Walton, and Windsor Charter. An alumnus of Waverly Community Schools, Witwer went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Northwood University.

Witwer began her professional career in clinical health care, working first in Sparrow Hospital’s burn unit and later as the manager of pediatric rehabilitation. This desire to help others, coupled with her clinical expertise, propelled her to become manager of Sparrow’s community relations and marketing department.

After 22 years working in health care, Witwer left Sparrow in 2007 to co-found Edge Partnerships, an award-winning public relations, marketing and advocacy group. During this time, she was a strong advocate for quality public education and community engagement, serving as the vice president of Waverly Community Schools’ Board of Education and was an active member of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Economic Club committee, and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts Advisory Council and the McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation Board of Directors. (Source)

Cunningham Paula photo

Paula Cunningham, MLIR

Director, AARP Michigan

Paula D. Cunningham is the State Director for AARP Michigan which has more than 1.4 million members. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization with a membership of nearly 38 million. They work to lead positive change and deliver value to all people 50+.

Prior to joining AARP Michigan, Paula D. Cunningham was the CEO of Capitol National Bank (CNB). CNB has been in the community for more than 32 years. She was the only African American woman in the country to be president of a majority owned bank.

Prior to joining Capitol National Bank Ms. Cunningham was the first woman to be President of Lansing Community College. Lansing Community College has more than 30,000 students and is the State’s 3rd largest community college. As President of Lansing Community College, she successfully led a community millage campaign to generate an additional $9 million for the institution into perpetuity. Under her leadership, the college implemented a strategic planning process that resulted in five new buildings. The main building on the LCC campus was officially named the Paula D. Cunningham Administration Building in 2006. This is the only building named after a woman in downtown Lansing.

President Cunningham has also been a small business owner. She and her husband owned and managed an 18-hole golf course and she was the founder of an entrepreneurial academy for young people.

Paula Diane Cunningham’s dedication to education, small business and community has been recognized by many organizations. She has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career, including the 2016 Michigan Black Caucus Trailblazer Award, being inducted in to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, a former recipient of the prestigious Athena Award, featured in Ebony Magazine as a “Woman on the Move” and featured in Bridge Magazine as a woman who “Breaks Barriers”, as well as other featured articles.

Paula serves on numerous boards including, but not limited to Davenport University, McLaren Health Systems – Lansing, and she was the first African American female to Chair the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board.

Alexis Travis photo

Alexis Travis, PhD

MDHHS Senior Deputy Director of Aging and Adult Services

Dr. Alexis Travis is senior deputy director of MDHHS’s Aging & Adult Services Agency, where she oversees an agency that provides statewide leadership, direction and resources to support Michigan’s aging, adult services and disability networks.

Dr. Travis previously served as director of MDHHS’s Bureau of Health and Wellness within its Population Health Administration, where she managed the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control and the Division of HIV and STD Programs. In that role, she collaborated with internal and external stakeholders to develop a state dementia plan and established a state-level public health workgroup on healthy aging.

Prior to her work at MDHHS, she worked as chief of community health for the Worcester Department of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts, where she managed the Community Health Improvement Plan and was a champion of health equity while working effectively with diverse community stakeholders – including older adults and people with disabilities. Earlier in her career, she was a payer operations manager for Athena Health and chapter director of program services and state director of program services for March of Dimes New England.

Dr. Travis holds a doctorate in public health from Walden University in Minnesota, a master’s degree of pharmacy with honors from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom and was a participant in the Socrates/Erasmus Student Exchange Program at the University of Salamanca in Spain. (Source)

Clare Luz photo

Clare Luz, PhD

Director of Research, Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Osteopathic Medicine; Director, IMPART Alliance

Dr. Clare Luz is a gerontologist, Associate Professor in Family and Community Medicine, and founding Director of AgeAlive, a program to foster age-related networking, information exchange and partnerships across Michigan State University. Her commitment to work on behalf of older adults spans 40 years. Prior to joining MSU in 1998, Dr. Luz worked for 15 years as a geriatric social worker in long-term care settings and six years as a consultant with nursing homes for staff development and case management.

Dr. Luz’s research addresses aspects of health and long-term care that have an impact on optimal aging and quality of life for frail and vulnerable older adults and those who care for them. The majority has focused on the eldercare workforce, particularly the direct care workers. She is currently the PI on a 2-year project titled IMPART Alliance, funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, aimed at building an infrastructure in Michigan for developing and supporting the personal care aide workforce.

Michelle Moccia photo

Michelle Moccia, DNP, ANP-BC, CCRN

Program Director Level One Senior ER, St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Dr. Michelle Moccia is the Program Director of Michigan’s first-ever Senior ER Center, which opened in July 2010 at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Michigan. Besides working in the Emergency Department, she also performs comprehensive gero assessments in the Senior Wellness Clinic. Michelle has been a Registered Nurse since 1975. She has devoted more than three decades of her life to emergency room nursing, nurse training, and partnering with EMS agencies, community groups, and senior care centers to promote the wellness and special care needs of seniors.

Resources

Links

  1. National Poll on Healthy Aging
  2. National Poll on Healthy Aging Reports
  3. Making a Difference for Aging Populations and the People Who Help Them – Research@MSU
  4. Stateside: Rep. Tlaib visits border; preparing for the “silver tsunami”; buying insulin in Canada – Michigan Radio
  5. Expert: Michigan Needs 32,000 Home Health Care Workers By 2020 – WKAR
  6. MHA Keystone Center to Launch Initiative to Support Needs of Older Adults – Michigan Health & Hospital Association
  7. Michigan is No. 1! At getting old. That’s not good news. – Bridge Magazine
  8. Michigan superintendent: Need more career tech, teachers, mental health care – Bridge Magazine
  9. Alzheimer’s in Michigan: The coming storm – Bridge Magazine
  10. Michigan’s elderly support services buckle as residents age – Cheboygan Daily Tribune
  11. Cargill: Help seniors remain healthy and independent with home health payment innovation – Lansing State Journal
  12. Homelessness increases across the state, especially for senior citizens, families – Michigan Advance
  13. On-site health care could help seniors stay at home – Michigan Advance
  14. As the fastest-aging state in nation, Michigan joins national AARP effort – Michigan Advance
  15. Podcast: Immigrants A Large Share Of Community-Based Health Care Workers - Health Affairs
  16. Historical Mismatch Between Home-Based Care Policies And Laws Governing Home Care Workers – Health Affairs
  17. The Forgotten Middle: Many Middle-Income Seniors Will Have Insufficient Resources For Housing And Health Care – Health Affairs
  18. Cross-Sector Collaborations To Decrease Loneliness And Social Isolation In Older Adults – Health Affairs
  19. Care For America’s Elderly And Disabled People Relies On Immigrant Labor – Health Affairs
  20. The Ethics Of Population Aging: Precarity, Justice, And Choice – Health Affairs
  21. Work-Related Opportunity Costs Of Providing Unpaid Family Care In 2013 And 2050 – Health Affairs
  22. Community Care For High-Need Patients – Health Affairs
  23. Mobilizing Public Health To Support Elders’ Longevity And Thriving – Health Affairs
  24. Challenges For Middle-Income Elders In An Aging Society – Health Affairs
  25. Violence In Older Adults: Scope, Impact, Challenges, And Strategies For Prevention – Health Affairs
  26. Dedicated Teams Keep Seniors Out of Hospital – Medscape
  27. In Support of Family Caregivers: A Snapshot of Five States – Milbank Memorial Fund
  28. Nursing home staffing levels often fall below CMS expectations – Modern Healthcare
  29. The Forgotten Middle: Middle Market Seniors Housing Study – National Investment Center
  30. Feeling Lonely? Perhaps You’d Like to Talk to Some Strangers – New York Times
  31. ‘I Put My Own Life on Hold’: The Pain and Joy of Caring for Parents – The New York Times
  32. 'This will be catastrophic': Maine families face elder boom, worker shortage in preview of nation's future – MSN
  33. California needs master plan for aging – San Francisco Chronicle
  34. Toolkit: State Strategies to Support Older Adults Aging in Place in Rural Areas – The John A. Hartford Foundation
  35. Article: Chairman’s File - Creating Age-Friendly Health Systems - The John A. Hartford Foundation
  36. Report: Preparing the Current and Future Health Care Workforce for Interprofessional Practice in Sustainable, Age-Friendly Health Systems – The John A. Hartford Foundation
  37. On-Site Health Care Could Help Seniors Stay at Home – PEW
  38. Medicare Beneficiaries with Serious Illnesses Report Problems Paying Bills – The Commonwealth Fund
  39. Older Adults, Not Yet Eligible for Medicare, Most Likely to Struggle with Premiums and Deductibles – Kaiser Family Foundation
  40. Why So Many Older Americans Rate Their Health As Good Or Even Excellent – Kaiser Health News
  41. In Search Of Age-Friendly Health Care, Finding Room For Improvement – Kaiser Health News
  42. Starving Seniors: How America Fails To Feed Its Aging – Kaiser Health News
  43. ‘Fear Of Falling’: How Hospitals Do Even More Harm By Keeping Patients In Bed – Kaiser Health News
  44. More Seniors Are Dying In Falls. Doctors Could Do More To Reduce The Risk. – Kaiser Health News
  45. In Secret, Seniors Discuss ‘Rational Suicide’ – Kaiser Health News
  46. In 10 Years, Half Of Middle-Income Elders Won’t Be Able To Afford Housing, Medical Care – Kaiser Health News
  47. Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings – Kaiser Health News
  48. Drumbeat Builds For A Peace Corps Of Caregivers – Kaiser Health News
  49. Voices: How Should California Address The Needs Of Its Aging Population? – Kaiser Health News
  50. In Search Of Age-Friendly Health Care, Finding Room For Improvement – Kaiser Health News
  51. State Policy Innovations to Support Family Caregivers – National Academy for State Health Policy
  52. More than 1 in 10 U.S. elderly are binge drinkers – Reuters
  53. Caregiver depression tied to more ER visits for dementia patients – Reuters
  54. The health care system isn't ready to replace aging caregivers – Politico
  55. Why Medicare Is Focused On Food Insecurity – Forbes
  56. Humana: ‘Unhealthy Days’ For Seniors Drop As Social Determinants Screened – Forbes
  57. Risk Factors Associated With Food Insecurity in the Medicare Population – JAMA Internal Medicine
  58. Stop Me if You've Heard This One: A Robot and a Team of Irish Scientists Walk Into a Senior Living Home – TIME
  59. U.S. wages lost to unpaid family care to hit $147 billion by 2050 – Business Insider

Files

  1. State Advisory Council on Aging 2019 Report
  2. Disrupting Disparities: The Continuum of Care for Michiganders 50 and Older – AARP Michigan
  3. The Age Friendly Health System: Transforming Practice: The 4M’s – Joanne Grosh, Michelle Moccia; St. Joseph Mercy Health System
  4. The IHI Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community: An Invitation to Join Us – Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  5. The MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community: An Invitation to Join Us
  6. Aging-related Resources (February 2019)
  7. Capacity-Building Toolkit for including Aging & Disability Networks in Emergency Planning – NACCHO
  8. National Support for Aging Well: How Organizations are Adapting Evidence-Based Programs to Include Persons with Disabilities – NACCHO
  9. Critical Lifelines: Portraits and Stories of Home Care Workers – Exhibit Booklet
  10. Impact of Integrated Plans Fact Sheet (June 2019) – National MLTSS Health Plan Association
  11. The Direct Care Workforce Shortage: Key Points – IMPART Alliance
  12. Personal Care Aide Training Reduces Turnover Costs and Can Increase Wages – IMPART Alliance
  13. The Older Michiganians Act and Michigan’s Aging Network – Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging
  14. Michigan’s Direct-Care Workforce: A Smart Target for Creating Better Opportunities, Better Jobs – PHI Michigan

New People and New Policies

May 20, 2019

Downloads

Healthcare leaders from the Whitmer Administration and the Legislature discussed the compelling health care issues facing Michigan in the coming years. Video of the event is available below or on MSU MediaSpace.

Forum Speakers

Robert Gordon photo

Robert Gordon

Director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Robert Gordon serves as the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, where he oversees Medicaid programs, Children’s Protective Services, food assistance, public health and many other statewide health and human services programs.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed him to the position effective Jan. 14, 2019.

Director Gordon has a distinguished career in public service. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of finance and global strategy for the non-profit College Board.

Prior to joining the College Board, Director Gordon served in the U.S. Department of Education as acting assistant secretary at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. He spent four years at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, including service as acting deputy director. He has been described as the quarterback for President Barack Obama administration’s evidence-based policymaking initiatives, which closely tied program funding to quality evaluation.

In his time at OMB, Gordon also led design of innovative initiatives in maternal and infant home visiting, early childhood development, and child welfare. He had direct responsibility for overseeing the Administration for Children and Families and Administration on Aging at the Department of Health and Human Services, food and nutrition programs at the Department of Agriculture, and the Social Security Administration.

Earlier in his career, Director Gordon held a key position at the New York City Department of Education, orchestrating a fair student funding approach that has persisted through multiple school chancellors. He also has served as a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, a law guardian in abuse and neglect cases at the Legal Aid Society of New York, and a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In his first policy job, he worked in the White House helping to establish AmeriCorps, the national service program.

Director Gordon earned his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and his J.D. from Yale University. He has two children.

Janet Olszewski photo

Janet Olszewski

Senior Fellow, Michigan Health Endowment Fund

Janet Olszewski joined the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in May, 2016 as a Senior Fellow where she developed the Health Fund’s evaluation strategy and now directs the Health Fund’s policy and research activities. Prior to joining MHEF Janet spent 27 years working for the State of Michigan in a variety of positions covering aging, maternal and child health, Medicaid, public health, and regulatory programs. Her career in state government culminated with her appointment as the Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health where she directed all publicly funded public health, mental health, Medicaid and other health coverage programs for the state of Michigan with an annual budget of $14 billion and a staff of 4000. Ms. Olszewski served in this position from 2003-2010.

Upon leaving state government, Ms. Olszewski joined Health Management Associates as a Principal, where she assisted clients with strategic planning and positioning related to the Affordable Care Act, health reform and state health care developments. More recently, Janet was the Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives and Public Policy for Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan. Ms. Olszewski has served on several state and national committees. She holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University.

Sarah Esty photo

Sarah Esty

Senior Deputy Director, Policy and Planning Administration, MDHHS

Sarah Esty is the deputy director of the Policy and Planning Administration for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In that role, Esty oversees the Policy and Innovation Division, the Office of Planning, the Bureau of Community Services and Michigan Rehabilitation Services, coordinating a wide variety of programs that provide housing to low-income people, offer services to children in schools, reduce health disparities, provide training and education assistance to those with disabilities and connect families with weatherization assistance.

Previously, Esty worked as a consultant focusing on healthcare and state/local government projects. In this role she advised state health, budget and tax agencies, city executives and state university leaders on topics including Medicaid payment innovation, organizational design, organizational health and culture, lean process redesign and national best practices in healthcare, workforce development and other areas.

She began her career as an advocate and policy researcher for low-income children and families in Connecticut, where she worked with the state legislature and state agencies to improve policies and fund critical programs related to early childhood care and education, healthcare, juvenile justice and workforce development. She has worked on retirement security, local and tribal economic development and the school lunch program at the White House National Economic Council, and has coordinated voter protection efforts in several states as part of a presidential campaign. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and her J.D. and MBA from Yale University.

Joneigh Khaldun photo

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun

Chief Deputy Director for Health and Chief Medical Executive, MDHHS

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointment of Dr. Joneigh Khaldun as Chief Deputy Director for Health and Chief Medical Executive (CME) for the department. Khaldun formerly served as Director and Health Officer for the Detroit Health Department and is a practicing emergency physician at Henry Ford Hospital.

In this new role, Khaldun will oversee the MDHHS’ Population Health, Medical Services, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities administrations as well as the Aging and Adult Services Agency. As CME she will serve Michigan citizens by providing professional medical leadership, expertise and coordination in addressing public health issues, workforce issues, and health policy development to the MDHHS.

The Office of the Chief Medical Executive in the Department of Health and Human Services will help to protect and promote public health in Michigan by advising the Governor and the Department on public health issues, assessing the state of public health in Michigan and communicating health information to the public.

Dr. Khaldun has led several coordinated public health responses, including Detroit’s response to the largest Hepatitis A outbreak in Michigan history, vaccinating over 8,500 residents and establishing vaccination procedures in hospitals, clinics and social service agencies. She led Baltimore’s nationally recognized response to the opioid epidemic, expanding access to naloxone and treatment.

Dr. Khaldun served as Director and Health Officer at the Detroit Health Department since 2017 and previously served as its Medical Director. She joined the Detroit Health Department from her position as Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Commissioner for Clinical Services at the Baltimore City Health Department.

In 2018, Dr. Khaldun was selected for the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award by the National Minority Quality Forum and was named a Kresge Foundation Emerging Leaders in Public Health Fellow.

Khaldun has a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology from the University of Michigan, a Medical Doctorate (M.D.) degree from Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree in health policy from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Mary Whiteford photo

State Rep. Mary Whiteford

80th District in the Michigan House of Representatives

DISTRICT
State Rep. Mary Whiteford was first elected to serve the 80th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in March 2016. The 80th District includes the cities of Allegan, Fennville, part of Holland, Otsego, Plainwell, Saugatuck, and part of South Haven. She also represents the village of Douglas city and the townships of Allegan, Casco, Cheshire, Clyde, Fillmore, Ganges, Gun Plain, Heath, Hopkins, Laketown, Lee, Manlius, Martin, Monterey, Otsego, Overisel, Salem, Saugatuck, Trowbridge, Valley and Watson.

COMMITTEES
Rep. Whiteford will serve as chair of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee for the 2019-20 legislative term. She will also serve as a member of the Health Policy Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Joint Capitol Outlay.

EDUCATION
Whiteford earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Illinois University.

PROFESSIONAL
Whiteford worked in a pediatric neurosurgery unit before working in a pediatric emergency unit. In 1997 she started an accounting business with her husband, Kevin, and they now run their own financial planning firm.

PUBLIC OFFICE AND AFFILIATIONS
Whiteford was an active volunteer in her children’s schools, ran homeowner associations, was appointed to city committees and was appointed to the Michigan Women’s Commission where she worked on raising human trafficking awareness.

PERSONAL
Rep. Whiteford grew up in the Midwest, in the small town of Cary, Illinois and is the oldest of four children. She met her husband, Kevin, in college and they have three adult children and two grandchildren. Whiteford and her husband live in Casco Township.

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Sen. Curt VanderWall

35th Senate District

In November 2018, residents of Michigan’s 35th Senate District elected Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, to the state Senate, representing the counties of Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon and Wexford.

VanderWall chairs the Health Policy and Human Services Committee and serves as vice chair of the Economic and Small Business Development Committee and the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. In addition, he is a member of the following four committees: Elections, Environmental Quality, Finance, and Regulatory Reform.

Prior to joining the Senate, VanderWall served two years in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the 101st District.

VanderWall is the owner of Turf Care Mole Man of Ludington. Before that, he worked with Eberhard foods and Prevo’s Family Market for much of his adult life. He also served on the board of Old Kent Bank as well as the Mason County Growth Alliance Board, Northern Michigan Counties Association and the Mason County Housing Board.

Before being elected to the Michigan House, VanderWall served as commissioner and chairman for the Mason County Board of Commissioners. He also served on the Western Michigan Fair Association for six years, was district chair for MSU Extension and served on boards for the United Way of Mason County. Curt is currently chair of the Women’s Jericho House Board.

Curt and his wife, Diane, have been married for 34 years and have three children, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter. They are involved with Covenant Christian School in Ludington and are active members of Mason County Reformed Church.