“The impact that i understand is having in our community and beyond is profound. Real change is happening. People are talking about mental health and suicide. Lives are being saved. We can all make simple changes that could result in big changes. I changed; so can you. Change can be beautiful. Change is beautiful.”
As an Emergency Physician, I have witnessed the impact of mental health, substance use disorder, and suicide on countless patients and their loved ones. I have a particular passion for these issues among our youth. Despite all of these “work” experiences, I was most impacted by the loss of my grandfather to suicide.
“I am excited by the opportunity to partner with an organization that is tackling these issues head on.”
Andrea is a partner in Plunkett Cooney’s Grand Rapids office. She focuses her practice in the areas of transportation law and general liability defense.
“I joined the board at i understand after losing her mother to suicide after she battled depression and addiction issues for many years. I believe in the importance of sharing one’s story, as this starts a dialogue about mental illness and helps remove the stigma that surrounds it.”
Alec is the Managing Director of Sanford Behavioral Health, a residential and outpatient treatment center located in West Michigan.
“I am on the board of i understand because in order to fully integrate physical and mental health services we must reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders.”
Kara is the Advisor to the Chief Human Resources Officer of Spectrum Health, a nationally recognized health system employing 31,000 individuals in Southwest and West Michigan.
“I am so grateful to be involved in the work i understand is championing, as far too many people are suffering in plain sight – silently battling a health crisis due to mental illness.”
Bill is a Nurse Care Manager, BS, BSN, RN, CCSM, at Spectrum Health a nationally recognized health system employing 31,000 individuals in Southwest and West Michigan.
“My desire to be on the board is to assure those who need to talk have someone to listen. Together we can save lives.”
Joe is Senior Corporate Counsel, Dematic Corporation
“I serve on the i understand board to honor the memory of dear friends who were claimed by suicide/self harm – they gave so much to me, and have passed beyond my ability to return their love and care. My service is a tribute and gesture of gratitude to them.”
Craig is a partner of The Smits Welch Group at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
“My mom died of suicide… I bet you winced a little when you read that. That is why I got involved with i understand. That wince you did, that’s stigma. I became a Board member because as a surviving family member of suicide I see a need for mental health advocacy.”