Gianforte Announces Appointments To Future Generations Commission
Gov. Greg Gianforte has announced his appointments to serve on the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations Commission. The commission will provide recommendations for allocating the governor’s historic $300 million investment to reform and improve Montana’s behavioral health and developmental disabilities service systems.
Charlie Brereton, director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Patrick Maddison, CEO of Flathead Industries, and Janet Lindow, executive director and co-founder of the Rural Behavioral Health Institute, will serve on the commission as the governor’s appointees.
“After decades of previous administrations applying Band-Aids and kicking the can down the road, we’re making a generational investment in our behavioral health and developmental disabilities service delivery systems,” Gianforte said. “With it, we’ll expand intensive and community-based services so Montanans have access to the care they deserve. We’ll also improve the quality of services at the state hospital in Warm Springs and other state-run health care facilities, better ensuring the safety of patients and providers.”
“I thank commission members for stepping forward to serve our state, and look forward to receiving their recommendations,” the governor continued.
Proposed in his Budget for Montana Families, the governor made the $300 million investment when he signed House Bill 872 into law in June. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork, and championed in the Senate by Sen. John Esp, R-Big Timber.
“With this investment, we’ll continue building on the progress we’ve made to bolster behavioral health and developmental disabilities services,” DPHHS director Brereton said. “We look forward to receiving feedback from key stakeholders, health care providers, those with lived experiences, and the general public as we take bold, creative action to solve systemic issues.”
In addition to the governor’s appointees, the commission is comprised of bill sponsor Rep. Keenan and five additional members of the legislature.
The commission is tasked with developing recommendations to: stabilize behavioral health and developmental disabilities service providers; increase and strengthen the behavioral health and developmental disabilities workforce to provide critical care to those in need; increase availability of integrated physical and behavioral health care; and support the establishment of behavioral health settings and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The members of the commission are as follows: Behavioral Health System for Future Generations Commission Rep. Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork Charlie Brereton, Director, DPHHS Patrick Maddison, CEO, Flathead Industries Janet Lindow, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Rural Behavioral Health Institute Rep. Michele Binkley, R-Hamilton Rep. Mike Yakawich, R-Billings Rep. Dave Fern, D-Whitefish Sen. John Esp, R-Big Timber Sen. Ellie Boldman, D-Missoula