July 13, 2017
President and CEO of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA)
Tom Watkins serves as the President and CEO of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA). Working with a dedicated community board of directors, leadership team, staff and host of quality community providers to manage and lead a comprehensive system of care that offers treatment and support to nearly 80,000 people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders. He has quickly instilled the new mantra of being consumer and community focused, data driven and evidence-based. Under his leadership, DWMHA continues to “put people first”.
His career and commitment to serving people spans over three decades. Tom served as Deputy Director of Administration, Chief Deputy and Director of the State Department of Mental Health under Governor Jim Blanchard. Here he improved community-based service delivery to over 300,000 consumers and was responsible for re-accrediting hospitals serving persons with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.
Tom also served the citizens of Michigan as State Superintendent of Schools. There he used a yardstick in his office as a guide to other staffers. The yardstick read, “show me how this helps our teachers teach and our children learn”. The Michigan Department of Education decisionmaking yardstick — everything we do should be measured against this standard. At DWMHA, the quality of our services should be what would we want for someone we love?
Tom is committed to improving the quality of life of others has taken him from schools, to group homes to hospitals for persons with mental illness. He is passionate about his work and passionate about helping people.
Tom is quick to point out the success of DWMHA the past four years is a result of our incredible team and community partners.