ISK warmly congratulates our CEO, Jeff Patton, who was recognized recently for his more than 40-year career of public mental health service and innovation by NAMI Michigan and New Oakland Family Centers. Jeff received the first annual I. B. Sendi Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 NAMI Michigan Honors gala banquet in Midland, Michigan.
The I. B. Sendi Award was developed jointly by NAMI and New Oakland to recognize careers of distinguished achievement from across the wide spectrum of disciplines involved in the advancement of mental health care and advocacy.
“I am honored and grateful for the recognition of NAMI and my colleagues and peers in Michigan Mental Health,” Jeff said. “I am also especially pleased to receive an award named for my colleague and friend, the late Dr. Ismail Sendi. His service and dedication to advancing mental health care in our state has served as a model for so many of us.”
Jeff emphasizes the importance of maintaining focus on the real-world needs of people and communities.
“Our goal as mental health professionals must always be to meet people where they are and address the ways people actually live,” Jeff said. “Too often we can become preoccupied with the needs of our organizations rather than the needs of people. Together we always have to remain focused on the people we serve.”
The I.B. Sendi Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of New Oakland founder Dr. Ismail Sendi, one of the region’s leading psychiatrists. Dr. Sendi, who passed away in 2015, founded New Oakland Family Centers in 1991 with a vision delivering the right care at the right time. In the 30 years since New Oakland’s founding, the organization has served more than 250,000 Michigan adults, children and teens helping them address their mental health challenges and needs.
Read the full announcement here.
A long and diverse career
Jeff has served as Chief Executive Officer of ISK (formerly Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services) since 2001. His career has also included serving as Deputy Director for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services at the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), known today as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Jeff also served as the Director of the Bureau of Community and Hospital Services at MDCH before his appointment as Deputy Director and Executive Director of the Family Health Center, Inc., in Kalamazoo. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Kalamazoo Valley Community College.