St. Louis Center welcomed Michigan Department of Human Services Director and former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Maura Corrigan, on Friday October 19, 2012. Justice Corrigan was accompanied by Deputy Director Steven Yager of Hastings. The purpose of the visit was to give Director Corrigan the opportunity to see for herself, the services, programs, and facilities being provided for the Center’s special population of persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Following introductions and a welcome from Fr. Enzo Addari, SdC., the Administrator, Justice Corrigan shared how she was appointed to become the State Director of DHS by Governor Rick Snyder. “When he called and said to me that saving the lives of children dying in foster care was more important than being a member of the Michigan Supreme Court, I was convinced that it was the right thing to do, and accepted the appointment.”
A discussion group followed that focused on the community, the future, and families. The speakers included former Chelsea Community Hospital CEO Will Johnson, who spoke about SLC in the community; fundraising Chairman Norm Neuman and Development Director Peggy Cole, who spoke about St. Louis Center’s current fundraising efforts, and parent Christine Okler who spoke of her family’s 25 year relationship with St. Louis Center. Finally, State Rep. Mark Ouimet, (R-52), spoke of the growing relationship that he and his wife Donna Hrozencik have developed with St. Louis Center. His wife now serves on the SLC Community Advisory Council.
Director Corrigan noted, “Your community support here is very impressive, and speaks highly of the type of programs that you are running. Your vision of the future for the elderly is also very important, and something we should think about sharing on a statewide basis.”
Following the discussion group, Directors Corrigan and Yager took a guided tour of the Center, and visited the Wellness Program, the new barrier free playground, the children’s residential area, the Chapel, and the Arts and Crafts room in the Adult Day Program.
Director Corrigan seemed to enjoy herself the most when she entered the Day Program, where adult residents were preparing pumpkins for Halloween. She warmly introduced herself to each person, and complimented each one on the work they were doing. Resident Ryan P. impressed her with a speech about his role in the Kiwanis Aktion Club, and Lisa R. spoke of her cleaning job in 14-3 District Court, and how much joy she received from working in the courthouse.
Finally, Director Corrigan visited the Tranquility Garden, where she was given several handmade greeting cards from the Day Program residents. She left knowing that St. Louis Center cares for more than just the physical well-being of a person, but the spiritual person as well. For more information about St. Louis Center, please visit www.stlouiscenter.org. See more photos here.