By Mark Ransford

Dear Governor Whitmer,

I write to you today in support of constructing a new psychiatric center in Caro and allowing the state to continue the progress that has been made to that end. I don’t offer this support as a mental health expert, an employee of the facility, or member of Michigan’s legislature, all important voices in this often contentious debate. Rather, I write to you as a lifelong resident of Caro, local business owner, and firsthand witness to Caro’s unique dedication to caring for some of Michigan’s most vulnerable, and least represented, residents. I write to you as a proud citizen of a community that has made mental health the defining element of its identity, whose citizenry carries with them experience and knowledge that runs generations deep. I write to you as one of your constituents to implore you to consider more than political or fiscal expediency as you consider our community’s fate.

Some have argued that the location of the current hospital is insufficient by virtue of its rural location. What will not be included in a geographic survey or topography study is the fortitude of the employees that have committed their lives to providing exceptional care despite a facility defined by obsolescence, decay, and neglect. In 2017, we were elated to learn that the state was investing in a state-of-the-art hospital that would finally compliment the proficiency of the Caro Center employees. When it became clear that the appropriated funds for this project were in jeopardy, the dull ache of regret in this community was palpable. If the response from our residents has seemed at times personal, that’s because to us, it is. I hope you are proud to have among your citizens a community of people that treat the advancement of mental health as personally as you do.

Like many rural areas, Caro, and Tuscola County have a long tradition of closely held conservative ideals. These views, however different from yours they may at times seem, share your vision for giving a voice to the voiceless. And although places like this are often overlooked in campaign stops, I hope you will find in us a willing partner in your commitment to improving mental health services in this state. Please make this a time to bridge the political divide and find what I can only hope is a commonality between Democrats and Republicans alike to solve this critical shortage of mental health facilities in Michigan.

Yours most sincerely,

Mark Ransford

Proud Resident of Caro, MICHIGAN

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