Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Debbie Stabenow“Made in Michigan” through and through, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, MSW, continues to lead on public policy and improve the lives of the people of Michigan and Americans across our country. Her leadership is characterized by an unrivaled work ethic, the ability to build bipartisan coalitions to get things done, and a commitment to public service that has set the standard for constituent service.

Throughout her years in public service, she has blazed trails and opened doors for women and girls. Among her many “firsts” – she was the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Michigan.

Senator Stabenow is the leader in the United States Senate in the movement to improve access to mental health and substance abuse services. In 2014, her bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act created a new, transformational system that funds community behavioral health services the same way we fund physical health services. This new approach is expanding community mental health services nationwide. It’s also reducing the stigma around mental illness and moving us closer to true parity between physical and mental health care.

Senator Stabenow is also the leader in strengthening school-based health services including behavioral health. Senator Stabenow is a champion for behavioral health care providers as well. In the end of the year funding bill, she secured the inclusion of provisions to expand and strengthen the behavioral health workforce. With her bipartisan Improving Access to Mental Health Act, she has been leading the effort to increase Medicare’s reimbursement rate for clinical social workers and ensure they can provide their full range of services to Medicare beneficiaries.

As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Stabenow has been the leader for protecting and strengthening national food assistance programs and child nutrition initiatives, so that children have access to healthy meals at school. She is also the author of the new permanent summer meals program for children.

As a state representative in Michigan in the 1980s, Representative Stabenow chaired the Mental Health Committee. Among many laws enacted to improve the lives of Michiganders, she authored the Children’s Mental Health Act and the Family Support Subsidy Act to help families caring for severely disabled children at home.

Senator Stabenow received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Michigan State University. She is a proud member of the Congressional Social Work Caucus.

Thank you, Senator Stabenow, for your lifetime of service.