GFM The 
Synergy Center

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Jeff Patton
Morning Keynote

Chief Executive Officer
Kalamazoo Community Mental Health 

Jeff Patton became the Chief Executive Officer for Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS) on October 1, 2001. In 2018, Mr. Patton was selected as Administrator of The Year by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In 2011, Mr. Patton was one of five individuals selected as a Champion of Behavioral Healthcare by the Vendome Group. In addition, the Community Network Services’ (CNS) Board of Directors in Oakland County chose him as “A Friend of Mental Health” in November of that same year.

Arthur R. James, MD, FACOG
Afternoon Keynote    

Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and Pediatrician
EQUITY in the Opportunity to Survive the 1st year of life…a dream deferred

Session Synopsis

Black infants die at 2-4 times the rate of white infants. An increased poverty rate, under-employment rate, lower graduation rates, later initiation of prenatal care, etc., are some of the explanations offered for this disparity. However, implicitly (and explicitly) the most common “implied” narrative for this disparity is that it is because of “group level flaws” among black people. Black babies and white babies die from the same physiologic reasons. The increased rate of death among black babies is NOT NATURAL. This presentation posits that the root contributor to this disparity is a 400-year history of disparate treatment of African Americans.



Dr. Arthur R. James is an Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and Pediatrician who has been involved in the care to underserved populations for the entirety of his medical career. In previous practices he has been the Medical Director of a Neighborhood Health Center (FQHC-site), Medical Director of Bronson Methodist Hospital’s Women’s Care Clinic, and founding/Medical Director of Borgess Medical Center’s Women’s Health office. In each of these efforts, he has been instrumental in expanding services to indigent patients, patients using drugs, HIV positive pregnant patents, and to teens. He is also the founder and former Medical Director of the Kalamazoo County Fetal and Infant Mortality Review team and, for many years, lead the Kalamazoo County community’s efforts to reduce infant mortality and reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy. In 1990 the Kalamazoo Public School System named its school-based teen pregnancy clinic in his name.