Partnership formed to address substance abuse policies

By Thomas Franz
BridgeTower Media Newswires
 
DETROIT — In an effort to address substance abuse policies in the workplace, a pair of consulting firms recently announced a partnership to reach that goal.

Huntington Woods-based Switalski Law & Consulting has partnered with West Bloomfield-based Feinberg Consulting to address opioid use and the legalization of marijuana in Michigan.

“We both have different resources that overlap,” said Jodi Switalski, founder of Switalski Law. “I’ve created workplace and medical systems which Feinberg is going to be involved with as well. For workplace protocols, certain things need to be established that will save the employer a significant amount of money while creating better outcomes for an employee in need of services.”

As part of the collaboration, the two firms will work with companies to provide education on substance abuse and offer mitigation strategies and effective treatment options for their employees so they can return to healthy and productive lives.

“We both see that there are things that are possible to help fix the system in which so many people fall through the cracks and aren’t getting the kind of help they need because the system isn’t set up to have it happen,” said Steve Feldman, chief operating officer of Feinberg. “In a way, both organizations feel like we’re paving a new way.”

Feinberg was founded in 1996 and is accredited by The Joint Commission in the fields of behavioral health and home care. It has offices in Michigan and Florida and provides care in addiction and mental health services, catastrophic services, and Bridgeway Senior Services.

“We’ve been to hundreds of presentations that identify the problems, but what we want to really focus on is how to affect change. This partnership is about answers and not defining problems,” Feldman said.

Switalski is a former judge and prosecuting attorney. She speaks nationally on substance abuse and mental health issues in the workplace.

Switalski and Feldman said they met through a mutual friend and they agreed to partner up to create something neither of them had seen elsewhere.

“We are engaging organizations, mostly on the executive level right now,” Switalski said. “We look at their employee assistance programs and the offerings they have to create better therapeutic responses to issues in the workplace.”

One area where the Switalski and Feldman will be busy addressing is policies regarding the legalization of marijuana in many states including Michigan.

“Everybody is taking a look at how marijuana is going to impact the employer and what employer rights are. We’re seeing case law shift all over the country,” Switalski said. “Policies are outdated. They never could have possibly contemplated the impact of legal prescribed substances in the workplace. Everyone has to engage on the front end in order to create truly systemic change.”

Kotz Sangster acquires Van Eck Law Firm

Kotz Sangster Wysocki PC announced June 3 that it has acquired Van Eck Law Firm in Rockford.

The acquisition gives Kotz Sangster its seventh office in Michigan and second in the Grand Rapids area. The firm also has three branches in southwest Michigan in addition to offices in Detroit and Bloomfield Hills.

“We’ve been committed in that market for quite some time,” said Todd Wright, chief operating officer of Kotz Sangster. “We were really looking for someone who had a solid base in that community and could pick up that type of corporate transactional work which we didn’t have before.”

Van Eck Law Firm was founded by Todd Van Eck in 2009. He has over 22 years of experience in business law, tax law, litigation, real estate, and estate planning.

“To accommodate rapid growth, we were looking for a strong acquisition partner to better serve our clients with a full breadth of resources,” Van Eck said in a press release. “Kotz Sangster was the right-size fit for us because they expanded our clients’ access to experienced, diverse counsel, but they don’t sacrifice on their dedication to responsive, client-focused service.”

Van Eck, along with attorney Haley Clough and office administrator Brittney Houseman, have joined Kotz Sangster. The three will continue to work out of their Rockford office while being able to expand to Kotz Sangster’s downtown Grand Rapids location.

“We now have a continuum of geographic presence where in the past we didn’t have because the office in Grand Rapids was more for overflow,” Wright said.

“We always thought that to be successful in West Michigan, we had to have the corporate transactional practice where it’s not so much feast-or-famine litigation but it’s recurring. We can expand our full menu of services and have someone on the ground in Grand Rapids. It should bridge those gaps for us.”

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