LANSING — State Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) introduced House Bill 4528 today to expand the Health Professional Recovery Program to emergency medical professionals. The program is a non-disciplinary, treatment-oriented program for health professionals dealing with mental illness or substance abuse.

“Emergency medical responders, technicians, specialists and coordinators work in extremely stressful conditions, and it isn’t surprising that some experience mental health or substance abuse issues because of what they have seen and experienced on the job,” said Yanez. “This is a very valuable program that can help these health care professionals get their lives back on track. It’s just common sense to allow them to benefit from these services.”

The Health Professional Recovery Program provides for rehabilitation services as well as continuing care and aftercare. Currently, health professionals in 24 licensed occupations are eligible for the program, including massage therapists, nutritionists and acupuncturists.

“Emergency medical professionals see the worst that can happen to people and often put their own lives on the line when they are trying to save others,” said Yanez. “It is high time that we expand this program to emergency responders who are having difficulties as a result of the work they do. As a former firefighter and EMT, I know firsthand what some of these people experience. I look forward to talking with my colleagues in the House and Senate and winning their support so that we can pass this bill and see it signed into law.”