By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
LANSING – On Jan. 12, Governor Jennifer Granholm’s office announced the appointment of Joette Lambert PhDc, RN, to a position on the state’s Marriage and Family Therapy Board, which sets the standards and for practicing and licensing of marriage and family therapists.
Lambert, who is openly lesbian, is an associate professor with the University of Detroit Mercy’s school of nursing and a nurse with Children’s Hospital in Detroit.
Lambert, who has been in nursing for thirty one years, said, “In my profession I’ve always, always advocated use of therapy and having people utilize marriage and family therapy, because I’ve always worked in stressful situations.” Lambert currently works with children who have cancer and other serious chronic illnesses.
Lambert is now married to her partner of over twenty-two years. The couple has a 15-year-old daughter.
“We’re always excited to see GLBT representation in state government,” said Sean Kosofsky, director of policy at the Triangle Foundation. It was an email from Kosofsky advertising the open board position that led Lambert to apply.
“I think that any time you have diverse voices at the table you do better work,” Kosofsky said. “Any commission, any company, any entity would be better served by having a full range of diversity, including gays and lesbians.”
As for the appointment of a lesbian to the Marriage and Family Board, Kosofsky said, “We’re living in an era where marriage is rapidly becoming a reality for our community, and this commission is incredibly relevant to that reality.”
Lambert’s term to the all-volunteer board will end in 2007.