The Kent Center for Human and Organizational Development

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News and Events

The Kent Center UPDATE: May 17, 2013
Beantown Swing Wows Once Again at Swing into Spring!
Back by popular demand, the Beantown Swing Orchestra wowed guests once again at The Kent Center's 3rd Annual Swing into Spring Celebration. The high energy, 18-piece swing band, lead by American Idol alum John Stevens and jazz aficionado Laura Brunner, headlined the gala celebration, which was held on May 17th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel's Garden Pavilion. The band was accompanied by The Lindy Bombers, a vintage-styled, high stepping swing dance troupe that both entertained and partnered with guests.

Thanks to the support of guests, committee members and sponsors, Swing into Spring raised $20,000, which will support The Kent Center in its mission to improve the quality life for adults, children and families facing issues of mental illness, substance abuse and psychological trauma. Special thanks to Michael Integlia, Jr. for his chairmanship of the event.
MORE INFO

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: February 22, 2013
Avedisian, Kent Center Celebrate Renovation of Home
WARWICK – Mayor Scott Avedisian, Kent Center CEO David Lauterbach, members of the city's Office of Housing and Community Development and staff of The Kent Center's Housing Office celebrated the renovation of a residence that two Kent Center clients call home at a ceremony on February 20th.

Ed Rouse, resident of Rouse House; David S. Lauterbach, President & CEO, The Kent Center; Mayor Scott Avedisian

The residence, known as "Rouse House," was the childhood home of one of the residents, who inherited it upon his parents' deaths. Over time, the house fell into disrepair. The Kent Center acquired the property from the client and sought assistance from the Office of Housing and Community Development to make repairs.

The city invested $65,720 for extensive interior and exterior repairs, including new landscaping, new windows, vinyl siding, a new kitchen and bathroom, new ceilings and walls, paint, a new heating system and new roof.

In exchange for its investment, the city placed a 99-year deed restriction on the property to insure that, in the event it is sold, it remains as affordable housing for low- to moderate-income individuals. The Kent Center is responsible for property upkeep.

"We are pleased to celebrate the completion of this project with The Kent Center and the residents of Rouse House," Avedisian said. "This assures that they are living in a safe place and receiving the services they need, while adding to our stock of affordable housing, increasing the property's value and improving the neighborhood."

"Mayor Avedisian and Warwick's Office of Housing and Community Development are to be commended," stated Lauterbach. "They understand and appreciate the importance of stable, affordable and decent housing for people in recovery. We are so grateful for their support of the renovation of Rouse House."

Also instrumental to the completion of the project were the legal services that were provided pro-bono by John Garrahy, Esq. of the law firm Moses Afonso Ryan, LTD.

Established in 1976, The Kent Center provides a wide range of behavioral health, integrated primary care and housing services for men, women, children and families. The Center serves 4,000 people a year, most of whom are low to low-moderate income and many are uninsured. Approximately half of The Kent Center's clients are residents of Warwick.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: February 21, 2013
Rotary Grant To Fund Computers For Briggs Students
WARWICK – The Rotary Club of Warwick awarded a grant of $1,800.00 to The Kent Center's Eleanor Briggs School for their Enhancing Education through Technology for At-Risk Students Program. The funding will be used to purchase ipads for use by students in their classrooms. The grant was presented at a regular meeting of the Rotary Club on February 21st.

Donna Caccia, Chair, Charity Committee of the Rotary Club of Warwick, and David Lauterbach, CEO, The Kent Center.

"We all understand that technical literacy is critical today. Additionally, research has shown that technology in the classroom is particularly beneficial to students with emotional disabilities," explained Kent Center CEO, David Lauterbach. "When technology is used, students are more engaged and problem behaviors decrease. We are therefore very grateful to the Rotary Club for this grant and for helping us to bring technology into the classrooms for our students."

Established in 1980, The Kent Center's Eleanor Briggs School is a leader in the field of psychiatric care and special education for children whose behavioral and emotional difficulties significantly impede their progress in public school. In an environment that promotes learning and growth, students are able to achieve their full potential.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: June 25, 2012
Twenty Formerly Homeless Men & Women Celebrate Having a Place to Call Home:
Senators Reed, Whitehouse and Other Dignitaries Join in Recognizing Their Accomplishments
(West Warwick, RI)--The Kent Center, a community-based provider of mental health, substance abuse, housing, and integrated primary care services for individuals and families with behavioral health challenges, held a Recognition Breakfast today (Monday, June 25th) at the West Warwick Senior Center. The purpose of the breakfast was to acknowledge the housing achievements made by 20 formerly homeless men and women. Attendees included 60 guests and state and local dignitaries.

Mayor Scott Avedisian; Stephen Alves, Chairman, West Warwick Senior Center; David Lauterbach, CEO, The Kent Center; Richard Godfrey, Executive Director, Rhode Island Housing; Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Maria Ingarro, Ken Jordan, Senator Jack Reed.

Two Kent Center clients, who are currently living in West Warwick, received special awards for their achievements in the RoadHome program. Ken Jordan had been living on the streets and in shelters. In addition to his mental illness, he had a long history of alcohol and substance abuse. His income consisted of just $200 per month in public assistance. Then in May 2009, Ken signed a lease and became a participant in The Kent Center's RoadHome program. He agreed to pay $60 per month towards the rent and utilities. He also agreed to work with his case manager to develop and implement a housing plan. Ken has made great strides in the past 10 months. He is sober. He is playing his guitar, and he has future plans to start a small house painting business. "I like the way The Kent Center works together. Everything is here. Everybody jives," Ken explained.

Marie Ingarro was also recognized for her RoadHome achievement. Marie started to receive Kent Center services in 2009. She was in a difficult relationship and living in foreclosed property. She went to The Kent Center for help. She began receiving clinical services at the agency. In addition, staff referred her to the housing office once she became homeless. The housing staff met with Marie and discussed her housing needs. At the time she was calling shelters but the shelters did not have any available beds. She spent some time at a transient hotel and hospitals. Marie's involvement with the agency's RoadHome program began in December 2009. Since that time Marie has been in stable housing, and has graduated from a rental training program conducted by Kent County Housing Services, The Kent Center's housing division. She spends much of her time at The Kent Center's Hillsgrove House, a psycho-social rehabilitation program for adults with mental illness, and she recently joined the Kent County YMCA. Marie loves music, dancing and reading mysteries. "For the first time in my life I feel independent and safe and secure. The Kent Center gives me a feeling of belonging," Marie said.

Several other clients of The Kent Center who receive services through RoadHome also received recognition for successfully completing the rental training program.

David S. Lauterbach, ACSW, President and CEO of The Kent Center served as master of ceremonies. "These men and women have certainly come a long way and they should take great pride in their achievements," stated Lauterbach. "I thank them for sharing their stories, which help to demonstrate that quality, stable housing, combined with treatment and supports, is a recipe for recovery."

Speakers and presenters included Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Mayor Scott Avedisian of Warwick and Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. Rhode Island Housing is the state's funding agency and The Kent Center's partner for the RoadHome program.

Established in 1976, The Kent Center provides a wide range of behavioral health, integrated primary care and housing services to over 4,000 Rhode Islanders annually. Kent County Housing Services, a division of The Kent Center, serves the homeless, at-risk for homelessness and the rent burdened clients of The Kent Center as well as extremely low-income and disabled individuals and families across the state. The Kent Center was one of the first behavioral health centers in the country to establish a housing authority.

The Kent Center April 20, 2011
The First Lady of Rhode Island, Stephanie Chafee, visited The Kent Center at its Post Road site and Hillsgrove House on April 20th. She stayed for over two hours and met many staff and clients. Mrs. Chafee is a nurse and a founder of the RI Free Clinic. With her background in healthcare she had a particular interest in the Center's new initiative to integrate primary and behavioral healthcare. Learn more.

"It was a great honor to have the First Lady come and spend some time with us and learn about what we do," stated David Lauterbach, President & CEO of The Kent Center. "Mrs. Chafee truly understands that mental illness should be treated like any other illness, whether it be diabetes or cancer, and we are grateful to have her support in our efforts to break down the stigma that still exists when it comes to mental illness and other behavioral health challenges. She is also just so delightful and we hope she'll come back soon!"

Mrs. Chafee (second from left) with Kent Center CEO David Lauterbach and staff members Dayna O'Rourke, RN and Tami Ringeling, Psy.D.

Mrs. Chafee at Hillsgrove House. (Left to Right): David Lauterbach; Susan Chiariello, Hillsgrove House Advisory Board Member; Darlene Rousseau, Program Manager, Hillsgrove House; Christina Guy and Jessica Fayerweather.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: October 5, 2010
The Kent Center to Establish an Integrated Primary & Behavioral Healthcare Practice:
$2 million federal grant awarded to spearhead the effort
(Warwick, Rhode Island) – The Kent Center, a community behavioral healthcare center serving 4,000 individuals and families a year through a wide-range of mental health, substance abuse and trauma-related services, has been awarded nearly $2 million over four years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The federal grant will fund the launch of The Kent Center's Total Care Integration Project (TCIP), the cornerstone of which is the establishment of an integrated primary care and behavioral healthcare practice within The Kent Center. TCIP will also integrate fitness and wellness programs to promote prevention and optimal health outcomes.

The new integrated practice will be established by renovating 1,800 square feet of existing space at The Kent Center's new flagship building, located on Post Road in Warwick. The practice will initially serve current clients of The Kent Center, including those with serious mental illness (SMI), and by year two will expand to serve a non-SMI, general population. The practice projects to serve over 500 patients by the end of year one, and grow to a practice of approximately 3,500 patients by year four . "Anyone can benefit from this model of integrated care," explains Kent Center CEO David Lauterbach. "We know that people with serious mental illnesses die on average 25 years earlier than the general public due to inadequate access to medical care, so they will certainly benefit. Additionally, treating medical issues separately from what are very often underlying or related behavioral health issues, such as depression, anxiety, stress and substance use, has not served the general population well and we hope to address this problem within the new practice."

The Kent Center will partner with Dr. Martin Kerzer and his practice Associates in Primary Care Medicine, a Warwick-based provider serving the community since 1970, to establish The Kent Center-based practice. Dr. Kerzer will be the supervising physician in the practice. He will work part-time overseeing a full-time nurse practitioner and then an additional full-time physician. The practice will also include a nurse care manager, who among other duties, will ensure the integration of care for patients and act as the primary link between primary care, behavioral healthcare and wellness programs.

The Kent Center will also work with the Kent County YMCA to implement the fitness and wellness aspects of TCIP. Eileen Barber, Executive Director of the Kent County YMCA says, "The Y is committed to strengthening communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Kent County Y is eager to work with the Kent Center to provide adults and youth with the support, guidance and resources needed to achieve improved, holistic, health and well-being."

Renovations of the practice space, the hiring and training of key staff, and other essential start-up activities are scheduled to be completed in January 2011, with the treatment of patients to begin the following spring. "Our ultimate goal is to create a high quality, wholly integrated healthcare home for our community that is also accessible and affordable," Lauterbach explains. "We have been pulling the pieces for this together over several years. We built an on-site pharmacy and lab for example, and now bringing in primary care and wellness programs is helping to complete the picture. We also want to incorporate the principles of HealthAccess RI, including low cost monthly membership fees for patients who are uninsured and struggling financially. We are very excited about this initiative and the promise it holds for improving the overall health of our clients and our entire community."

For more information, please contact Arlene Stoltz at (401) 691-6000, x335 or at astoltz@thekentcenter.org.

The Kent Center 8th Annual RI Rally for Recovery A Huge Success!
The Kent Center was proud to be a part of this year's Rhode Island Rally for Recovery, which was held on September 11th in downtown Providence. Several Kent Center staff members and clients joined with hundreds of others in Rhode Island's biggest and best celebration of Recovery Month yet. Warwick was also well represented with the attendance of Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Senator Bill Walaska and Representative Frank Ferri.

Senator Bill Walaska with staff and clients

Mayor Scott Avedisian with staff and clients

Former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee with staff and clients

Substance Abuse Services staff Lisa Peterson & Lana DiCataldo

Join the Voices for Recovery: Now More Than Ever!

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: July 19, 2010
Kent Center Awarded Highest CARF Accreditation:
Staff Commitment, Client Satisfaction & External Relationships Among Areas Praised
(Warwick, RI)—The Kent Center has received a Three-Year CARF Accreditation, the highest level that can be awarded to an organization, for nine of its program areas, which represent all programs for which CARF accreditation was sought. This is the sixth consecutive Three-Year Accreditation outcome that the international accrediting commission has awarded to The Kent Center.

An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation outcome has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during a full three-day, on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable. According to Brian Boon, Ph.D., CARF President/CEO, "this achievement is an indication of [The Kent Center's] dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of persons served. Services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicated an established pattern of practice excellence." An extensive survey report was generated and includes the following highlights:

  • "Consumers speak very highly of working with clinicians from The Kent Center."
  • "The staff at The Kent Center goes the extra mile to meet the needs of the persons served. The staff works collaboratively with a high degree of teamwork between many disciplines…"
  • "The administrators are dedicated, competent, and do outstanding work."
  • "The organization has extensive working relationships with external organizations and stakeholders."
  • "The organization is successfully maintaining excellence despite severe economic cutbacks."

Click here to review the complete survey summary.

The Kent Center provides a wide range of mental health, substance abuse and trauma-informed services to over 4,100 men, women, children and families annually.

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

For additional information, contact Arlene Stoltz, Director of Development, at (401) 691-6000, x335.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: June 10, 2010
Warwick Police & The Kent Center Train Mental Health Crisis Responder Team

(L-R): Officer Patrick McGaffigan; Lieutenant Jeffrey Enos; Lieutenant Joseph Coffey; Officer John Larivee; Fay Baker, VP, The Kent Center; Officer Daniel Lopez; Carol Giordano, Clinician, The Kent Center; Officer Kerri Chattan; Dee Tavares, Program Manager, Emergency Services, The Kent Center; Officer James Vible; Officer Frank McGee.

(Warwick, RI)-- The Warwick Police Department and The Kent Center have worked together for many years to train police officers in how to properly handle encounters with people who have a mental illness or substance use disorder and are in crisis, and recently The Warwick PD and Kent Center also participated in a state-wide Certified Crisis Responder Training. Now, with funding received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or Stimulus Bill), the Warwick Police and The Kent Center have taken the next step and created and trained a Mental Health Crisis Responder Team.

"The Warwick Police Department has long strived to implement a specialized mental health response program," explained Lieutenant Joseph Coffey. "The Kent Center's equal interest and commitment has, given the Stimulus Bill funding, evolved into a collaboration we are confident will ultimately improve encounters involving people with mental illness. The Warwick Police Department recognizes that, in many circumstances, the mentally ill person's need for help begins with a police encounter. The ability for a subset of specially trained officers to identify such needs and consult with Kent clinicians as necessary will go a long way in determining a proper outcome."

The Mental Health Crisis Responder Team is based on a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model that was originally created for police in Memphis, Tennessee some years ago. Several communities around the country now have some sort of CIT on their police force. The team created by the Warwick PD and Kent Center also incorporates a co-responding model and includes both police officers, highly trained in responding to mental health calls, and Kent Center clinicians. As officers in the field encounter crisis situations that are complex, they can call upon a mental health officer for assistance. In very difficult situations a Kent Center clinician may also be called for consultation, or may go to the scene if necessary.

The Mental Health Crisis Responder Team, which currently includes six police officers and three Kent Center clinical staff, underwent an extensive 40-hour cross-training program, which was held at The Kent Center from May 17th- 21st. For officers, the training curriculum included how to recognize sign and symptoms of mental illness and psychiatric crisis; how to de-escalate the situation and adapt police responses to ensure the safety of all—those in crisis and the police; and how to use discretion in determining if it's necessary to take the person to jail immediately, or more appropriate to seek treatment initially. For clinicians, the training focused on understanding the role and responsibilities of police officers, and how clinicians can assist officers in crisis situations.

"We are very pleased with the Warwick Police Department's commitment to treating people in crisis in the most sensitive manner possible and we think that this will mean getting people into treatment sooner, which will translate to better long-term outcomes for them and the community," stated Fay Baker, Vice President of Clinical Services at The Kent Center.

For more information, call Lieutenant Joseph Coffey of the Warwick Police Department at 468-4200, or Arlene Stoltz of The Kent Center at 691-6000, x335.

The Kent Center Great Turnout for Roberts Street Artists at Gallery Z
It was a full house throughout the evening of May 27th, with many people coming out to support The Kent Center's Robert's Street Artists and to admire the beautiful glass installation piece that they created. The piece, entitled Recovery, was installed in Gallery Z's public art window for the month of May and a reception with the artists was held on May 27th. Special thanks to Gallery Z for the wonderful opportunity.

For sale at the event were double matted prints and note cards featuring the work of the artists. Click here if interested in viewing and purchasing prints or note cards.


The Kent Center Mental Health Month
Long-time Kent Center client Jackie Eastman helps kick off Mental Health Month.
Story covered on NBC 10 Health Check.


The Kent Center PUBLIC NOTICE: April 12, 2010
The Kent Center Housing Office
Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Kent Center hereby serves notice that the waiting list for the Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program will open Monday April 12, 2010 to individuals and families who meet the following criteria:

  • Head of Household or spouse must have a verifiable disability.
  • Residency preferences in accordance with CFR 982.206(b): For families who live in the Kent County area. Proof of preference must be submitted with application or the application will not be accepted.
  • Eligible applicants must have incomes that do not exceed the income limits by household size as determined by HUD. Current HUD limits are:

    Number of Persons

    Income Limits

    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8

    $25,600
    $29,250
    $32,900
    $36,600
    $39,500
    $42,450
    $45,350
    $48,300

Applications can be picked up at the Housing Office of The Kent Center, 2756 Post Rd. Suite 104, Warwick, Rhode Island, Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST.

Completed applications and required documentation must be returned to The Kent Center Housing Office. The Kent Center Housing Office will not be responsible for mail delays or lost mail. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental assistance to very low income and disabled families in order to secure decent, safe, and sanitary housing. The Kent Center Housing Office will not deny any person the opportunity to apply for , and if determined eligible, to receive housing assistance based on race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, ethnicity, age or disability.

Diana Dumin
Housing Director


What is the Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Voucher Program is the federal government's program for assisting eligible families to locate and rent decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Since the rental assistance is provided on behalf of the individual or family, participants are able to find and lease privately owned housing, including single family homes, townhouses and apartments.

The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units in subsidized housing developments.

Vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies. The Kent Center Housing Office receives federal funds from HUD to administer the program. A family is issued a voucher and is responsible for finding and selecting a suitable apartment. That may be the unit where the family is presently living. Apartments must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by HUD's Housing Quality Standards and The Kent Center's Administrative Plan. A rental subsidy is paid directly by The Kent Center to the landlord on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays a rent amount based on regulatory formulas.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: February 2, 2010
Billy Andrade-Brad Faxon Charities for Children Awards $5,000 Grant
to The Kent Center's Youth & Family Services
(Warwick, RI)—The Billy Andrade-Brad Faxon Charities for Children has awarded a grant of $5,000 to The Kent Center's Youth & Family Services Division. The grant will support individual and family therapy for children who are facing an emotional health challenge, such as depression and anxiety, and /or have experienced trauma through abuse and neglect, and are uninsured or underinsured for these services.

"We know that childhood trauma has many long-term mental health and general health repercussions that last into adulthood if they are not addressed or if they are inadequately addressed," explains Barbara Lamoureux, a Program Manager within the Center's Youth & Family Division. "Proper treatment is vital for the health and future of these children. However, because of new limitations with funding streams, we see many children who are underinsured for therapeutic services. This generous gift from the Andrade-Faxon Charities for Children helps us to overcome these funding hurdles and to provide the best possible care to children in need of support."

The Andrade-Faxon Charities for Children strives to improve the quality of life for at-risk children in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts by funding projects or programs that directly target their needs. The foundation was established in 1990 by professional golfers and native Rhode Islanders, Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon. Since its inception, over $7.5 million has been raised for children's charities.

Established in 1976, The Kent Center's serves adults, children and families through a wide range of mental health, substance abuse, and trauma-related services. The Kent Center served over 4,100 people in 2009. The Center's Youth & Family Division provides children's psychiatric services, individual and group counseling, case management and emergency services, an ADHD evaluation clinic, and family support services such as family therapy, parent education classes and parent aide services. To learn more, visit www.thekentcenter.org.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: January 26, 2010
New Officers Installed to Kent Center Board of Directors
(Warwick, RI)—The Kent Center has installed new officers to its Board of Directors. Taking over the chairmanship of the Board is Larry Goldberg. Larry joined The Kent Center Board in 2004 and serves as the Chair of its Fundraising Committee. Additionally, Larry is on the Advisory Board for the Center's Hillsgrove House. Larry is Housing Manager at Gatsby Housing Associates and is an active member of the Warwick Rotary Club.

Other new officers include Jean Gavigan who is stepping from the Chair position to Vice Chair. Jean is the sole proprietor of Hodge Graphics, a Warwick-based graphic design and strategic marketing company. Jean serves on many subcommittees of the Board including its Citizens Advisory Committee, which seeks to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. She is also a member and former Chair of the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce.

The Kent Center's new Treasurer and Chair of its Finance Committee is Chad Bjorklund. Chad joined The Kent Center Board in 2005, and serves on several additional committees including pension and strategic planning. Chad is an account executive at Gencorp Insurance Group in East Greenwich. He is also an active member of the Warwick Rotary Club.

Rounding out the new team of officers at The Kent Center is Brenda Diko, who will serve as Secretary. Prior to joining the Board in 2007, Brenda served on the Advisory Board for Hillsgrove House for many years. Brenda worked in the banking industry for 20 years, most recently as a Senior Recruiter for Sovereign Bank. Since leaving Sovereign in 2009, Brenda has worked as a consultant.

"I know that this new team will provide strong leadership for us at The Kent Center," stated President & CEO David Lauterbach. "As there are for many organizations, there are challenging times ahead for the Center. I have great confidence however that Larry and his fellow officers will help to steer us through them."

Founded in 1976, The Kent Center's mission is to improve the quality of life for people who are struggling with behavioral health challenges. Through a full range of mental health, substance abuse and trauma-related services, The Kent Center assists over 4 ,100 members of our community a year, including adults with a severe and persistent mental illness, children and teens struggling with emotional difficulties, and families in need of support.

 

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