The Kent Center Current News

News and Events

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 .

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 Mary Choi and Lisa Peterson

Substance Abuse Services staff Lisa Peterson and 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

(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.

(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.

“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 allthose 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.

View TV Coverage
Read Full Speech

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



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

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.