The Kent Center News Archives 2007

The Kent Center  Kent Center’s Hillsgrove House
Named a ‘Hero in the Fight’ for
Mental Health Consumers
September 14, 2007

(Warwick, RI)Members and staff of The Kent Center’s Hillsgrove House, a clubhouse model of service that supports adults with severe and persistent mental illness, were honored as ‘Heroes in the Fight’ at an awards dinner held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on September 11, 2007. Heroes in the Fight is a national recognition partnership program established by Eli Lilly and Company. The program celebrates dignity, courage, hope and recovery in the ongoing treatment of persons with mental illness by recognizing ‘heroes’ who provide care and support to people who face mental health challenges.

Hillsgrove House members and staff received the ‘Heroes in the Fight’ Treatment Team Award. Awards in other categories, including Individual Psychiatrist, Community Supporter, and Media Professional, were also presented. Hillsgrove House was nominated by Kent Center President & CEO, David Lauterbach. “Members of the clubhouse, all of whom are living with mental illness, along with their staff, are leading the way in giving others the hope and support to find success in their lives,” Lauterbach stated. “Members share their stories of success in jobs, in staying out of the hospital and in living in the community to inspire one another. They are heroes in the truest sense of the word.”

Hillsgrove House Director Jan Lorensen and Hillsgrove House member Melissa Fundakowski accepted the award. In her acceptance speech, Funakadowski credited her fellow members and the staff of Hillsgrove House for assisting her in her recovery. She also explained how clubhouse members work to improve the mental health system. “We fight for our rights as mental health consumers. We write to our representatives to exercise the right to live with affordable healthcare and housing. We’ve been to the State House to address the finance committee and rallied in the rotunda for mental health parity. We’re everywhere and we’re working to make it happen.”

In addition to the Treatment Team Award, Hillsgrove House was presented with a $500 donation.

The Heroes in the Fight program is implemented in Rhode Island by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Rhode Island and a coalition of other non-profit mental health organizations in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company.

The Kent Center  Senator Whitehouse Visits Hillsgrove House
Hillsgrove House hosted a very special guest this summer. On August 22nd, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse met with Kent Center staff, Hillsgrove staff and members, and members of the clubhouse expansion committee to discuss the benefits of the clubhouse model of service. Senator Whitehouse also enjoyed a tour of the club. Among other things, the Senator express how impressed he was with the outgoing and positive outlook of clubhouse members.

The Kent Center The Kent Center’s 3rd Annual Awards Breakfast
“A Celebration of the Community Spirit”
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The Crowne Plaza Hotel

  • Click Here for more information
  • Click Here for Sponsorship Opportunities

The Kent Center September is National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
In honor of Recovery Month, The Kent Center has joined with the RI Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals and a coalition of Rhode Island’s substance abuse treatment providers to sponsor The Voices of Recovery: Saving Lives, Saving Dollars. The Voices of Recovery is a free information and entertainment event that will be held on Saturday, September 29th from 3 to 6 p.m., prior to WaterFire, on the corner of Canal and Steeple Streets in Providence. There will be food, information tables, music, dynamic speakers, children’s activities, a recovery quilt, and a vigil remembering those who have died from addiction. All are welcome.

Take the first step on the road to recovery. If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol, or if you’re not sure and would like more information, you may call The Kent Center at 732-5656. To take a free, self-administered substance abuse screening, please CLICK HERE.

My experience with The Kent Center probably saved my life. Thank You.
Recovering Client, Substance Abuse Programs (taken from program evaluation)

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: JULY 25, 2007
Contact: Arlene Stoltz, Director of Development
(401) 738-1338, x335

The Kent Center Celebrates Opening of Its New Building with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Lt. Governor Roberts Joins in the Celebration

(Warwick, RI)Over a hundred people gathered to celebrate the opening of The Kent Center’s newly constructed building, located at 2756 Post Road in Warwick, on the beautiful morning of July 24th. David Lauterbach, (fourth from left) President & CEO of The Kent Center, cut the ceremonial ribbon. Joining him (pictured left to right) were: Jean Gavigan, Chair, Kent Center Board of Directors; Todd Seaback, Chair, Kent Center Capital Campaign; Senator William Walaska; C. Kenneth Wild, District Director, Congressman James Langevin’s Office; Mike Integlia, the building’s contractor; Representative Al Gemma; Vin Di Bona, Co-Chair, Honorary Committee of the Capital Campaign; and Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts.

Also in attendance were members of The Kent Center’s Board of Directors; members of both the Leadership and Honorary Committees of the Center’s Capital Campaign; staff and clients of the Center; and several people from the local business community. Tours of the new building and a reception followed the ceremony.

Construction of the building was completed in June and The Kent Center moved in on July 9th. The Center will initially lease the building and has launched The Campaign for The Kent Center to raise the capital necessary to ultimately purchase the building. If interested in learning more about The Campaign for The Kent Center, please call Arlene Stoltz, Kent Center Director of Development, at 738-1338, x335.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: JULY 17, 2007
Contact: Arlene Stoltz, Director of Development
(401) 738-1338, x335

The Kent Center Awarded Highest CARF Accreditation

The Kent Center has received a Three-Year CARF Accreditation, the highest level that can be awarded to an organization. The accreditation is for nine of The Kent Center’s programs and services, which represent all programs for which CARF accreditation was sought.  This latest accreditation is the fifth 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.”

The survey summary also included the following points:

  • The organization is staffed by an effective group of caring and dedicated professionals with longevity and is managed by a dynamic and thought-provoking CEO. Staff members mirror the cultural and age diversity of the persons served.
  • The medical team is exceptional in its availability to persons served, complete coverage of the needs of persons served, and consultative role to teams.
  • The Kent Center is governed by a compassionate and professional board of directors that includes persons served. The board is dedicated to the organization’s mission of improving the quality of life of persons served by strong advocacy in the community.
  • The organization provides quality services that are greatly appreciated by the persons served who report being empowered and supported in their recovery and wellness. Many persons served have returned over long periods of time and refer family and friends to the services, exemplifying their satisfaction with services.
  • The Kent Center has a planned move to a new building that is more centrally located for individual access by public transportation and where more programs will be co-located.
  • There is significant teamwork in the programs that support the services for the persons served and the work of colleagues. There is a wide range of services for mental health, addictions, and community living, with seamless transitions from one program to another to address the changing needs of persons served.
  • The community housing apartments were inviting and located in nice buildings. For many persons served, it is their first apartment.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the
quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of persons served. 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.

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: MAY 17, 2007
Contact: Arlene Stoltz, Director of Development
(401) 738-1338, x335

Another Exemplary Psychiatrist for The Kent Center
Dr. Richard Whalen Receives a 2007 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from The National Alliance on Mental Illness

(Warwick, RI) — Dr. Richard Whalen, a staff psychiatrist at The Kent Center, has been named a 2007 Exemplary Psychiatrist by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Whalen, along with fellow Rhode Island psychiatrist Dr. Barry Wall, are two of only 16 psychiatrists from across the country honored by NAMI this year. Dr. Whalen is also the third Kent Center psychiatrist who has been deemed exemplary by NAMI in recent years. Dr. James Bonnar, The Kent Center’s Medical Director, received the award in 2000 and Dr. Andrew Morris received the award just last year. “We are truly fortunate to have such a stellar team of psychiatrists at The Kent Center,” stated Kent Center President/CEO David Lauterbach.

Dr. Whalen received his medical degree from Brown University and did his residency at Stanford University. Dr. Whalen has a subspecialty in gero-psychiatry and in addition to his position at The Kent Center, he is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. Dr. Whalen accepted his award at NAMI of Rhode Island’s Annual Meeting on May 16th. Nominations for the award are made through local chapters and with the input of people living with mental illnesses and their family members.

Established in 1976, The Kent Center provides a wide range of mental health and substance abuse treatment services to men, women, children and families.s

The Kent Center PRESS RELEASE: APRIL 20, 2007
Contact: Arlene Stoltz, Director of Development
(401) 738-1338, x335

The Kent Center’s Hillsgrove House & Congressman James Langevin Presented Award to Sovereign Bank for Employment of People with Mental Illnesses
Sovereign among 60 Companies from Across the County Honored at DC Conference

(Washington, DC)Congressman James Langevin joined The Kent Center’s Hillsgrove House, a clubhouse model of service for people who struggle with mental illnesses, to present an award to Sovereign Bank, which since 2003 has employed dozens of Hillsgrove House members in Transitional Employment positions. Sovereign Bank and over 60 other companies, who have participated in a national effort to expand employment opportunities for people with mental illnesses, received awards from their respective Congressmen at an Employment Expansion Celebration on Capitol Hill on March 22nd. In presenting the award to Brenda Diko, Senior Recruiter for Sovereign Bank, Congressman Langevin stated, “thank you for being a good corporate-community partner and for helping to dispel the stigma of mental illness.”

According to Brenda Diko, the Transitional Employment program has been very successful and beneficial to all involved. “Clubhouse members have many attributes and skills that adapt well to our needs and we all appreciate the extra help,” she explained. “Our department managers also enjoy helping the members enhance their skills. It has been a gratifying and rewarding experience and we look forward to continuing this mutually beneficial relationship.”

The Employment Expansion Celebration also recognized the achievements of clubhouses from across the county, including Hillsgrove House, which provide employment, education, housing, peer support, information, and other services to people with mental illnesses who want to regain control of their social and economic lives by returning to work. In front of over 300 celebration attendees, Congressman Langevin praised Hillsgrove House, stating, “I have had the pleasure of working with Hillsgrove House for many years and am happy to be here with them today.”

Additionally, the employment successes of individual Clubhouse members were highlighted. Cyndi Miller, a Hillsgrove House member who worked at Sovereign Bank in East Providence for one year, attended the conference. “My transitional employment job gave me self-confidence and greater self-esteem, the chance to get back into the workforce again, and the opportunity I otherwise would not have had.”

“Employment and the support that people receive through our clubhouse community are vital for many people with mental illnesses to be successful in their recovery,” explained Lori Cragan, a Hillsgrove House staff member who also attended the conference. “We are so grateful to companies such as Sovereign Bank who work with us to assist members in attaining their employment goals, to Congressman Langevin for his leadership in the Congress, and to the organizers of this very worthwhile conference for drawing national attention to this important issue.”

The Employment Expansion Celebration was part of a three-day conference in Washington DC, organized by the National Clubhouse Employment Expansion Project, an initiative of the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill co-sponsored the conference.

Founded in 1991, Hillsgrove House is part of an international system of over 400 clubhouses and is the only clubhouse in Rhode Island certified by the International Center for Clubhouse Development. If interested in learning more about Hillsgrove House and clubhouses, please attend our Open House on May 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 70 Minnesota Avenue in Warwick.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Arlene Stoltz at 738-1338, x335.