Monthly Archives: December 2012

Rosecrance expands in Wisconsin

Rosecrance Waukesha County will be offering services from its offices in Pewaukee, Wis.

Note: This article appears in the Winter 2013 edition of Reach.

Rosecrance is set to begin offering services in Waukesha County, Wis.

Rosecrance Waukesha County, with offices in Pewaukee, will provide intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment for adolescents. The office is set to begin providing care to area youth and their families in early 2013.

Services will include an intensive outpatient program; a continuing care group; free confidential drug and alcohol evaluations; early intervention services; assistance to families who need help finding resources; substance abuse awareness training and education for professionals, community organizations and parents; and urine drug screens.

The office’s address will be Rosecrance Waukesha County – N27 W23957 Paul Road, Suite 101, Pewaukee, WI 53072. For more information or to make a referral, call 262.278.4462 or 888.928.5278.

Rosecrance School makes education a vital part of substance abuse treatment

Note: This article appears in the Winter 2013 edition of Reach. To download a PDF version of the story, click here.

Rosecrance School

Cindy Kelly, Donna Swanstrom (secretary), Matthew Fields, Sharon Burns, Barb Dean (back row), Jodi Miller and Meghan Garnhart (front) make up the staff at the Rosecrance School.

They’re not just students; they’re also clients at Rosecrance’s Griffin Williamson Campus, a Rockford treatment facility for young people dealing with substance abuse. And, as part of their treatment, they attend school four hours each day.

“Treatment comes first, but education is a close second,” says Jason Gorham, Administrator of Residential Services at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus. “Students need to know how to cope in a school environment. If they don’t know how to adapt, they will go back to old habits.”

Students at the Griffin Williamson Campus follow the Rockford School District calendar, and the district assigns six certified teachers to the school.  Two to three hours daily are spent on core academics, the rest on art, gym or life skills. Books come from the students’ home districts; Rosecrance provides the space, furniture and equipment. Each class has a maximum of 14 students, and each student brings unique challenges. They get assignments, they get homework, and some of them get diplomas.
They all have one thing in common:  The biggest lessons they learn often have little to do with reading, writing and arithmetic.

Cindy Kelly is the lead teacher at Rosecrance, where she’s taught for more than 24 years. She supervises the teachers at Griffin Williamson and says her work with the students combines education and encouragement.

“All I try to do is plant the seed and the desire within each kid,” Kelly says. “Let them know they are important and they are worthwhile no matter what they have done in the past. ‘You made bad choices, but you aren’t a bad kid. You have to change your choices.’ Hopefully, here at Rosecrance, they will learn how.”

She has to constantly adapt to what the students need. Having a flexible style  and positive outlook are critical.

“Everything changes from minute to minute,” Kelly says. “It’s never black and white. It can’t be.”

Cindy Kelly

Cindy Kelly gets ready for the day in her classroom at the Rosecrance School. Each of the seven classrooms offers a view of the Healing Garden.

Teachers at the Griffin Williamson campus work with educators and counselors in the students’ home schools to coordinate lessons, and regular progress reports are provided.

Students arrive on campus with a wide range of educational needs. Some are in Advanced Placement classes, and others are not attending school at all. When necessary, tutors are brought in, and sometimes, the home school has to put in extra time and effort.  That goes for the students, too: Most students devote four hours to school, but those with heavy course loads spend more time on their work.

Even teens who aren’t enrolled in school or have been expelled take part in school activities at Rosecrance. Some districts provide programs for students to continue their education, and the teens can also take a prep course for the GED exam.

The teachers at Rosecrance Griffin Williamson instruct students in all subjects, sometimes covering several topics and grade levels in a single class. And that’s not all they do.

“We probably, at some point, play all roles,” Kelly says. “Sometimes (the students) need to be told they are OK. Sometimes we need to be the teacher and be in their faces and strong with education. Other times, they need a friend to sit there and let them vent.”

Rules are rules at Rosecrance – students can’t skip classes, and they can’t be tardy – but, Kelly says discipline isn’t a problem.  That’s because their achievements in this school represent the most success many students have had in a long time.

“Usually they come in very resistant, not wanting to be here,” Kelly says, “but by the time they leave, the tears are coming, and they don’t want to leave. You get the call or the card saying ‘thank you,’ or you receive a graduation announcement: ‘I did it. I’m going to graduate.’

“That’s your payoff. The success stories.”

About lead teacher Cindy Kelly

  • Experience: 24 years teaching. Has taught at Guilford High School, Alternative High School and Rosecrance
  • Degrees: Bachelor of Science, Masters in Education, degree in Special Education Behavior and Emotional Disorders

About the school

  • Six certified teachers, with a 1:14 teacher-student ratio
  • Four-hour school day five days a week, with two to three academic hours and rest of the time devoted to life skills, art and fitness.
  • Seven classrooms, including an art room and a life skills lab. Experiential therapy includes art, horticulture, music, fitness and life skills.

Written by Alexi Bown and Will Pfeifer

Register Star report focuses on system after Singer closing

A story in the Sunday, Dec. 23 edition of the Rockford Register Star took a look at the new system to help patients in psychiatric crisis that’s taking shape after the Oct. closing of Singer Mental Health Center.

“A big part of the Northwest Crisis Care System was the construction of a behavioral health triage center at Rosecrance Health Network’s facility in downtown Rockford,” reporter Melissa Westphal wrote, and she quotes Mary Ann Abate, Rosecrance’s vice president for community mental health, as saying “It’s a unique opportunity for our county to have this state-of-the-art resource.”

Read the entire story online here.

Atrium update: Glass being installed ahead of schedule

When completed, the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson atrium will have windows that can be opened to allow for ventilation.

Work continues on the atrium project on the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus. Here’s the latest from project manager Gary Larson:

“We actually started installing the glass a day or two sooner than we had originally scheduled.  However with the weather yesterday, the cold today and Christmas next week not much work will be happening for a few days.”

The photo above from Larson shows much of the glass installed. “As you look at the picture,” he writes, “you will notice some of the windows missing in the bottom row facing the garden.  When these are installed, they will be windows that will actually open to allow for ventilation similar to the way a traditional greenhouse operates.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in February — weather permitting, of course.

 Previous story about the RGW atrium

Attend online recovery meetings during Christmas and New Year's, a social media recovery website, will be hosting meetings by AA and NA groups on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

AA and NA meetings will alternate, beginning at 10 a.m.Christmas and New Year’s Eve (CST) and continuing through 11 p.m. (CST) on all four days. Additionally, will be holding Al-Anon, Naranon, OA and Dual Diagnosis meetings on those days, too.

Anyone can attend any of the meetings whether to listen or participate. All you need is a web browser (Chrome and Firefox work best) and a microphone.If you have a webcam, you have the option of being seen or not.

For more information or to join a meeting, go to


Rosecrance part of planned school-based health clinic


Mary Ann Abate

Mary Ann Abate

Rosecrance VP for Mental Health Services Mary Ann Abate joined officials from the Rockford School District and Crusader Community Health Thursday in announcing the receipt of a federal grant to offer school-based services for students needing medical, behavioral health, vision and dental care.“Rosecrance is extremely excited to collaborate with District 205 and Crusader to offer care our children so desperately need,” Abate said. “Now, more than ever, I believe we are coming to understand how important it is for children and adults alike to have access to quality behavioral health care when they need services.”

Rosecrance will place a licensed social worker at the clinic to help students who need help with substance abuse and mental health issues. Referrals will be made to the Rosecrance services for mental health issues and substance abuse.

Gordon Eggers, Crusader CEO, said at a press conference at school district offices Thursday afternoon that Crusader “would not want to do this without Rosecrance and a behavioral health aspect.”

School Supt. Robert Willis hailed Crusader, Rosecrance SwedishAmerican Health System and Dr. William Hillman of the Primary Eye Care Center of Rockford as “solid community partners with a history of service.”

Rockford Public Schools has received a $500,000 federal grant that will allow the district to move forward with a school-based health center, which will provide services to more than 3,000 students.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded more than $80 million to 197 school-based health centers across the country.

“The need for these services is well documented and will enable children with acute or chronic illnesses to attend school as well as help improve their overall health and wellness through health screenings, health promotion and disease prevention,” Eggers said.

The federal grant will cover half of the center’s start-up costs, and is made possible under the Affordable Care Act. The district also received a $50,000 grant from the state. The center is expected to operate five days a week, year-round. District officials anticipate the center will open this summer, in time to provide school physicals and sports physicals for the 2013-14 school year.


Rosecrance's Charity Shaw-Moyado featured in Register Star 'Elf on the Shelf' story

Charity Shaw-Moyado

Charity Shaw-Moyado

Charity Shaw-Moyado, administrator at the Rosecrance Berry Campus, was quoted in a story in Wednesday’s Rockford Register Star focusing on the holiday tradition of the “Elf on the Shelf.” She says she’s had an elf visit her own home for the past three years and sees it as a fun way to celebrate Christmas.”We frame (the elf) as it’s Santa’s helper, and he sees you doing good things, positive things,” Charity says in the story. “He reports to Santa that you cleaned your room, you brushed your teeth — reinforcing good behavior, which is what all parents want to do.” She warned, however, against using the elf as a “boogie-man” type being or threatening children with its use.

Read the whole story here.


Rosecrance's Father Jim Swarthout pens editorial for Rockford Register Star

Father Jim Swarthout

Father Jim Swarthout, community clergy relations coordinator for Rosecrance Health Network, wrote a guest editorial for Tuesday’s Rockford Register Star titled “Keeping watch for Light in the Darkness.”The column, which focuses on both the despair of the Newtown shootings and the hope of Christmas, starts with a question: “How do you begin a day standing with the kids at the bus stop and end it with a candlelight vigil?”

You can read the entire column here.

WREX reports on Rosecrance Foundation's AT&T award

Here’s the report from WREX-13 about The Rosecrance Foundation being awarded an “AT&T Investing in Illinois Award” Thursday, with comments from Rosecrance Senior Vice President of Development Lynne Vass and Illinois Sen. Dave Syverson.

Read more about the award here. – Rockford’s News Leader

Rosecrance Foundation wins 'AT&T Investing in Illinois Award'

Rosecrance Award

Jaclyn Kator, director AT&T external affairs (left) and Illinois State Sen. Dave Syverson (right) present a check for $1,000 to Lynne Vass, Senior Vice President of Development for the Rosecrance Foundation on Thursday, Dec. 13.

AT&T Illinois announced Thursday Rosecrance Foundation is the winner of an “AT&T Investing in Illinois Award.”The AT&T Investing in Illinois Awards provide resources and recognition to organizations and programs that are improving lives in their communities and the state by advancing education, economic growth, new technologies and other essential community services.“It is rewarding to have the work we do every day recognized by AT&T.   We are driven by our mission to serve the community, and this award certainly reminds us that the work we do is important to others and appreciated by the local community,” said Lynne Vass, Senior Vice President of Development of Rosecrance Foundation.  “We also wish to thank Sen. Dave Syverson for supporting this award.”Asked why he selected Rosecrance to receive the AT&T Investing in Illinois Award, Illinois State Sen. Syverson said “Rosecrance is considered one of the top programs of its kind in the state of Illinois . At the state level, we look to Rosecrance in terms of best practices and it is an easy organization to support.”

By winning an “AT&T Investing in Illinois Award,” Rosecrance Foundation receives public recognition and a contribution of $1,000 from AT&T to be used to expand the music program, which is an integral part of promoting positive energy during the treatment process.

“As our nation moves to an Internet-based network, AT&T is delivering wired and wireless broadband solutions for consumers and businesses.  We are also committed to giving back as AT&T Illinois has a proud history of making corporate contributions to Illinois non-profit groups and programs that are making a difference locally.   Today, our company recognizes Rosecrance Foundation for improving the quality of life for local residents and strengthening the fabric of our state,” said Jaclyn Kator, Director AT&T External Affairs.

“We are fortunate that very committed and caring groups are working to improve the quality of life for many residents in Northern Illinois,” said Syverson.  “Rosecrance Foundation does tremendous work, and I was pleased to make this nomination to recognize all they do.”

The Rosecrance Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to ensure excellence in the treatment of those who struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues. All philanthropic giving directly supports the mission of Rosecrance. Gifts help fund adolescent and adult programs and services, maternal/child programs, adolescent and adult recovery homes, the Kinley Charity Care Fund, the Rosecrance endowment funds and capital needs. For more information or to make a donation to the Foundation, click here.