Monthly Archives: October 2014

Rosecrance opens two substance abuse recovery homes in McHenry County

woodstock homesMen and women ages 18 and older have new transitional housing options in Woodstock, a recovery home program overseen by Rosecrance’s office in McHenry County.

Chris Gleason, Rosecrance’s director of McHenry County services, said clients likely will live in the homes about six to nine months. The programming will mirror services provided at Rosecrance Greendale House in Rockford.

He expects many of the residents will fall within the 18-to-34-year-old range.

“It’s really an opportunity for them to apply the recovery skills they learned in treatment and give them a supportive, sober environment in which to practice that,” Gleason said.

Rosecrance opened its office in McHenry two years ago and started offering services in January in Crystal Lake. The recovery homes are a natural complement to the outpatient substance abuse and mental health services available in McHenry County.

Gleason said Rosecrance did significant upgrades to the duplexes. They have new roofs, carpet, furniture and appliances. Rosecrance also hired five new employees to staff the homes.

Rosecrance adds detox services for teens at adolescent campus; first such license in state

ROCKFORD – Responding to the growing trend of opiate abuse, Rosecrance has added detoxification services at the Griffin Williamson Campus to serve teenagers who enter treatment. The organization is the first to receive such a license in Illinois.

The license allows Rosecrance to provide medically monitored detoxification services to adolescents aged 12 to 19 at the campus, 1601 N. University Drive, Rockford, Illinois. Rosecrance has one of the state’s largest adult detoxification programs at its Harrison Campus, 3815 Harrison Ave., Rockford.

Teens needing residential services at Rosecrance previously might have detoxed at the adult facility before going to the Griffin Williamson Campus. Others detoxed in hospitals or at home, but about 40 percent did not move on to residential care after offsite detox. The Rosecrance clinical team determined that onsite detox offered better continuity of care and the best opportunity for lasting recovery.

Opiate detox is not necessarily life-threatening but typically very uncomfortable, which is one reason why clients might leave treatment early. Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton stressed the importance of having adolescent detox and residential services under one roof.

“Detox should not just be a medical procedure. It’s an intervention,” Eaton said. “Absent the intervention, all the detox does is medically stabilize – it does not motivate to treatment. Detox in and of itself has value, but the greater value is engaging the patient in treatment to begin recovery, not just detox.”

Eaton stressed that opiate withdrawal must be managed by medical staff around the clock, and the adolescent campus offers that level of care. Each case is staffed individually with the admitting physician. All major insurances are accepted.

“With well-trained physicians, nurses and technicians who know how to manage opiate withdrawal in a safe, comfortable environment, it multiplies the odds of someone then being engaged into a treatment program immediately following detox,” Eaton said.

Jason Gorham, administrator of residential services at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus, said the facility sees about 170 adolescents each year who require detox services, which is about 15 percent of the annual client total of about 1,100. Having that level of care at the adolescent campus allows young clients to interact from day one with the same clinical staff and peer group they will have in treatment.

“We individualize treatment, we remove obstacles and we focus on solutions,” Gorham said. “Our goal is that they participate in groups, and they go with their groups wherever the groups go. If they’re too sick to do that while they are detoxing, we understand. Meanwhile, the culture of our groups and the kids who are in the groups can be very supportive.”

David Gomel, Rosecrance’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, said the organization created the program in response to a clear need in the state. The heroin epidemic has increased demand for detox for clients of all ages. It particular, it highlighted the scarcity of such services for teens.

“It’s not going away,” Gomel said of the opiate epidemic. “Kids are dying from this, and they need detox services.”

Rosecrance Florian Program featured on WREX

The Rosecrance Florian Program was featured October 14, 2014 on WREX in Rockford.

A new health program, reportedly the only of its kind in the nation, comes to Rockford. It treats first responders who constantly face high-stress situations.

The Florian program is named after the patron saint of firefighters. It’s now offered at Rosecrance, right in the Forest City.

“We came on the job to help other people, but what we fail to do is help ourselves sometimes,” says Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief Daniel DeGryse.

When your career centers around emergencies, you tend to see a lot of the negative. Sometimes those images stay with you. Experts say 20% of all firefighters and paramedics deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

“A child burned up, somebody who’s in a car trying to get out, we see this this each and everyday and what are we supposed to do with that?” says DeGryse.

DeGryse has been a first responder for 25 years. In his time serving, he says he’s seen a lot of situations where firefighters could use professional mental health services, but not as many options for actual treatment. There are choices out there, through what’s called employee assistance programs. Chicago has them, so does Rockford, but DeGryse says the issue lies in specialization.

“Some of the organizations out there, when I ask them about trauma, I don’t think they understand what kind of trauma we go through.”

So, DeGryse reached out to the health organization Rosecrance in Rockford. He and administrators created the Florian Program, what they call a specialized initiative.

“This program is going to be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just for fire personnel.”

Florian has been up and running since this summer at Rosecrance’s facility at 3815 Harrison Avenue. Doctors there, like medical director Dr. Raymond Garcia, have worked with first responders in the past. They say treatment varies with each situation, but all cases will be monitored at Floria, to see iFlorianents are making progress.

“If they have anxiety disorders, PTSD, certainly we can track that to see how well they’re doing symptomatically as they’re leaving the program compared to when they first come in,” Dr. Garcia explains.

Florian’s already treated five firefighters from various departments around northern Illinois. Rockford fire is still looking at payment options, figuring out if its health benefits cover the Florian program, or if personnel would have to pay out of pocket.

Click here to read the article and view the video, or watch the video below: – Rockford’s News Leader

Traveling art exhibit by teens at Rosecrance opens Monday at Thompson Center in Chicago


Rosecrance, one of the country’s leading teen substance abuse treatment centers, has launched a traveling art exhibit to help parents understand teenagers’ points of view about pressures they encounter and how they are faced with the potential to use, and abuse, substances. The exhibit launches this Monday and Tuesday, October 20 – 21, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Atrium Mall at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street in Chicago. Developed by teen patients participating in an art therapy program at Rosecrance’s adolescent campus in Rockford, IL, “In My Shoes” encourages parents to understand their teen’s point of view and actively parent to help teens navigate today’s confusing environment.

“We believe this artwork display will be an impactful call to parents to do all they can to support their children and help prevent any level of substance use among their teen children,” said Thomas Wright, MD, the Chief Medical Officer at Rosecrance. “Teenagers want their parents to actively parent and give them the guidance and support they need, and that includes how to navigate what is happening around substances today. Once parents learn more about what it is like to walk in a teen’s shoes, we think they can have a more meaningful conversation.”

The shoes featured in the exhibit were donated by Rosecrance staff, then painted white so each teen had a blank canvas to tell his or her story. Developing this artwork is part of Rosecrance’s comprehensive art therapy program, which includes individuals and groups creating art as a tool of self-expression. It can help teens in treatment express feelings visually when they may not be able to share them verbally. “From shoe selection to showcase, the process of creating shoe art is a meaningful experience for these teens in that each shoe is unique and visually tells the teen’s story about addiction, recovery, and the teens’ hopes and dreams for the future,” said Jennifer Thammavong, art therapist at Rosecrance. “The shoes also symbolize the steps that these teens have taken to overcome substance use and move forward with living happy and healthy lives.”

The exhibit, which contains more than a dozen unique shoes, is traveling to cities throughout the Midwest.

Visit to find out where the exhibit will be next.

Rosecrance employees train with Rockford Fire Department

Rosecrance Florian Program staff pose with firefighters from the Rockford Fire Department during their training October 8, 2014.

Rosecrance Florian Program staff pose with firefighters from the Rockford Fire Department during their training October 8, 2014.

A group of Rosecrance employees trained as firefighters for a day on Wednesday, Oct. 8, as the organization prepares to launch a new inpatient substance abuse treatment program geared specifically for that population.

Nine employees suited up for exercises as part of the Rockford Fire Department Training Academy. Dan DeGryse, a longtime Chicago firefighter and director of the new Rosecrance Florian Program for firefighters and paramedics, accompanied the staff.

2The group took turns extinguishing a car fire, climbing a 100-foot fire engine ladder extended high into the air, navigating tight spaces inside a pitch-black room with just a rope to guide them and crawling through a dark room filled with fire and smoke to retrieve a 165-pound dummy.

Employees also learned about department regulations in a classroom setting and received instruction about ambulance equipment and procedures.

Matt Knott, Rockford Fire Department’s training division chief, said fire officials try to make the training as realistic as possible. Several employees said the scenarios were intense, particularly doing labor-intensive exercises while wearing heavy suits, oxygen tanks, helmets and masks.

Smoke filled the air from the car fire and burn room exercises on the windy day, and robotic buzzes and beeps signaling when oxygen tanks needed to be replaced could be heard throughout the morning.

4Knott and DeGryse said they were both impressed with the employees’ willingness to participate in the training and their success in completing the exercises.

“This better prepares them to have an understanding of empathy of what firefighting is all about,” Knott said. “This pays dividends big-time to our organization because now if somebody has challenges, we can feel comfortable (referring them to Rosecrance) because staff went through the program with the Rockford Fire Department and understand what this is all about.”

Staff members have counseled and treated firefighters and paramedics throughout the years, and a few firefighters have received specialized treatment already this year as part of the Florian Program.

3DeGryse, a battalion chief with more than 25 years’ experience with the Chicago Fire Department, said the training day went better than he ever could have expected.

“They got a heck of a lot of experience here today, and everybody was a champion,” DeGryse said. “You could watch all the fire shows in the world, but to truly connect with somebody is so important, to know what it’s like when somebody says, ‘Yeah, I couldn’t get a person out of a building because it was too hot.’

“Now they can connect, not only mentally, but physically to what the clients are dealing with. We tell a lot of people that when someone talks about an incident, they naturally go back and have memories. And now these staff can have memories of multiple different events, and when they talk to someone, they can say, ‘I get it now.’ Experience and memory and connecting are huge for a counselor and an organization.”

View more photos of the training on our Facebook page.

The Rosecrance Florian Program was recently featured in the Rockford Register Star. Click here to read the article.

Rosecrance uses $1.5 million Illinois DCEO grant to create unique crisis intervention center

Rosecrance Mulberry Center to serve individuals in psychiatric crisis

ROCKFORD – Rosecrance has received a $1.5 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to fund a groundbreaking program to meet the needs of area residents who need emergency services and short-term housing in response to psychiatric crises.

Rosecrance Mulberry Center, located at 605 Mulberry Street in downtown Rockford.

Rosecrance Mulberry Center, located at 605 Mulberry Street in downtown Rockford.

The Rosecrance Mulberry Center, located in a renovated and expanded building at 605 Mulberry Street in downtown Rockford, opens Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The center brings under one roof crisis services that Rosecrance already offers at separate locations in the city.

“The Rosecrance Mulberry Center allows us to serve people in crisis in a comfortable, non-threatening environment and move them to the appropriate level of care very quickly, and the best level of care might be just down the hallway in the same building,” said Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton.

“This program is both clinically sound and fiscally efficient, and it is one of a kind in Illinois.


Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton speaks about the services the Rosecrance Mulberry Center will provide.

“We are grateful that the Illinois DCEO agreed to fund the program because they recognized how it will improve the continuum of care for mental health in our community.”

The new center contains the Triage Program for seven clients in psychiatric emergency, the Crisis Residential Program for 12 clients needing short-term care and the new Detoxification Program for four clients with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. The three programs are closely linked and logically offered at the same location.

Triage, located in the east section of the building, is designed to provide immediate evaluation for individuals in psychiatric crisis. Clients might come to the center from area emergency rooms or they might be brought in by family members or law enforcement. The individual is given an evaluation to determine the appropriate level of care, and staff members assist with that transition, which takes place within 23 hours. The area follows the “living room model” for patient comfort. Outcomes range from the client returning home with follow-up care to hospitalization.

mulberry_bedsAn in-between level of short-term care is offered through the Crisis Residential Program, also located at the Rosecrance Mulberry Center. The 12-bed program serves clients who don’t need hospitalization but who need ongoing monitoring  and intensive services after triage. The average length of stay is 3-5 days, but clients may be in the program for up to 14 days.

Four other residential beds will be used for the Detoxification Program for individuals who need that level of medical care along with monitoring for psychiatric crises. That program is new and it will open in early November.

mulberry_couchesThe Rosecrance Mulberry Center reclaimed a downtown building that had been vacant for several years. Beyond renovation of the existing structure, the project called for new construction to expand the building by about one-third. Larson & Darby Group did the architectural work, and Ringland-Johnson Construction was the contractor.

“This project clearly demonstrates our commitment to serve this population,” Eaton said. “We know and believe that people who struggle in our community deserve to have intentionally developed infrastructure to respond to their needs when they’re in crisis. I’m grateful to the state and very proud of our board of directors for their commitment to invest. This is a significant long-term investment in our commitment to providing behavioral health services to people in our community.”

You can read more about the Rosecrance Mulberry Center or watch video online from the following media outlets:

Rockford Register Star – Rosecrance in Rockford unveils a better system of care for mental health crisis

WIFR – Rosecrance Mulberry Center ready to open

WREX – New type of mental illness clinic to join Rockford

Treatment Magazine – Illinois’ Rosecrance Opens Highly Innovative New Dual Diagnosis Center