Criminal justice official Rodger Heaton visits Rosecrance Ware Center

Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton speaks with Rosecrance Ware Center Administrator Annie Fridh, criminal justice leader Rodger Heaton and Illinois State Representative John Cabello while giving them a tour of the Rosecrance Mulberry Center.

Rosecrance was pleased to welcome Illinois criminal justice leader Rodger Heaton on Feb. 5 for tours of two local facilities and a discussion about programming and the importance of behavioral health care funding.

Heaton serves as chairman of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. He is also the public safety director and homeland security advisor for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton, as well as other Rosecrance leadership and staff, met with Heaton during the morning at the Rosecrance Mulberry Center, a unique facility that houses triage, crisis residential and detoxification services for people experiencing psychiatric crises and those with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Rockford Police Chief Pat Hoey, Illinois Appellate Judge Kathryn Zenoff and Rep. John Cabello also joined the tour. Cabello serves with Heaton on the state commission.

Rockford Police Chief Patrick Hoey speaks with Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton, Illinois criminal justice leader Rodger Heaton, Illinois Appellate Judge Kathryn Zenoff and Rep. John Cabello.

During the afternoon, Heaton toured the Rosecrance Ware Center, home to adult outpatient mental health services and some substance abuse treatment programs. Joe McGraw, chief judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Judge Janet Holmgren and Michelle Rock, director of the Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice, participated in the tour and discussion with Heaton.

Heaton said it was beneficial for him to learn more about how Rosecrance’s programs work and who is served by them in the community. Zenoff said the day was a way to “broaden the conversation” about programs and services.

On Nov. 2, Rosecrance cut hours by more than half for the triage program at the Mulberry Center. The change was made because the state zeroed out about $1.5 million operational funds.

The triage program no longer operates around the clock; it’s open from noon to 11 p.m. Rosecrance has been using reserve funds since July 1 to operate triage services, and Eaton emphasized that the Rosecrance Board of Directors believes in the service and the collaboration it promotes with local law enforcement and health care organizations.