Rosecrance CEO: Respect roots, embrace future

Rosecrance leads the way in behavioral health

Note: This article appears in the FY2011 Annual Report edition of Reach, which publishes later this week.

Download a PDF version of this article by clicking here (1 mb).

We measure everything we do against the yardstick of Rosecrance’s almost-100 year history.

Not that we’re opposed to change — far from it. Rosecrance has a tradition of evolving to meet the demands of society at a given time while anticipating the future.

What I mean is that we never forget our roots. We don’t grow for the sake of growth. We grow in response to the compassionate mission and values of our organization to address unmet needs in the community. As I look back on Fiscal Year 2011 and ahead to 2012, I can say with confidence that the tremendous changes we’ve experienced and those we anticipate are true, in spirit, to the legacy of our founders, Dr. James and Fannie Rosecrance.

Dr. Rosecrance, who established his practice in New Milford to serve soldiers returning from the Civil War, surely would appreciate our new program to treat veterans with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. The Rosecrances most likely would understand the thinking behind the groundbreaking merger between Rosecrance and the former Janet Wattles Center. Our combined operations allow Rosecrance to better meet community needs.

As to the future, we took an important step forward through a new partnership with Crusader Community Health. We have “embedded” a licensed mental health counselor at Crusader to help primary care providers serve patients who come in for physical ailments but who also may need behavioral health services. This kind of integrated care is the wave of the future.

I marked a personal milestone in May at my 40th anniversary with Rosecrance. Sometimes I wonder where the years have gone. I was one of 14 staff members taking care of 24 boys with behavior problems back in 1971. Now, Rosecrance is nearing 600 staff serving more than 13,000 individuals each year.

So much has changed. Yet, the span of four decades disappears for me when I see the patients come into treatment for addiction or mental health crises. Their faces and their demeanor reflect the same distress and the same needs we saw back in the 1970s.

We are still here to serve with compassion and with quality. We might alter how and where we deliver care from decade to decade, but our mission of providing help, hope and the best opportunity for lasting recovery will not change — regardless of what challenges we face in the coming year.

This is our purpose, as we all go forward, with the grace of God, one day at a time.

– Philip W. Eaton, President/CEO