“Improved Access”, a focus at Hamilton Center

Grace Clinic Acquires Mobile Clinic through American Rescue Plan

Hamilton Center, Inc. is proud to announce the implementation of a new mobile primary care clinic.  Grace Clinic Health Professional, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike supported by the federal government and Hamilton Center in Terre Haute, Indiana, will be expanding the clinic’s services to outlying and underserved areas.  The medically equipped mobile vehicle will reduce obstacles many people experience with lack of transportation to access medical care. The mobile clinic will provide health screenings, primary medical care, and preventative care to children and adults. 

Future expansion plans include COVID-19 testing and vaccination at some of Hamilton Center’s 24 hour service sites, vaccine-related outreach and education, services to racial and ethnic minorities and homeless families, and other vulnerable, underserved, and underinsured/uninsured populations.  The mobile clinic launch is slated for later this month with hours mirroring that of Grace Clinic Health Professional’s clinic – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan, a federal grant designed to help Americans recover from economic and health effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Grace Clinic’s new mobile services will accommodate a larger footprint and ease the struggles of many for whom a trip to see their provider is challenging.

“Improving access to care for those who find it difficult to get to a medical clinic is a driving force of this new program,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc.  “We are working to improve the overall health of our consumers and community,” he stated. 

Since receiving FQHC Look-Alike status in 2020, Grace Clinic Health Professional’s focus is on providing primary medical care to those who have obstacles to services. In particular, the clinic works to bring integrated healthcare to those with mental illnesses and addiction issues as well as groups of people with other health conditions.  In addition, the clinic maintains a sliding fee schedule, and no one will be turned away for inability to pay. 

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

For an appointment at Grace Clinic Health Professional, call (812) 231-8377.

The Hamilton Awards: 50 Years Further

October 26, 2021, 5:30 pm at Hulman Center

Hamilton Center will host the annual Hamilton Awards on Tuesday, October 26, 5:30 pm, at Hulman Center featuring keynote speaker, Matt Brooks.  Mr. Brooks, the former President and CEO of Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers, has over thirty years of experience as a leader in the State of Indiana in developing comprehensive public health initiatives and behavioral health policy and legislation. 

This year marks 50 years of Hamilton Center’s commitment to serving the community’s mental health and addiction needs. The theme of 50 Years Further highlights how far we have come and yet, how much further we have to go.  The event will highlight fiscal year 2021 accomplishments and recognize those nominated for a Hamilton Award.

Katherine Hamilton fought for the inclusion, acceptance, and support of those struggling with mental illness in the early 1960’s. She emphasized the importance of community in her life’s work. In this spirit, Hamilton Center awards were created to recognize individuals and organizations who have significantly contributed to the cause of mental health and addiction while furthering the mission of Hamilton Center, Inc. in the community. Nominees are recognized in the categories of volunteer, community, and Hamilton Center staff.  Winners will be announced that evening.

Volunteer Category:  Frank Carrio (Vigo County); Jonie Kanizer (Vermillion County); Audie Spencer (Vigo County); Nancy Swain (Parke County); Jillian Turner and Giana White (Vigo County)

Community Category:  Clay County Podiatry; Shannon Miller, CODA (Vigo County); Ernie Pyle Elementary School (Vermillion County); Michael Rentfro, Next Steps Foundation, Inc. (Vigo County); Dr. Megan Kirk, Project Aware (Vigo County); Resurrecting Recovery Center (Greene County); Senator Jon Ford; Team of Mercy, Inc. (Vigo County); Vermillion County Jail/Sheriff’s Office; Way Maker, Inc. (Hendricks County)

Staff Category:  Mark Collins, Chief Clinical Officer; Robin Cooprider, Executive Director of Systems; Mary Beth Dougherty, Executive Director of Patient Care; Art Fuller, Executive Director of Access Services; Molly Funk, Program Manager – Addictions; Lynn Hughes, Chief of Community Engagement; Erika McKinney, Care Manager Supervisor – Child & Adolescent Services; Tina Payton, Registered Nurse – Vigo County Outpatient; Leeann Pruiett, Registered Nurse; Cristy Werremeyer, Program Manager – Vigo County Outpatient; Tina Williams, Program Assistant – WIN Recovery Hendricks County

Hamilton Center invites community members, groups, and organizations to celebrate the nominees and recipients of the 2021 Hamilton Awards. For information about the event or to register go to www.hamiltonawards2021.eventbrite.com.

Due to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, we will require all attendees to wear a mask when entering the dinner venue and practice social distancing throughout the event – tables will be appropriately spaced and there will be fewer people at each table.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, Ind.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Commemorates half-century of efforts to improve mental health care

In 2021, Hamilton Center, Inc. commemorates its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1971 as the Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center, the organization has spent the last 50 years advancing excellence in behavioral healthcare services. Today, the organization serves over 12,000 consumers annually, employs over 650 Hoosiers, and hosts a number of beloved community events in west central Indiana.

Hamilton Center, with the help of committed community partners, has advanced behavioral health and addiction treatment. As our understanding of mental health, physical health, and the mind-body connection has advanced in the last 50 years, so has Hamilton Center’s service delivery. Today, the organization offers a full array of services with focus on integrating both behavioral health and primary care services to offer whole person care. The organization’s long-standing philosophy of “least restrictive care” has assisted those with severe mental illnesses and chronic addiction issues to live successfully and independently in their home communities. For many, hope has been restored, quality of life enhanced, and lives have been saved.

Hamilton Center Expands 24-hour Access Services

Hamilton Center’s Access Center and Crisis Line are now staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week, assisting individuals, families and communities who may need support with mental health or substance abuse emergencies.

Mental health-related crisis calls have increased throughout the pandemic and are often related to social isolation, fear of illness, and hindered access to services. Hamilton Center’s 24-hour Access Center offers mental health and substance use crisis assessments and management services from mental health professionals, and services are available to individuals throughout the corporation’s 10-county service area.  In addition, the Access Center can assist those seeking access to preventive screenings including mental health and primary care screenings.

“Everyone has struggled in some way during the pandemic,” said Art Fuller, Executive Director of Access Services. “What we are trying to do is optimize our efforts to meet the specific needs of those in crisis. We are here to provide support 24/7 to any one in need, children and adults alike.”

The Access Center can be reached at (800) 742-0787.

Free Suicide Prevention Training for All

In celebration of 50 years of service to west central Indiana, Hamilton Center has launched a public service campaign focused on suicide prevention.  “Zero suicides.  It is possible.”

The campaign is focused on suicide prevention training and expansion of emergency services.  Hamilton Center is offering free suicide prevention training to organizations, groups, and individuals to assist individuals in identifying and assisting those struggling with a mental health issue or crisis. Suicide is preventable. Save a life, take the training. To learn more, visit hamiltoncenter.org/communitytraining.

Hamilton Center, Inc. commits to $15 per hour minimum wage for all employees

Melvin L. Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc., has announced that no employee in the corporation will earn less than $15 per hour.

In a memo sent to all Hamilton Center staff, Burks stated, “It has taken discipline, persistence and sacrifice to reach this goal…. I am grateful to the Board of Directors and my leadership team who stayed focused and steadfast to make this happen.  In addition, I want to thank all of you (staff) for not only your hard work, but also your patience as we worked though this project.” 

This action was a culmination of work over the last few years to increase salaries in order to recruit and retain qualified individuals who can provide excellent service to consumers in Hamilton Center’s regional footprint. 

“These increases will significantly improve the quality of life for many of our employees, as well as our consumers who are counting on us to serve them with a top notch, qualified and stable workforce. I am so proud of the investment we are able to make in our workforce,” Burks stated. 

This initiative, combined with other salary increases, will affect over 300 Hamilton Center positions.

* * *

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana headquartered in Terre Haute Services include specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people with drug and alcohol problems. Counseling services are provided for people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

New Citizens Program provides second chances

“I am living a life I never wanted”, said a recent graduate of Hamilton Center’s New Citizen Program. “I’m living a life I never knew I could have,” said Mike Hambright. 

On July 2, 2021, Hamilton Center graduated another “new citizen” from a program first established in 2013 to give individuals who have been incarcerated, the tools needed get a second chance at life.  For the first seven years of the program, the organization focused on building the program internally. Participants completed a one-year probationary period where they trained in four different areas of the Corporation to gain skills and experience to secure a permanent job/career at Hamilton Center.  In addition to job skills, participants gained life skills as they worked through challenges of reintegration into their communities with a team of mentors that met with them weekly.

Recently, the program has expanded to other corporations who expressed interest in participating.  Wabash Valley Asphalt, now called Milestone Contractors South, was one of those companies that stepped up to bring the New Citizen Program to their business. For the past year, a new citizen has learned a skilled trade at Wabash Valley Asphalt.  On Friday July 2, a graduation ceremony was held.  The graduated New Citizen, Mike Hambright, was filled with pride and gratitude, not just for the opportunity to have a second chance, but also for the opportunity to grow, better himself and give back.

“For the last year I have been working with the committee from the Hamilton Center to be a better version of myself. They gave me an opportunity by working with a union company to give me a shot at a career. Since being with Milestone, I have been learning and growing in a skilled trade. Here I have a pension, and benefits. If not for the Hamilton Center’s New Citizens program I don’t know what I would be doing right now,” Hambright stated.

“I’ve decided to pursue the Union Career and continue to grow and better myself. Through this program, it’s given Hamilton Center, Milestone and myself an opportunity to give back to the community. I am proud of this accomplishment and look forward to guiding the next candidate and being a leader,” he said.

Since Wabash Valley Asphalt joined the program, Hamilton Center has also been proud to welcome other corporations to the partnership.  Hamilton Center is grateful for the interest to those companies and others who play a significant role in helping reduce recidivism, including other employers who are willing to hire workers notwithstanding a criminal history.

“At some point in life, every one of us needs a second chance to recover from a mistake; and usually, we get that chance.” said Melvin L. Burks, Hamilton Center’s CEO.  “These individuals have paid their debt to society and deserve a second chance,” he said. “Not only will they benefit, but it will strengthen families and our entire community.”

Hamilton Center welcomes additional host sites and participants for the New Citizen Program. To learn more, visit www.hamiltoncenter.org/programs/new-citizen/, or call 812-231-8323.

Hamilton Center commits to $15 minimum wage

Melvin L. Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc., has announced that, effective Aug. 23, 2021, no employee in the corporation will earn less than $15 per hour.

In a memo sent to all Hamilton Center staff on Aug. 13, Burks stated, “It has taken discipline, persistence and sacrifice to reach this goal…. I am grateful to the Board of Directors and my leadership team who stayed focused and steadfast to make this happen.  In addition, I want to thank all of you (staff) for not only your hard work, but also your patience as we worked though this project.” 

This action was a culmination of work over the last few years to increase salaries in order to recruit and retain qualified individuals who can provide excellent service to consumers in Hamilton Center’s regional footprint. 

“These increases will significantly improve the quality of life for many of our employees, as well as our consumers who are counting on us to serve them with a top notch, qualified and stable workforce. I am so proud of the investment we are able to make in our workforce,” Burks stated. 

This initiative, combined with other salary increases, will affect over 300 Hamilton Center positions.

Hamilton Center is a regional behavioral health system in central and west central Indiana employing over 600 staff including physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, case managers and others.  For employment opportunities, go to www.hamiltoncenter.org and click on careers. 

Hamilton Center Hosts Diversity Walk-On-Wheels, August 21

Modified Parade from Fairbanks Park to Vigo County Veterans Memorial Park

On Saturday, August 21, the 2021 Diversity Walk-On-Wheels will take place, allowing individuals to show their support for diversity, inclusion and equity while practicing social distancing in a vehicle caravan through Terre Haute.

Vehicles can begin lining up at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, at Fairbanks Park, 100-1099 Dresser Drive. Vehicles will enter via the south entrance of the Park at First and Farrington streets and then line up on Dresser Drive to depart out of the north entrance of the Park at First and Oak streets beginning at 9 a.m. The motorcade will travel through Downtown Terre Haute to Vigo County Veterans Memorial Park, 3300 Wabash Ave., for a brief presentation.

Melvin L. Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center and Chair of the Diversity Committee, said, “The Committee is proud to create an event that will allow people of varying ages, races, creeds, colors, orientations, backgrounds and abilities to come together while also maintaining physical social distancing.”

The Diversity Walk was created to bring a diverse group of people together to break down barriers, build relationships and show what is possible when a community is welcoming to all.

“It is unfortunate that we could not hold the traditional Walk this year, but the entire committee is excited to witness our community’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion during these uncertain times.” Burks said. “Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe; this reimagined format will allow us to do that while also celebrating together.”

The Diversity Walk on Wheels is a free event, but registration is required for participation. Registration is available online at www.diversitywalk.org. To ensure the health and safety of all participants, individuals who plan to ride together during the event are encouraged to share the same living unit address. In addition, guests are asked to stay in their vehicles during the event. If attendees must exit their vehicles, they will be encouraged to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing of at least six feet from vehicles and people from different households.

Each car that registers to participate will receive an orange Diversity flag to display, and each individual in the car will receive a Diversity Walk button. Individuals who have participated in previous Diversity Walks-on-Wheels are encouraged to wear their orange shirts and bring their orange flags from last year’s event. Those without a shirt will be able to reserve a shirt during the registration process. Sizes are limited and not guaranteed. Participants are also encouraged to decorate their vehicles for the event, and an award will be given to the best in show.

For those who are unable to participate in the Diversity Walk on Wheels, photos and videos will be shared online at facebook.com/diversitywalk. Those with Diversity Walk shirts from previous events are encouraged to participate virtually, from wherever they are, by wearing those shirts on Saturday, Aug. 21, and posting photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #DiversityWalkonWheels..

WHAT:             7th Annual Diversity Walk/2nd Ever Diversity Walk on Wheels

WHEN:             Saturday, August 21, 2021

8:00 a.m. – Vehicle Line-Up Begins

9:00 a.m. – Diversity Walk on Wheels begins

WHERE:                       Event will begin at Fairbanks Park and end with closing remarks at Vigo County Veterans Memorial Park, 3300 Wabash Ave.

REGISTER:                   Registration is FREE online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/diversity-walk-on-wheels-tickets-166188148225

For more information about the Diversity Walk on Wheels, visit diversitywalk.org or facebook.com/diversitywalk or call 812-231-8338.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

For information on Hamilton Center Services call (800) 742-0787.

Mark McAnally, RN is Employee of the Year

Hamilton Center, Inc. honored Mark McAnally at the Employee Kickoff earlier this month. Mr. McAnally serves as the Infection Control and Employee Health Nurse for Hamilton Center as well as the chair of the COVID-19 committee.  His passion and dedication have shown through his tireless efforts in ensuring the health and safety of Hamilton Center consumers and staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Mr. McAnally has been an invaluable asset in navigating the coronavirus pandemic,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO. “His leadership as the chair of Hamilton Center’s COVID-19 committee allowed us to successfully remain open, safely serving consumers throughout our communities.”

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

For information on Hamilton Center Services, call (800) 742-0787.

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Hamilton Center holds Annual Employee Kick-off

July 16, 2021, Terre Haute, IN- Hamilton Center, Inc. hosted its annual Employee Kick-off on Friday July 16 from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Tilson Auditorium on the campus of Indiana State University. The event, in its 9th year, celebrated Hamilton Center staff and the start of a new fiscal year, all while showing support to local businesses.

Hamilton Center, Inc. staff were out in force to take over downtown Terre Haute and eight area restaurants by wearing bright orange shirts. Downtown looked like a “sea of orange”, said an observer.

After a hearty breakfast at local downtown restaurants, Hamilton Center staff converged on Tilson Auditorium in a “sea of orange”.  Mr. Melvin L. Burks, Hamilton Center’s CEO was the MC for the event; prizes were handed out to well-deserved staff.  

“The Kick-off is meant to show appreciation to our staff and the board of directors, by acknowledging all their hard work in serving our consumers” said Melvin L. Burks.  “This year, more than any other, our staff put their heart and soul into serving consumers. This event is a way for us to both acknowledge all of their efforts and to begin to focus on recovery from this public health crisis.” he added.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, Ind.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses. For more information about Hamilton Center, visit www.hamiltoncenter.org or call 812-231-8323.

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Hamilton Center Recognizes Juneteenth

Continues to advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Hamilton Center has declared June 19 an official paid holiday in recognition of Juneteenth. Juneteenth was declared as a national holiday by President Joe Biden and Congress, on June 17, 2021, in recognition of the end of slavery in the United States.

“President Biden took a historic step to begin healing wounds associated with the abolishment of slavery by establishing June 19th as a National Holiday,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “Hamilton Center is pleased to see unified support in recognizing and celebrating this landmark event in our country’s history.”

The impact of the Juneteenth holiday is deeply personal to many individuals in our country, and its impact can be felt within the Hamilton Center family as well.

“As long as I can remember, my parents educated me on the unfair treatment of black people in this country,” Shannon Jackson, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Both of my parents grew up in Alabama during a time of the Civil Rights movement and told me stories about them not being able to use the same public facilities as white people just because of their skin color.”

 “I first recognized the harsh treatment of persons of color as a sophomore in high school after watching ‘Roots’ in a history class,” said Natasha Newcomb, Executive Director of Addiction/Substance Abuse Services. “Seeing that movie brought my attention to the reality enslaved persons of color faced and the harsh mistreatment of a whole population of people.”

Hamilton Center values differences and the unique contributions those differences make to the organization and the quality of life in our communities. “We could not be more proud to continue Hamilton Center’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by recognizing the value of all humans,” said Burks. “Juneteenth will continue to be a celebration that represents the undying spirit and faith of people; a celebration of the tenacity and perseverance of those who systematically continue to experience oppression and be denied opportunities.”

“We respect and support all employees and want to maximize each individual’s unique contribution to the organization which leads to discovering new and innovative business solutions to improve service delivery and quality of life of those served.”

Hamilton Center’s Diversity Statement

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, Ind.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

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Hamilton Center Serving Veterans and Families

Hamilton Center, Inc. Awarded SBHP Behavioral Health Center Designation

Hamilton Center’s Military Veteran Program (MVP) is a behavioral health and addiction treatment program aimed to provide supportive services in an evidence based treatment pathway to those who meet specific criteria for admission based on their military or veteran status.

Hamilton Center employs a Military Veteran Coordinator that assists active military, veterans, and family members throughout the treatment process. Darrin Chaney is a 21-year Veteran of the U.S. Army, 6 years active duty, and the remaining in active guard. Mr. Chaney provides assistance, support, and resources for military veterans and their families impacted by deployment, reintegration, mental health, or substance abuse issues.

Currently, Hamilton Center has trained over 300 staff members in Military Cultural Competency.  This training provides an overview of military culture to include basics about its history, organizational structure, core values, branches of the service, mission, and operations, as well as the differences between the active and reserve components.

In addition to Military Cultural Competency, 141 therapists at Hamilton Center have participated in various trainings including military culture, the impact on children and families, appropriate screenings and assessments and evidenced based treatment. 

In 2021, Star Behavioral Health Providers began offering community mental health centers an opportunity to apply for an SBHP Behavioral Health Center Designation. This designation is designed to establish a network of military-friendly behavioral health organizations. The designation assists service members, veterans, and family members who are seeking behavioral health care in identifying an organization as having a commitment to provide services to military-connected individuals, policies and procedures that show an understanding of military culture, and an assurance that clinicians have training in military culture and evidence based practices.  Each Star designation reviews policy, procedure, staff training, community outreach, and data outcomes.  The requirements build upon each other from one star to four stars.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is proud to have been awarded the Star Behavioral Health Providers One Star Designation. Hamilton Center is the first center to achieve this designation and looks forward to striving towards the Two Star Designation.

Hamilton Center recognizes the need for treatment of our military connected community members and is prepared to continuously professionally develop our clinical teams to serve those that have served our country.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

For information on Hamilton Center Services call (800) 742-0787.

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