Rushford: Year in Review

International Overdose Awareness Day

Rushford was joined by several other community partners in marking International Overdose Awareness Day at the Meriden Town Green Friday, Aug. 31.

The event included an opening ceremony, where J. Craig Allen, MD, medical director of Rushford, spoke about the need for communities to join together in dealing with the growing opioid epidemic in the region, as well as yoga, Qigong and Zumba classes, Narcan prescriptions, CPR classes, prescription drug disposal, music, games and more.

Out of the Darkness Walk

Rushford staff, clients and members of the community attended the Out of the Darkness suicide awareness walk on Saturday, June 16 at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown. The event, organized by the Rushford Zero Suicide champions committee, raised more than $3,500 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Rushford Health Fair

Rushford at Meriden hosted its second annual client health fair featuring dozens of health and wellness agencies from across Connecticut.

Rushford Client Talent Show

Clients showcased their skills in a wide array of performances including poetry, storytelling and music during the second annual Rushford Client Talent Show on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 in the Rushford cafeteria in Meriden. In all, 14 Rushford clients receiving care in departments across the organization took part in the event, which was meant to give them an encouraging environment to show off their creative skills.

Performances and performers included:

“The Star-Spangled Banner” by Valerie L.

“The Landlady” (self-penned poem) by Shaun M.

“What’s the Use of Feeling” (from “Steven Universe” by Rebecca Sugar) by Sabrina F. and Sage

“More Than Life’s Worth and “School of Hard Knocks” (self-penned poems) by Eric S.

“Growing Up and Believing In Yourself” (self-penned poem) by Jenny R.

“Somewhere Out There” (from “An American Tail”) by Penelope P.

Quote by Sarah Young and “Let It Be Let It Be” (self-penned poem) by Janice W.

“The Bag Lady” and “This Little Light of Mine,” performance by Lis F.; narration and singing by Ray S.

Rakim’s “My Melody” by Jesse J.

Adele’s “All That I Ask” by Kathleen A.

The Firm’s “Satisfaction Guaranteed” by Stephen G.

“You Asked” (self-penned song accompanied by harmonica) by Tim. F.

“God Bless America” by everyone


Recovery Concert

The band Selfish Steam, made up of musicians in recovery, headlined an evening of music, food and fun at a Recovery Concert held on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Rushford at Middletown. Proceeds from the event benefited the client fund for Rushford’s detoxification and intensive residential programs.

Runs for Recovery Event at the Hartford Yard Goats

Rushford hosted a “Score Runs for Recovery” event at the Sunday, Aug. 12 Yard Goats game at Dunkin’ Donuts Stadium in Hartford. The event was attended by almost 100 Rushford clients and staff members.

Patricia Rehmer, MSN, ACHE, president of the Behavioral Health Network and senior vice president at Hartford HealthCare, gave an on-field presentation about addiction and recovery prior to the game; James O’Dea, MBA, PhD, vice president of the Behavioral Health Network threw out the first pitch; Rushford Medical Director J. Craig Allen, MD, gave an in-game interview in the broadcast booth; and Rushford marketing and sales staff handed out BHN information and souvenirs to fans.

Buddy Benches

On Friday, Oct. 13, Rushford staff and Stonegate clients presented Spencer Elementary School in Middletown with a hand-crafted Buddy Bench. Buddy Benches are a social inclusion tool for young students who feel isolated during recess or free play time. When a student takes a seat on the bench, it acts as a signal for other kids to come invite them to play or talk. The Buddy Bench presented to the school was built by boys from the Rushford Stonegate program in Durham as part of their community service efforts and was funded by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. Benches will be presented to each of the 12 schools that attended the annual Rally for Bully-Free Communities in Middletown.