At conferences and events, it is not uncommon for participants to ask questions about The Barry Robinson Center. They have heard about our program, our focus on care, and our many success stories and want to know more. As a nearly ninety-year-old nonprofit, we are eager to share our perspective with others and how they can also choose to put connection before correction. However, some of what we do can’t be put into words. The unspoken personal dedication within our team is what makes the organization special.
Upon walking back to my office this summer, Laura Chaney, our Director of National and OCONUS Relations, passed me in the hall. She greeted me with a smile, but Laura had that look—the look many have seen before—that she had a family that needed our help, and that was her focus. The file in her hand represented a mission. Within a matter of minutes, I could hear the halls buzzing with activity. This military-connected family was from outside the United States, and their child needed urgent acceptance into our facility. Within two hours, our clinical team reviewed the files for admission, the youth was assigned a therapist familiar with the unique needs of the resident, and their room was being prepared.
Throughout the next 24 hours, as we tracked the process of the case, we watched as our fantastic admissions team organized a myriad of details and reviewed flight options, determining whether the family would be coming in on a military flight or a commercial flight. When arrangements were settled, the second stage of the mission went into effect. Our Senior Vice President, Dr. Chuck Brooks, a remarkable man who has dedicated more than 50 years to the field, chose to collect the family personally from the airport. This type of personal connection is typical for Dr. Brooks, a man who makes you feel that you have known him for a lifetime and values the importance of a handwritten thank-you note. He acknowledges parents are making a monumental decision when choosing residential treatment for their child, and even after decades in the field and hundreds of admissions similar to this one at The Barry Robinson Center, the admission of each child should be taken with a renewed sense of hope and dedication to healing. So, when the flight was delayed by several hours, Dr. Brooks was still there, waiting for the exhausted family to arrive and helping them check in to their hotel around midnight. So, this family never had to question the next step; Laura had left a welcome basket in their room, letting them know she would be there in the morning to pick them up to begin the admissions process on campus.
After this type of admission is finalized, one could say “mission complete,” but it’s just the beginning. Connection and trust are continuous and central to our mission of improving the lives of children and their families. So, when others ask, “Why do parents choose The Barry Robinson Center?” or “What makes you different from other residential facilities?” The answer is often intangible. We are proud to say, “This is what we do and who we are.” Because in the end, one’s commitment and devotion cannot be measured.