At the end of December the Retreat will officially close several programs that over the course of many years--and in some cases decades--have made meaningful contributions to our community, and helped make the healing mission of our hospital a reality for countless thousands of individuals.

It is not without sadness that we say goodbye to the BRIDGES program, the HUB program, the Meadows School, the Mind Body Pain Management Program, the Mulberry Bush Independent School, and Starting Now.

At the same time, I could not let this moment pass without expressing my deep respect and admiration for our departing colleagues and the programs that have meant so much to so many.

On a personal level, I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication that made these services special. Each of these departments has been staffed by caring professionals whose day-in, day-out determination to improve the lives of others will continue to remind me why I made social work my chosen career.

Many have helped save lives. All have given children, adolescents, and adults a chance to grow, a reason to hope, and the dignity to be seen, heard, and respected.

Over the past several weeks these same individuals have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help place their clients and students with new providers and services. Their efforts in this regard have been tremendously successful across all programs.

I cannot think of a more fitting example of how these folks have baked into their DNA such marvelous compassion coupled with an instinct to prioritize the needs of others--even when the stress of personal and professional change is imminent.

I know these qualities will serve each of our departing colleagues well in future endeavors. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, and on behalf of those who remain to carry out the Retreat’s re-focused efforts to provide inpatient care to Vermont's most vulnerable citizens, thank you for enriching our mission and for setting an example to which we will always aspire. 

Louis Josephson, PhD. is the President and CEO of the Brattleboro Retreat