Clinic for Mentally Ill Celebrates 10 Years of Service
A clinic for homeless, mentally ill people run by a University of Cincinnati (UC) nursing professor celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 21.
The event will be from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Kingsgate Conference Center on the UC Academic Health Center campus.
“Nurse-managed psychiatric clinics don’t often have a long lifespan,” says Connie Wilson, EdD, a 30-year professor of nursing at UC. “Our patients are not covered by Medicaid, and we don’t charge for our services. All our funding is through grants and donations. We’re more successful than we ever anticipated, and I’m very proud we’re celebrating 10 years of service.”
Dr. Wilson started the clinic, called the Health Resource Center of Cincinnati (HRC) and located in the FreeStore Foodbank, to help homeless, mentally ill people who were repeatedly being treated in the psychiatric unit at University Hospital. She wanted to create a place for them to seek multidisciplinary, comprehensive treatment and break the cycle of repeated visits to the hospital.
“Our budget is $450,000 a year, and our income is only $200,000,” says Dr. Wilson. “We rely heavily on grants and donations. Our 10th anniversary celebration is one way we’re hoping to generate more funds, while thanking those who support us.”
The celebration will feature keynote speaker Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory, musical entertainment, food, a cash bar and a silent auction with items including weekend use of a dealership Jaguar, sports equipment signed by the Bengals players, Ken Griffey Jr. and Johnny Bench, ballet tickets and works of art from all over the world.
Dr. Wilson took a year off from teaching in 1995 to start the HRC, with support from the College of Nursing and the help of a graduate student. Physicians, psychiatrists and graduates students in multiple disciplines, including nursing, medicine, social work and counseling, provide diagnostic assessments, counseling, psychotherapy and medication management.
The HRC, which is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health, was instrumental in developing and launching two additional agencies that serve the indigent and homeless of Cincinnati—Anthony House and the Center for Respite Care. Anthony House, currently run by Lighthouse Youth Services, is a safe haven for street youth, and the Center for Respite Care, a 24-hour medical facility located at the Center for Chemical Addiction Treatment, also serves mentally ill homeless people.
“It’s amazing that the clinic has come so far in the last 10 years,” says Andrea Lindell, DNSc, dean of the College of Nursing, “but Connie is passionate about the HRC and she’s an exceptional leader.”
Tickets for the 10th anniversary celebration are $60 each. Tickets are available at the door or by calling Susan Hardin at (513) 558-5228. All proceeds benefit the HRC. For more information about the HRC, call Dr. Wilson at (513) 357-4608.