A promising future built on a caring past
Gateway Healthcare has grown into Rhode Island’s largest nonprofit organizations providing behavioral healthcare treatment and prevention in response to the area’s need for community care. Both our mission, to promote resiliency and to assist people in their recovery and our vision, to preserve the promise, are reflected throughout the organization and a vital part of our day-to-day leadership.
In a way, Gateway’s roots were planted during the 1950-60s revolution in mental health care. Addiction and mental health treatment philosophy underwent a sea change as emphasis on large hospitals and public asylums fell from favor, and Rhode Island became a leader in the deinstitutionalization movement. Community treatment centers became the focus of treatment, and a network of eight centers opened across the state developed from local, nonprofit treatment programs. Gateway’s original mental health organizations – Community Counseling Center and Mental Health Services – were an integral part of that original community programming.
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, managed care changed the face of healthcare once again. It brought confusing and contradictory regulations, funding cuts, increased government regulation and accreditation organizations such as The Joint Commission. Treatment centers were also faced with creating or expanding substance abuse services as insurers and government agencies began to demand more programs for the dually diagnosed. To survive, it became essential for behavioral health organizations to develop new business opportunities as well as new sources of revenue to meet demand.
Gateway’s formal network was then born when like-minded organizations with a common vision came together to respond to managed-care challenges. The leaders of several community mental health centers saw the need for more sophisticated administration and by the early 1990s, began discussing a regional network. By 1995, the boards of Community Counseling Center (CCC) and Mental Health Services (MHS) agreed to form Gateway Healthcare, Inc. to undertake administrative duties and enable them to once again focus on client care.
Gateway became the corporate parent and assumed responsibility for general administration, human resources, quality management, performance and outcomes evaluation, financial administration, property management, fundraising and business development.
This network model enabled Gateway to respond to community need by bringing additional agencies into the network that would operate under the corporation’s umbrella. As a result, Gateway brought Rhode Island Youth Guidance Center, Inc. and Tri-Hab, Inc. into the network in 1996 to respond to the need for more youth-oriented counseling and for substance abuse services. Each agency shared a mutual commitment to the Gateway mission and vision while maintaining their own identity. At such time, Tri-Hab and Rhode Island Youth Guidance also maintained their own board of directors.
In July of 2005, all Gateway’s member agencies merged under the Gateway name to achieve further efficiencies in billing and payroll services. A board member from each agency was chosen to serve on the Gateway Board. The only change patients saw was a change in stationery – staff, programs and the dedication to quality behavioral care and substance abuse services remained the same.
Gateway is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals, the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families and The Rhode Island Department of Education.
Meeting Community Need Through Strategic Affiliations
New Hope for Families affiliated with Gateway in July 2005. As the only family emergency shelter in Blackstone Valley, New Hope allows a family to stay together while rebuilding their lives. New Hope provides emergency shelter and social services that assist residents in setting goals, seeking jobs, and planning for the future. With the Gateway affiliation, New Hope gained management expertise, infrastructure assistance and financial backing while maintaining their nonprofit status. Gateway further established a leadership role in providing access to mental health and social service programs that the state’s most needy citizens would not otherwise have access to.
FRIENDS WAY affiliated with Gateway in October of 2006. FRIENDS WAY is the only bereavement center in Southeastern New England. Located in Warwick, Rhode Island, FRIENDS WAY, offers peer-to-peer support groups to children ages 3-25 who have lost a loved one to death. Since inception, FRIENDS WAY has assisted hundreds of children and families suffering from grief issues. The program is free of charge to families and is solely funded through fundraising activities. By maintaining its own 501(c)(3), FRIENDS WAY is responsible for its own fundraising while Gateway provides the infrastructure to manage the program.
Autism Project affiliated with Gateway Healthcare in April 2007. In a mutual effort to develop innovative Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) programming and increase access to care, Gateway and the Autism Project are working closely together on new initiatives in the area of ASD. Also maintaining their own 501(c)(3), they continue working with their constituent base for fundraising purposes while Gateway provides the infrastructure oversight.
Lighthouse for Youth became affiliated with Gateway Healthcare in October 2007. For the past ten years, Lighthouse, a nonprofit organization licensed through DCYF, has operated as a group home for adolescent girls in Wakefield, Rhode Island. This program provides an opportunity for adolescents to move to a higher level of independence and autonomy.
Capital City Community Centers became affiliated with Gateway Healthcare at the end of 2008. Capital City has a long-standing history of social services and adds depth to the Gateway program continuum. Located primarily in Providence, Capital City’s programming includes pre-school and after-school, prevention programs, senior center services, emergency services and substance abuse prevention services.
Family Service Society of Pawtucket and South Shore Mental Health Center ‘s affiliation with Gateway Healthcare became effective in July 2009. The Family Service Society of Pawtucket (Family Services) is a century-old nonprofit organization that provided mental health, social and human services to families in the communities of Pawtucket, Central Falls and neighboring areas. More recently, Family Services has operated the Centurion Program geared to provide training, consultation, technical assistance and support to law enforcement officials. The Centurion Program provides hostage negotiation training, critical incident debriefing, specialized counseling for post traumatic stress disorders for police officers, stress management education at the RI Municipal Police Academy, and 24/7 consultation and emergency response. The Centurion Program will continue to be operated as part of Gateway Healthcare.
South Shore Mental Health Center (South Shore) is a licensed behavioral health care regional community mental health center with outpatient offices in Charlestown and Wakefield. South Shore serves adults with severe, persistent mental illness; children with severe emotional disorders; and is available for a wide rage of behavioral health care interventions with children, adults and families. South Shore operates 24/7 emergency service program, providing crisis intervention and assessment on site at Westerly Hospital and South County Hospital. The south county organization also operates two group homes and supported apartment programs in Westerly, North Kingstown, Charlestown, and Wakefield. South Shore provides behavioral health services to approximately 2,400 children, families, and adults each year with its staff of over 130 professionals.
Today, Gateway and its affiliates employ over 950 professionals and reach over 22,000 Rhode Islanders each year through residential, outpatient and community-based programs. Gateway proudly stands alongside its affiliates in a mutual effort to address creative solutions for community care. This impressive continuum places Gateway at the forefront in assisting individuals in the community in a myriad of ways.