Rogers Memorial Hospital Partnership
An Overview of the Partnership between Rogers Memorial Hospital and the Kenosha Unified School District
The Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) and Rogers Memorial Hospital have a collaborated, coordinated approach to support the academic, social, and emotional learning of Kenosha area students with intensive mental health needs. This collaboration brings together Rogers Memorial's experienced Child & Adolescent Services Day Treatment Program staff and Kenosha Unified School District professionals to provide academic tutoring in coordination with the hospital’s intensive treatment services.
"The program identifies and addresses a student's mental health problems before suspensions or poor educational performance become insurmountable," said Joe Kucak, the Student Services Administrator for KUSD. "This collaboration with Rogers Memorial Hospital allows the district to give appropriate attention to the special needs of these students in a timely and cost-effective manner."
KUSD staff determines the eligibility of patients at Rogers Memorial's Day Treatment program to participate in this collaborative project. The district also facilitates an academic plan for each student enrolled in the program. Along with the day treatment school liaison, the school district facilitates communication between hospital staff and the home school. KUSD also provides staff for academic tutoring from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
"We can help kids realize that their behaviors, thinking, and emotions have consequences – it makes a tremendous difference in their academic performance," said Laura Mirhoseini, a child and adolescent psychologist with Rogers Memorial. "The therapy we provide teaches them techniques to give them more control over feelings that interfere with good academic performance and school conduct, and to develop more healthy coping strategies."
There are several reasons why providing mental health services in tandem with academic instruction make sense.
- Access: By having comprehensive services provided at one location, disruption of emotions and behavior for those students who have difficulty transitioning between school and day treatment settings is significantly lessened.
- Consistency: There is a coordination of targeted interventions for the student and family within a supportive environment.
- Expertise: The school and health care professionals can focus on what they do best. “Working together, their capacity is magnified beyond that of a single professional in helping these children succeed.” said Kucak.
A 2001 report from the U.S. Surgeon General stresses that mental health is critical to children’s learning and general health – as important as immunizations are to ensuring that every child has the best chance for a healthy start in life. An estimated 21 percent of young people in the United States between ages 9 and 17, about 15 million children, have diagnosable emotional or behavioral health disorders, but less than one third get help for these problems.1
Nationally, there is a growing trend for schools to be the providers of many non-traditional education services to children. This is because schools are the one place where most school-age children congregate for six or seven hours a day, nine months a year. Early identification, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders help children to fulfill their potential. Left untreated, children with mental health disorders may have problems at home, and trouble functioning and succeeding in school.
Rogers Memorial Hospital is a nonprofit behavioral health care provider for children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Rogers Memorial is licensed as a psychiatric hospital by the State of Wisconsin and accredited by the Joint Commission. It offers treatment programs at four Wisconsin locations: Oconomowoc, Milwaukee, Kenosha and Brown Deer.
For further information on this new program, call Stacey Chike, KUSD Homebound Education Teacher Consultant, 262-359-8525, or Roger’s Hospital, 262-942-4000.
1 US DHHS. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, Executive Summary. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, NIH, NIMH, 1999.