Wednesday, March 29, 2017

HCRS celebrates 50 years of serving the community

Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), Vermont’s second-largest community mental-health agency, is pleased to announce their 50th anniversary this year. The nonprofit agency is planning a variety of fun activities and community events as part of this celebration.

As the agency designated by the state of Vermont to support individuals in Windsor and Windham counties who are experiencing challenges from mental illness, substance abuse, or developmental disabilities, HCRS provides a comprehensive array of services. The agency currently serves more than 4,500 individuals every year, supporting children, youth, adults and families in a variety of settings. Professionally trained staff work out of HCRS’ offices as well as within schools, police departments, on the job and in many other community settings in order to support people where services are most needed.

The seeds for HCRS were planted in 1967 when town selectboards in Windham and Windsor counties formed a coalition to identify the needs of individuals in the two counties who were developmentally challenged. Its purpose was to raise funds and create smaller agencies to address the behavioral, medical, and rehabilitative health care needs of area residents and families who were struggling with developmental and/or long term mental illness issues. In this capacity, HCRS was instrumental in assisting in the creation of many current community-based organizations.

The role of HCRS as a funding source became redundant in 1973 when federal legislation created the Medicaid funding mechanism for state government agencies. Recognizing the continuing need of community residents, HCRS made a successful application to the National Institute of Mental Health and became a regional mental health agency, incorporating into its charter the Brattleboro Family Center and the Windsor Community Mental Health Agency.

Since that time, HCRS has continued to develop and expand programs to meet the needs identified by community members and has evolved into a comprehensive community human service provider. The agency’s mission is to provide creative, collaborative, and compassionate health care services that are responsive to the needs of the community. The agency envisions a community where people are inspired, empowered, and supported to lead healthy and meaningful lives.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, HCRS will be hosting a family-friendly community event at the River Garden in Brattleboro on April 29. During July, free hot dog lunches and open houses will be held at its Hartford, Springfield, and Brattleboro offices. Other events and activities are also being planned. Anyone interested can visit the agency’s website or Facebook page for the latest information.    


  1. I wish I knew where all the money comes from to support the HCRS, they have the nicest building in town, better that our schools, and town buildings etc.
    I'm sure they do great work, but as a state tax payer, where does the money to support all the handlers and buildings come from, there are hundreds of cars in the beautiful buildings parking lot.

    1. Lots of nice cars too. That place wastes so much money it's not even funny.
      I worked in the residential part for a few months. They paid 500k to buy a house in Westminister and another 750k to rehab it. They bought all new appliances and furniture and fed the 6 residents organic food. When they were asked about it, they scolded a coworker for commenting on spending over $20 for a chicken from Allen Bros.
      They tossed out a microwave because it was the the correct color. Ohh yeah they had 5 staff on each night to watch the resident's door to make sure they didn't escape. I could go on and on but I was forced to sign a paper.

  2. As a "non profit" their budget and funding sources should be available upon request.

    1. As I suspected, "Non Profit" i.e. milk all the funds away so the bottom line is zero...

  3. chuck gregory3/30/17, 5:02 PM

    HCRS is basically a private contractor. I'm not sure of the details (Jeff Mobus would probably know), but they get money from health care plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

    If they were a governmental operation, you can bet there wouldn't have been somebody walking away with a $680,000 golden parachute after scamming the state of $1.8 million. But the "free market" is sacred, so we suck it up.

    1. If they were a governmental operation they would have wasted three times those amounts with zero accountability and then had Leahy, Sanders, and Welch collaborate on a plus-up for them in the next appropriations bill.

  4. There clients also get allowances to spend for whatever. Various amounts, they cash their checks and it goes for what they want. Their clients-many of which cannot function on their own, but are given out checks for non essential items?

  5. The Goat Rustler3/31/17, 9:45 AM

    I've worked for a couple of these "public-private" social service companies; my experience is that they are all scams. Their primary focus is on how to bill the State and Federal govt. while rewarding themselves with lavish salaries and perks. Their biggest problem? Laundering the money in order to maintain their non-profit status! It all winds up in their pockets eventually.

  6. After doing a little research this is just a big tax payer waist of money, millions of tax payer dollars, and million of dollar in the red since 2011. They are looking for pay hikes for there people as well in 2017, so more of our tax dollars thrown away.
    This story is from 2016, but relevant I think. 6 figure retirement payouts from tax payer dollars to someone who ran the operations and lost money...

    Anyone want to join me to help figure out why our money is being wasted in this way.

    1. I have a bunch of stories but would have to remain anonymous as I'm still employed and signed a waiver

  7. Been through the hassled of my parent of "Mental Illness" 40+ years ago, appointment with the psychiatrist(s), scheduled for another with group therapy and/or counselor(s), in and out of psychiatric hospitals and my parent died few years ago.

    My parent look upon with the doctor taking the prescription DRUG. As I see any doctors are HUMAN BEING, not "gods".


  8. chuck gregory4/2/17, 5:32 PM

    In comparison with HCRS and the other neoliberal health services, the Veterans Administration provides the best medical care for the lowest price in the country. If we had an electorate that wasn't so easily spooked by lobbyists and their corporate owners, we would have better health care available for all at lower costs.


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