Cynthia Persily, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dr. Persily is the CEO of Highland Hospital in Charleston, WV.
Tonight, my son Aaron graduates from high school. It’s an important transition in his life and an important milestone in ours as a family as well. We hope that we’ve given him what he needs to succeed in the next chapter of his life, and the skills to learn what he needs to do to reach his goals. I’m sure that many you are experiencing graduations in your families at this time of year, and we have some of our own staff who are graduates themselves.
We hope that you too have prepared yourselves or your family members with the skills needed for the future.
Not all kids and families are so lucky. We care for kids each day in all of our Highland companies who may not have had supportive families, who may have experienced trauma in their lives that has indelibly changed them, and who may not have had the opportunity to learn the skills they need to succeed. In these cases, I believe that we excel in our care. Not only do the children and adolescents that we care for have an opportunity to continue their schooling while they are with us through our partnership with Kanawha County Schools and our onsite teacher, but we are providing them with structure in their day, supportive counseling, rewards for behavior changes, and an understanding of consequences.
What we also hope is that we’re teaching them the art of goal setting, and that there are truly rewards for reaching their goals. As we begin to look at new programming in our proposed residential treatment facilities, we also have an opportunity to look at a new model of care that can impact all of our facilities—one that focuses on giving children and their families opportunities to learn to be a part of a community, one that is non-violent, one that is supportive, one that values open communication, social responsibility, and facilitates growth and change.
I look forward to helping to restore hope, meaning and purpose in all of our children through our programming at our Highland companies. Just like we hope that graduates like my son are on track to succeed in life, I also hope that we can help the children, adolescents and families who “graduate” from our programs to do the same. So, a hearty congratulations to all graduates this month—it’s an exciting time to be moving out into the world.
In our Highland programs, we will continue to endeavor to facilitate that excitement for all we serve.