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Momentum at Skyland Trail in 2012

April 02, 2013

Momentum at Skyland Trail in 2012

President's Letter as published in the 2012 Annual Report.

The signs of strong momentum at Skyland Trail were everywhere in 2012.  Client and family participation in all of our services increased, and we welcomed more clients to our campuses than ever before. To help meet demand, we extended our treatment hours and expanded our programs. We increased our staffing in key areas to ensure that we could provide more services while upholding the level of excellence and customer service our clients expect.

Affirming the priorities identified in our recent strategic planning effort, our specialized Young Adult program sustained its recent growth, with clients ages 18 to 25 now comprising 50 percent of our client community. And solidifying our primary care services as an integrated part of our treatment program continued to sharpen our profile as a national leader and innovator in holistic mental health treatment.

Of course, client progress is the ultimate momentum. The treatment programs at Skyland Trail are designed to foster a sense of moving toward recovery, celebrating and reinforcing each step forward. Our outcomes assessment program confirms that our treatment approach is working. Clients graduating in 2012 showed significant improvement in their quality of life, self-esteem, and sense of empowerment, as compared to when they arrived at Skyland Trail. 

Our invaluable network of friends in the community empowers Skyland Trail to stay bold and visionary. We are fortunate to benefit from the wisdom of the many luminaries in the fields of mental health and management who serve on our boards. Strong participation in our fundraising events and appeals in 2012 enabled us to provide financial assistance scholarships to more than one-third of our clients, to upgrade our technology infrastructure and to offer to our clients the kinds of special programs that make Skyland Trail unique.

Skyland Trail is positioned to sustain this momentum in large part because of a singular individual who has been a key leader since we opened our doors.  As 2012 came to a close, Mark C. West stepped down from the chairmanship of our board of directors after 25 years of volunteer leadership. Mark has given vision and practical guidance as president and chairman, and we thank him for all that he has personally contributed and achieved to move us forward. We wish him well in his volunteer retirement, and are thankful that his continued involvement will further our role in recovery from mental illness.

Our momentum accelerates as we move into 2013 under the leadership of long-time board volunteer and supporter John Gordon as board chair. Skyland Trail grows for one reason – to meet the growing need. For that reason, we are preparing to implement a far-reaching strategic plan of physical and program expansion that we will announce in coming months.  This effort will expand dramatically our ability to deliver outstanding mental health treatment and recovery support, both for today’s clients and for future generations. 

Thank you for being part of this exciting momentum for Skyland Trail and for our clients.

Beth Finnerty is president and CEO of Skyland Trail. The 2012 Annual Report is available online here.