Rogers Foundation receives $2.5 million gift for FOCUS residential program

The Oconomowoc-based Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation announced on Monday that it received a donation of $2.5 million from Dr. Michael Kubly and his wife, Billie, to support expansion of the FOCUS residential program. The program treats young adults with depression and mood disorders who are having difficulty transitioning into adulthood.

This is the largest gift in the hospital’s history.

“We are extremely grateful to the Kublys for this generous gift. Michael and Billie Kubly understand the need for increased access to programs and tools which can make a difference in the lives of many who struggle with depression,” said Patrick Hammer, president and chief executive officer of Rogers Behavioral Health System. “Rogers Memorial Hospital is pleased to help honor their commitment.”

Currently, the FOCUS program is at capacity. Rogers plans to increase the program’s census at its Oconomowoc facility, and will rename it the Charles E. Kubly FOCUS Center, in memory of the Kublys’ youngest son who suffered from depression before taking his own life.

“Those diagnosed with depression need more access to treatment and support through expanded programs and innovative research. This is why my husband Mike and I feel so blessed to be able to make this donation to Rogers Memorial Hospital,” said Billie Kubly. “This research project itself could change the future of depression treatment, and because of that we are thrilled to be making this donation.”

The donation will support the building of a new transitional living facility that will provide FOCUS residents with a step-down treatment option where residents continue to receive coordinated, personalized treatment, medication monitoring and career counseling. The new facility will be named the Charles E. Kubly Transition House. A timeline for developing this new facility is currently under review.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have the opportunity to add a transitional living option to FOCUS. This is a crucial addition to our treatment that is currently missing. Now we’ll be able to provide residents with a needed safe and supportive environment for ongoing recovery as they acclimate to living independently,” said Dr. Jerry Halverson, medical director for Rogers’ FOCUS program and adult services.

The Kubly gift will also contribute toward research for a computer-based treatment tool for depression.

Rogers, in cooperation with San Diego State University, has been conducting clinical research using a computer-based software treatment tool known as attention retraining (AR). AR attempts to retrain a person’s attention away from things they find threatening and onto things they consider neutral leading to significant reductions in anxiety symptoms.

“The Kubly gift will help us further expand the clinical research to include investigating AR’s use with depression. It will also help to facilitate bigger field studies in clinical and non-clinical institutions and advance this type of treatment option to a cloud-based software program or an app via a computer tablet or smartphone,” said Bradley Riemann, research partner and clinical director of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Services and the OCD Center at Rogers.

Rogers Memorial Hospital is Wisconsin’s largest not-for-profit, private behavioral health hospital, providing adults, children and adolescents with depression and mood disorders,  eating disorders treatment, addiction treatment, obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders treatment, as well as caring for a variety of child and adolescent mental health concerns.

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