Providence, R.I. - Butler Hospital has honored Jeff Sparr, Rhode Island entrepreneur and co-founder of Peace Love Studios, with the Corporation Member of the Year Award at the hospital's second annual Corporation Member Breakfast on May 3, 2012.
As a member of the Butler Hospital Corporation since 2001, Sparr has been a strong supporter of Butler and its mission to provide treatment for psychiatric illness in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. His work through the corporation brings attention to the need for mental health care in Rhode Island, as well as the need to erase the stigma sometimes associated with brain-related illnesses.
Sparr has been co-chair for Butler's annual golf tournament for the past 10 years, helping to raise more than one million dollars for the hospital. "Jeff's dedication to the tournament has been a driving force behind its success," said Patricia Recupero, JD, MD, president and CEO of Butler Hospital. "As well as raising funds for the various programs at the hospital, the tournament has been an annual opportunity to bring together members of our community who support Butler and our mission."
Beyond his work directly with the Butler Hospital Corporation, Sparr addresses the image of mental illness through the foundation he created, Peace Love Studios. Sparr co-founded Peace Love Studios in 2009 after finding personal success in using painting to help him manage his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Sparr brought his love of painting and the benefits it brought him to Butler Hospital through a pilot program, Paint4Peace, where he teaches painting classes to patients at Butler.
"He really helped galvanize our healing arts projects by actively bringing the visual art into the hospital in such a dynamic way. It really showed us the value of the arts in our programs," says Barbara Ostrove, Director of Occupational Therapy at Butler. "Since then we've brought in other artists as well, providing our patients with more options to express themselves and develop more coping tools."
Sparr is also currently a member of the Butler Hospital Foundation Board and the Community Development Committee, which promotes the relevance and importance of Butler Hospital to the general community.