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Butler Hospital Foundation

Founded in 1844, Butler Hospital is a nonprofit psychiatric hospital serving the mental health needs of the southeastern New England community. We welcome adolescents, adults and seniors from all walks of life by providing quality care without regard to race, gender, age or the ability to pay. Butler relies on its donors to help us meet these challenges and prepare for the future.

Our mission involves more than just treating people with psychiatric illnesses and substance use issues. We strive to educate the community to foster an understanding of people with mental health needs. We feel it is important to help reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. Our doctors conduct research in a wide range of areas including mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. As a teaching hospital for psychiatry behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, we are dedicated to training tomorrow's psychiatrists, psychologists, medical students, pharmacy students, and nurses.

Your generous donation ensures that these programs, services, and research continue to improve the lives of people with mental illness, substance use, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Contact Information:

Butler Hospital Foundation
345 Blackstone Boulevard
Providence, RI 02906
P: (401) 455-6581
F: (401) 453-7583
E: foundation@butler.org

Elizabeth Zima
Philanthropy Officer, Major Gifts
P: (401) 681-2855
E: EZima@CareNE.org

Erica Donnelly
Philanthropy Officer, Annual Giving
P: (401) 921-8510
E: ELDonnelly@CareNE.org

Make A Donation

Online Giving

To make a donation by check, please make it payable to Butler Hospital Foundation and mail to: Butler Hospital Foundation, Philanthropy, 300 Richmond Street, Providence, RI 02903.

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Gifts of Stock

Gifts of securities may be wired directly to the Care New England account at Merrill Lynch. Your investment manager or broker should contact Wendy Johnson at Merrill Lynch: (877) 343-1992 or (401) 278-7018, or email Wendy_Johnson@ml.com. When initiating the gift, please provide the following information:

  • Donor name.
  • Indicate that the gift is for Butler Hospital.
Transfer securities to:

Merrill Lynch, DTC #8862
Care New England Health System
Account Number: 6QV-02323

In addition, please call Susan Mouradian, Chief Philanthropy Officer, at (401) 921-8519 to inform her of your gift.

Honor and Memorial Gifts

You may make a gift in honor or in memory of a loved one, physician, caregiver, nurse, colleague or friend. It is a very special way to support Butler Hospital that recognizes a special relationship or care that you received.

When you make a gift in honor or memory of someone, we notify the individual or family member of your generous act of gratitude or remembrance.

Matching Gifts
You have the opportunity to double your gift to Butler! Many companies will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Some companies will also match gifts made by retirees or directors. Check to see if you or your spouse’s company has a gift matching program. Please let us know if your gift will be matched.
Butler Bricks
Butler Hospital is proud to offer Butler Bricks to the community. Your purchase can honor or remember a loved one while supporting Butler. Purchase a Butler Brick.
Special Funds and Campaigns
Aronson Chair for Neurodegenerative Disorders

Through The Aronson Chair, Butler Hospital honors the late Dr. Stanley M. Aronson, who dedicated his career and life to providing the highest level of innovative care to patients and their families.

Dr. Aronson was integral in founding some of the most important institutions in this community, including Brown University Medical School and Home & Hospice of Rhode Island, and establishing standards and best practices in research and treatment. Through his work, he touched the lives of thousands of patients and their families, medical students and practicing physicians, not to mention colleagues and friends he worked with throughout his 70-year career.

The Aronson Chair also recognizes the importance of the services provided at the Butler Hospital Neurology Services Center. By being housed at Butler, the Neurology Services Center is able to provide comprehensive care, diagnosing and treating all facets of neurodegenerative disorders: physical, mental, and emotional symptoms, behaviors and side effects.

The first recipient of the Aronson Chair is Dr. Joseph H. Friedman, chief of the Movement Disorders Program at Butler Hospital. Dr. Friedman is a leading expert in Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, with a visionary focus on the relationship between the brain and behavior and the impact neurology has on all facets of a patient's quality of life.

Lastly, The Aronson Chair has established an endowment fund that will provide permanent financial support for the operations of the Movement Disorders Program, guaranteeing that Butler Hospital will always be able to provide the highest level of care to its patients. The Aronson Chair Fund provides crucial support for Butler to continue to serve as a leader in cutting-edge research and innovative practices, to expand its practice size and to add additional physicians, thereby insuring it will continue to meet the changing needs of the expanding populations it serves.

The Aronson Chair Campaign was led by Arthur Robbins, Butler Foundation board member and a lifelong friend of Dr. Aronson. Donors who generously support endowed chairs – through gifts or multi-year pledges – know that they are ensuring excellence in clinical care, teaching and research both today and for patients in the future. The Aronson Chair is a living testimonial to Dr. Aronson's talent and dedication and to Butler Hospital's commitment to its Movement Disorders program and future generations of patient care and physician education.

As someone who knew Dr. Aronson – as a friend, colleague, student, avid fan – or who is perhaps a patient of Dr. Friedman, your support of The Aronson Chair will honor a true leader in the field of compassionate clinical care, recognize a physician who is treating patients today, and guarantee that Butler Hospital will always be able to offer the highest level of treatment and groundbreaking research to patients tomorrow.

Your support of The Aronson Chair for Neurodegenerative Disorders will provide transformational and fundamental support for Butler Hospital and the Neurology Services Center--directly impact the current care we provide our patients and support for their families for generations to come.

Dr. Patricia Recupero Psychiatry Resident Fund for Excellence in Clinical Education

In support of Butler Hospital’s commitment to medical training and education and in honor of Dr. Patricia Recupero and her extensive service to Butler and the hospital’s academic mission, the hospital established The Dr. Patricia Recupero Psychiatry Resident Fund for Excellence in Clinical Education. The fund will provide support for second through fourth year psychiatry residents at Butler Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Grants will be awarded to residents with an interest in developing and implementing new clinical methods and/or administrative models used for training residents and medical students. Support could include funds for equipment, educational materials, technology, travel or other expenses related to attending professional conferences where residents would present their work, or other related needs.

This endowment fund honors Dr. Recupero’s legacy in residency training, an area in which she has made significant contributions throughout her distinguished career. The residents receiving these awards will have the opportunity to shape medical training for future generations of psychiatrists in our region and throughout the country.

About Dr. Patricia Recupero

Learn more about Dr. Recupero by hearing about her life and accomplishment from the people who know her best. In an award ceremony on June 3 honoring Dr. Recupero and officially announcing The Dr. Patricia Recupero Psychiatry Resident Fund for Excellence in Clinical Education, a video featuring Dr. Recupero’s family, friends and colleagues was shown to the audience.

Dr. Patricia Recupero has extensive experience in the field of mental health, serving Butler Hospital in both clinical and administrative roles since joining the staff in 1989. As president of Butler Hospital, Dr. Recupero focused her leadership on augmenting the clinical strengths of the hospital to secure its future while shepherding its academic research program to national prominence. She continues to serve Care New England as senior vice president for education and training, focusing on achieving excellence in medical education across the system.

Board certified in Forensic Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry, Pat also serves as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and has been named a member of Brown’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior since 1989, including serving as the psychiatry residency training director. Before joining Butler, Dr. Recupero was an accomplished attorney, engaged in an active practice as a litigator. She also served as a special assistant attorney general for the state of Rhode Island.

Dr. Recupero earned her Juris Doctor degree from Boston College and her Medical Doctor degree from Brown University. This dual education has enabled her to combine the practices of medicine and law to advocate for patients who struggle with mental illness, to challenge inequities in law that thwart critical healthcare for patients, and to improve the practice of forensic psychiatry.

Butler Hospital Endowed Chair Program

The Butler Hospital Endowed Chair Program provides an opportunity for both the hospital and community to recognize and honor a physician for his or her outstanding contributions to medical science and/or patient care. An endowed chair may also honor an individual who has had a profound effect on Butler and its patients and caregivers.

In addition, by providing a perpetual income stream, the endowed chair emphasizes a program of excellence, supports the retention and recruitment of preeminent physicians and scientists, and provides crucial funds to allow Butler to continue as a leader in cutting-edge research and innovative practices to insure that it will continue meeting the changing needs of the expanding populations it serves.

The Endowed Chair program also provides an opportunity to recognize the physician who will be the chair recipient and publicize the credentials this person brings to the hospital, further raising the profile and reputation of Butler Hospital and its outstanding programs.

Endowed chairs may be established at Butler Hospital with gifts of $1 million or more. This gift may be made through the generous contributions of many individuals and through partnerships with organizations affiliated with Butler Hospital.

To inquire about endowed programs, chairs or initiatives please call Jack Gould, Philanthropy Officer for the Butler Hospital Foundation, at (401) 921-8509 or foundation@butler.org. Donors who generously endow chairs know that they are ensuring excellence in clinical care, teaching, and research today and for patients in the future. Endowed chairs are living testimonials to the talent and dedication of the namesake of the chair, and Butler Hospital's commitment to caring for the patients and educating the physicians of the future.

The Aronson Chair for Neurodegenerative Disorders was created through the joint effort between Butler Hospital, Brown University, and countless grateful patients, students, colleagues, and friends.

Donor Bill of Rights

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

I. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes. 

II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities. 

III. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements. 

IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. 

V. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition. 

VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law. 

VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature. 

VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization, or hired solicitors. 

IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share. 

X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.

Principles of the eDonor Bill of Rights

The eDonor Bill of Rights is intended to complement the original document and provide further and more detailed guidance for the new world of online giving.

In addition to the rights outlined in the Donor Bill of Rights, online donors should demand the following of their online solicitors:

  • To be clearly and immediately informed of the organization's name, identity, nonprofit or for-profit status, its mission, and purpose when first accessing the organization's website.
  • To have easy and clear access to alternative contact information other than through the website or email.
  • To be assured that all third-party logos, trademarks, trustmarks, and other identifying, sponsoring, and/or endorsing symbols displayed on the website are accurate, justified, up-to-date, and clearly explained.
  • To be informed of whether or not a contribution entitles the donor to a tax deduction, and of all limits on such deduction based on applicable laws.
  • To be assured that all online transactions and contributions occur through a safe, private, and secure system that protects the donor's personal information.
  • To be clearly informed if a contribution goes directly to the intended charity, or is held by or transferred through a third party.
  • To have easy and clear access to an organization's privacy policy posted on its website and be clearly and unambiguously informed about what information an organization is gathering about the donor and how that information will be used.
  • To be clearly informed of opportunities to opt-out of data lists that are sold, shared, rented, or transferred to other organizations.
  • To not receive unsolicited communications or solicitations unless the donor has "opted in" to receive such materials.

Copyright AFP 2015, All Rights Reserved.

Patient Stories

  • Family Therapy Provided a Roadmap to Healing
  • Dual Diagnosis Services Aid Recovery from Depression and Alcohol Abuse

It came, with a vengeance, as the honeymoon wound down. Molly had struggled with bipolar disorder since her early teens. Now, as she left her parents' house for the first time to build a new life with her husband, a fierce depression settled in.

"My aunt died just before her granddaughter was born, and I remember saying that I was the one who should have died," Molly says.

The first year of their marriage was a maelstrom of agitated, angry mania, depression, withdrawal from the relationship, and suicide attempts that occurred with increasing and alarming frequency. "It came to a point when I was in the emergency room almost every week," Molly says. "I was cutting myself, taking too many pills…" At one point, she went home to her mother – the only person who had ever seen her in such straits before.

Molly and Stefan had only known each other for four years, and had been married for a painfully short time. On their first wedding anniversary, Molly found herself in Butler Hospital's inpatient unit after another suicide attempt.

"He never left me. He didn't give up on me. I didn't want anybody else, any other family involvement. I just wanted him. And he never left me."

Still, there were challenges. Stefan, himself a survivor of an abusive first marriage with a history of depression, was overwhelmed by Molly's anger and his own powerlessness in the face of her illness.

"I came home one night and she told me to leave," he says. "I hadn't been that depressed in a long time. And I was worn out from going to the ER [with Molly.] It didn't seem normal to go that often."

"I don't like anger and yelling and swearing," he says.

He would get into his black Jeep Liberty and drive, just drive, trying to clear his mind.

The relationship began to crack, irreparably it seemed, upon Molly's admission to Butler. She had pushed him away, he had withdrawn, and she thought he didn't care. Divorce was actively considered.

Dr. Heru suggested family therapy, and they eagerly accepted – despite some misgivings on Molly's part. "I said but what if we can't take it and have to say forget it," she says. "He said if you don't want it to get better, it won't."

Their contract offered a road map to healing. Tell him your needs. Express your feelings to her. Learn to read the signals of her illness. Work with psychiatrist to minimize fatigue. Find mutually satisfying interests. Take a long drive – a special challenge to Molly in her manic state. Work together to identify and solve emotional problems, should any arise in the future.

The journey is far from over. It is a long road, but they are on it together.

"He is my heaven," says Molly. "He hardly ever raises his voice to me. He treats me like gold. He is the nicest person I know."

As a young girl in 1950, Kathy Leonard suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident that has kept her in a wheelchair most of her life. But it was not the physical injuries that she says “sowed the seeds” of her depression and eventual alcoholism, but the psychological scars caused by many years of isolation in and out of hospitals.

“By the time I was 14 years old, I had spent half of my life in hospitals,” recalls Kathy. “It was a difficult way to live. I grew up with a large piece of me always feeling unsafe, scared, and insecure.”

In her 30s, Kathy also began experiencing bouts of depression. In addition to taking antidepressants, she turned to alcohol. “This is a common scenario that we see repeatedly in many of our patients,” says Alan Gordon, MD, chief of Butler Hospital’s Alcohol and Drug Treatment Service (ADTS), which has been providing dual diagnosis care to people for over 30 years. “Confronted with anxiety, stress, or depression, people will often turn to alcohol or drugs to try to alleviate these feelings.”

The trauma early in Kathy’s life, coupled with the subsequent health problems had placed Kathy at risk for developing a serious psychiatric disorder as an adult. Despite getting help for depression, her drinking gradually increased.

Following the death of her mother in 2003, Kathy’s addiction escalated to the point that she could not start the day without a drink. “I was in great emotional pain, and my drinking increased. At this point, I was never sober.”

Kathy had been successful in keeping her addiction from her husband but that changed on Valentine’s Day, 2006. “I had taken a pain pill and my antidepressant medication before we went out to dinner,” she remembers. “Then I had several gin and tonics and wine at dinner. I don’t remember the drive home, or anything after that. I had blacked out for the first time in my life. The next morning, my husband was very angry, and I was very depressed. I thought about what a failure I had been and that my husband really deserved better.”

Without any previous thoughts of taking her life, Kathy wrote her husband a note saying how sorry she was for disappointing him and then took some tranquilizers and beer. As she began drifting off, something inside of her caused her to realize that what she was doing was a mistake. She called her husband and told him what she had done and that she needed to get to the hospital.

Kathy had reached the breaking point. Her alcohol addiction coupled with depression and anxiety had pushed her over the edge. Dr. Gordon says he has seen these dual diagnosis situations many times before. “There are very few persons who have reached the point of a serious problem with alcohol or another substance who are not struggling with psychiatric issues.”

Kathy’s care at Butler Hospital began with a detoxification process that lasted for about 48 hours. Once a long and physically painful ordeal, the process today is far less difficult with the use of medications that help people come off their dependence gradually.

Within two days of her admission, her treatment had progressed to include activities centered on relaxation and dealing with problems related to poor self-esteem. At the end of a week, Kathy was discharged to Butler’s Alcohol and Drug Partial Hospital Program (ADP), which allows patients to combine their life at home in the evening with hospital care during the day.

In the ADP Kathy continued to learn about the physical and psychological effects of alcohol, and was taught skills for dealing with situations that might cause her to start drinking again. She also participated in cognitive behavioral therapy, which includes a functional analysis group that, Kathy says, was most informative and taught her how to deal with her alcoholism as well as how to cope with life and its many challenges and complexities. Kathy also credits Carlos Gomez, one of the ADP team members, for, among many things, teaching her that she did not have to let fear control her life.

Today, Kathy is well on the road to recovery. She credits much of her success to the “extraordinary” staff in the inpatient program and the ADP at Butler Hospital. She continues to meet at the hospital every Friday with others who are recovering from their addictions or dual diagnosis issues. “I’ve adopted the first line of the Alcoholics Anonymous serenity prayer as my personal words to live by — God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”