June 2023

All Center News

Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center of St. Clair County Inc.

505 South Eighth Street  •  East St. Louis, IL  62201



 Joseph Harper

Executive Director

 Jonnie Barkley

Executive Secretary

 (618) 482-7330

 Brian Stewart

Chief Operating Officer

(618) 482-7630

 Dr. Lawrence Casey

Medical Director 

(618) 482-7630

 Mary Jackson

Quality Assurance

(618) 482-7337

 Shakira Dorsey

Human Resources Director

(618) 482-7381

 LT Nash

Building Manager

(618) 482-7633

 David McCosky

Inventory Specialist

(618) 261-7010

 Rachel Ball


(618) 482-7626

Alysia Bernadini

Tele-Health Manage

(618) 482-2574

 Rita Byrd

Therapy & Transition

(618) 482-7617

 Rena Vantreece

Child & Adolescent

(618) 482-7613

 Daryl Rice


Methadone Services

(618) 261-7041

 Gia Moore

Parenting for Success

(618) 482-7354

 Keonna Pittman

Food & Nutrition

(618) 261-7039

 Kelly Clemons

Housing Program

(618) 261-7616

Mike Nichols

Crisis Manager

(618) 261-7023

 Karen Jamison

Residential Services

 Aubrey Yates

Fathers & Families

(618) 482-7348


Remembering What Made Us Who We Are

This newsletter’s purpose is to share information about The Center’s people and activities, in each department and by each employee, in order to highlight the contributions made by all in helping The Center reach its goals. 


The Center’s Internet address is:
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Front Desk
(618) 482-7330

 Hours of Operation
8:00am – 5:00pm

Memo from Management

The Center has applied for a SAMSHA grant to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center. The designation will provide funding for an increase in services. One aspect of the fund request is asking for funding for a new electronic medical record system. Word on this grant is not expected until later this year.

The Center has been advised by the state that our application for a Living Room program has been approved. We are awaiting the official Notice of state award. The Living Room program operates 24 hours per day and provides individuals in crisis with a place to go other than the emergency room.

Brian Rowe has joined the Center as Revenue Cycle Manager. His role will be to oversee all billing and revenue functions. Brian has a background in doing similar work at other large healthcare organizations.

The Joint Commission visit on 6/9/12 has been completed with only a few issues noted. Thanks to everyone for their efforts.

Juneteenth will be celebrated as an official holiday here at the Center on Monday, June 19th. This is the second year that the holiday has been added to the Center’s calendar.

Put in a Position to Change

The Center is proud to be working alongside SIUE to encourage students pursuing an education in mental health the opportunity to receive credit for an internship if they or someone close to them has life experience with mental health or addiction challenges.

The beauty and uniqueness of this program is students are able to relate to consumers in a unique way because they both have first-hand experience with mental health and addiction. Connecting in this way encourages a quicker and stronger bond between the consumer and the student.

It also provides a great chance for students to get real-life experience and possibly transition into long-term employment with the organization hosting their internship.

Freedom, Friends, and Food

Once again, we will be celebrating Juneteenth with traditional African garb and a wonderful meal prepared by the kitchen staff.

In honor of Juneteenth, they will be providing a free meal to all Center employees on June 16.

We appreciate their tremendous efforts in helping us celebrate. A big thank you to Mr. Harper for approving the celebration.

Free Walk-In Covid Testing

Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. No appointment needed. Open to the Public. Schedule subject to change due to weather or other special reasons. There is no out-of-pocket cost for COVID-19 testing. However, we do ask patients to provide their proof of I.D., and their health insurance information (if applicable), for billing purposes. For additional COVID-19 testing information, call (314) 443-5874.

Donations Needed

The Drop-In Center is open.  We are in need of several items for our Drop-In Center guests.  All donations will be greatly appreciated and a receipt for donated items can be provided for tax purposes.

Individual toothbrushes

Travel size deodorant

Travel size toothpaste

Travel size lotion

New washcloths

Feminine pads

Drawstring laundry bags

Laundry detergent

Sweatshirts (men/women/children)

Sweatpants (men/women/children)




To make a donation, please contact:
Carla Ellis
Assistant Project Director
(618) 261-7037

June’s Employee of the Month

Let’s congratulate Ms. Kenya Hooper, Case Manager for the Drop-In-Center for being Employee of the Month for June 2023.

Kenya has been such a help with bringing in clients to the Drop-In Center.  Her efforts go above and beyond being a superstar in the Drop-In Center. She is a tremendous asset to our community and to the SMARTS and ARTS programs. She has gone out of her way to pass out Narcan in the community. She has even helped some of The Center’s consumers in the community on her own time.

Kenya has been a big help in SMARTS/ARTS House during staffing shortages. Kenya comes in every day with a smile and loves to make everyone laugh. We look forward to seeing her and enjoying the positivity and levity she brings every day. Not to mention, our clients love her. 

Kenya, thank you for your hard work!

 Who’s New


Let’s welcome Angie to the CBHC team.

Milana Foxworth Nathaniel Newhouse

Endyia Washington

  Fonda Johnson 


June’s Birthdays

Wishing a BIG happy birthday to all of those in the CBHC family!

Ebony Roddy
Charles Tandy
Melanie Jones 
Wanda Walker
Mr. Stacey K. Jones
(Board Member)
Mr. Alfredric Cathion
(Board Member)
   Mrs. Kathy Walker-Steele
(Board Member)

Community Wellness Juneteenth Celebration

Join us on June 17th for our annual Juneteenth Celebration!

It’ll be in Old North St. Louis @ St. Louis Ave & 14th Street near Crown Candy for a day full of fun!

 Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk

Join in on the Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk and Family Health and Wellness Event. Registration is open for all adults and children 12 and older.

Registrations after June 1st cannot be guaranteed a tee- shirt and medal. They will be on a quantities available basis.

Register today for the 5K. Free health services available.

Parking 8 am- 1 pm Kenneth Hall Regional State Office Building 10 Collinsville Ave, East St Louis, IL 62201

Click for Directions  and to Register

Get in the News

Each month’s newsletter can be found at:
Questions, comments, or content suggestions can be sent to:

Important Dates

The cutoff for newsletter content suggestions is the last weekday of the preceding month.
Going forward, the newsletter will be published on the second Monday of every month.

The Board Is Back

While the board never officially left, it’s true that they are back in the building. They recently had their first meeting in person since COVID made virtual meetings the only option.

It was good to see old friends and familiar faces in person. A WebCam and screen simply cannot replicate the connections in such a devoted group.

Poet’s Corner

Our first submission comes from Wanda Stroter. Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly moving poem with the rest of us, Ms. Stroter.

It will certainly infuse a bit of reflection, gratitude, and patriotism into our day.


Nine is not just a number

When you are watching the news and you hear “Nine soldiers were killed today.” Nine is no longer a number, it’s your brother.

You say “I don’t have a brother”

Yes, I understand that you don’t have one you share with a mother, but he’s still your brother

He is fighting for you and me. Even if you don’t agree

Nine is no longer a number

He needs our prayers and remember it’s up to us to care

I have not lived through the stress of waiting on a call I hope never happens at all

The call to tell me my brother was one of Nine who died today

Nine is no longer just a Number

Crossword Puzzle

The first person who submits the most correct answers to will receive a ticket for a free lunch. Hard copies are available at the front desk.

May’s Crossword Puzzle Answer Key

Crossword Puzzle Winner

A big congratulations goes out to the puzzle master at the front desk, Ms. Beverly Lacy. Her depth of knowledge is impressive, and she will be rewarded with a free lunch.

If you would like a shot at a 15 minutes of fame and a free lunch. Be sure to submit your crossword puzzle to Ms. Jonnie or email them to

A Salute to Pride Month

June is a month for remembering how far we’ve come while being aware of how far we still must go.

This is not only true of the Juneteenth holiday, it is also a fact of life for many in the LGBTQ+ community.

Hayden Ellis of the Crisis department was generous enough to share their thoughts on what Pride Month means to them and what the future may look like for Pride Months a few years down the road.

Hayden was proud to be part of a team who saw the importance of recognizing this significant month. They believe it is proof positive of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come.

Hayden hopes in the near future cultural stumbling blocks of today such as discussing pronouns, understanding those who identify as having a non-binary gender, and close-minded conversations will disappear opening the door for a more inclusive, dynamic, and accepting society.

Part of building an accepting and inclusive community is respectful communication.

Here are some examples of preferred language within the LGBTQ+

Pet Connection

Meet Zane Muse (an intern with the Drop-In Center) and his pup Jack Jack.

Jack Jack is a great companion. He always greets Zane with excitement. He loves playing tug-of-war with his toys and chasing away the rabbits in the neighborhood.

The Second Annual Coordinated Intake Community Health Fair

Parenting for Success’ second annual community health fair was a brilliant success. A well-deserved congratulations goes out to Rachel Linzy who spearheaded this year’s event. We can’t overstate how successful this year’s fair was.

  • Over $3000 in cash and donations were secured to support the event. Thanks so much to all of the CBHC family who donated!
  • It showcased over 50 vendors from throughout the community.
  • Over 100 unique potential consumers also attended.

Ms. Rachel and the team from Parenting for Success team would like to send out a big “virtual round of applause” to all the team members who lent a hand in preparing and cleaning up: HR, Security, Maintenance, the Reception staff, Fathers and Families.

They would also like to extend a tremendous thanks to Mr. Harper for giving his blessing for the fair.

Summer Time Tips

1. Get Outside

Step 1 for making the most of the warmer-weather season is getting out into it. “My advice for summer self-care is to try to go for daily walks,” says Risa Williams, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Los Angeles, and author of The Ultimate Anxiety Toolkit. Being surrounded by nature, plants, and greenery can lower your stress quickly, as can physical activity, she says.

A review published in 2018 in the journal Health & Place analyzed data from existing studies and found that spending time outdoors can immediately lower stress levels, and that outdoor walks in green spaces are particularly effective.

2. Leave Time for Rest

“It can be very easy to overextend ourselves,” says Hope Weiss, LCSW, a therapist based in Longmont, Colorado. That’s true any time of year, but especially in summer, when friendlier weather inspires many to do more, she says.

Many people are excited to get back to travel this summer after the previous years’ pandemic disruptions. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports that air travel is expected to match pre-pandemic levels for the first time this summer, and may even exceed numbers from 2019.

Do have summer adventures and connect with friends and family, Weiss says. But, don’t forget to take time to slow down when you need it, so you don’t exhaust yourself. “Sometimes that may mean reading a book in a hammock,” she says. And remember: It’s okay to say no to invitations or other plans if that’s what’s best for you.

3. Socialize IRL Rather Than Online

Try working on being more present in the moment by reducing social media use and socializing more in person, suggests LaWanda Hill, PhD, a psychologist based in San Jose, California.

“Schedule pool parties, barbecues, or time together at the beach for rejuvenation and restoration,” Dr. Hill says. Doing so can have major benefits; research shows that friendships are positively associated with life satisfaction, and that both the quality of your friendships and how often you see your friends play a role.

4. Buy Summer Clothes That Fit

A lot of people who struggle with body image experience more distress during the summer months when we tend to wear clothing that exposes more of our bodies, like swimwear, says Brianna Campos, licensed professional counselor, a body image coach and educator based in Waldwick, New Jersey. If this is you, show yourself some self-compassion.

“Finding comfortable clothing is a good place to start,” Campos says. You don’t have to break the bank; consider shopping sales or secondhand options, like Poshmark.

And remember, it’s okay if you don’t love the way your body looks. Many experts suggest working towards body neutrality — that is, living your life without strong feelings (good or bad) about your appearance ⎯ to have a healthier body image. “Regardless of body size, it’s important to find clothes that fit your here-and-now body rather than trying to fit into clothes from summers past,” Campo says.

5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Summer heat and humidity can cause dehydration, which can lead to a host of problems (like heat exhaustion), says Mia Finkelston, MD, a family medicine physician and the senior medical director of Amwell Medical Group who is based in Leonardtown, Maryland. And even low levels of chronic dehydration can make you feel tired and dizzy.

The amount of water you should drink each day varies from person to person, and a hydration calculator can give you a good idea of how much you need. Once you know that, Dr. Finkelston suggests making a routine for yourself that will eventually become a habit.

Here’s what her hydration routine looks like: Finkelston says she likes to keep a water bottle on her bedside table, so that she can drink about 16 ounces as soon as she wakes up. She refills the water bottle throughout the day, aiming to drink another 16 ounces before noon and the same amount again between noon and 5 p.m. She also drinks tea and flavored seltzer water throughout the day.

“And remember, you can get water from food too, especially fruits and vegetables,” Finkelston says. Try including water-rich produce like cucumber and watermelon in your daily meals and snacks.

6. Be Sun Savvy

When outside, be sure to apply sunscreen liberally and regularly. You’ll be helping protect yourself from certain cancers, as well as lessening signs of skin aging (like wrinkles and hyperpigmentation).

The American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) recommends using broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Most adults need about 1 ounce of sunscreen to adequately cover the entire body and face, and the AAD recommends reapplying every two hours, and after getting out of the water.

7. Find Your Summer Schedule ⎯ but Make It a Relaxed One

If your usual routine is disrupted in the summer — maybe you’re a full-time parent, student, or teacher and school is out, or maybe you work for a company that lets you work remotely or has more flexible summer hours — getting into a new one (even a loose one) can help you feel less overwhelmed and keep up with healthy habits you want to make time for.

“Stay on a regular sleep schedule and socialize regularly,” says Dana Colthart, LCSW, a therapist based in Mahwah, New Jersey. She recommends planning things that you’ll do daily, like getting in some kind of movement, reading, writing, or practicing meditation. Your summer schedule doesn’t have to be a strict or rigid one, but daily habits can make you feel more grounded.

8. Move in Ways You Find Fun

Summer yields a lot of opportunities to move indoors and outdoors, so don’t force yourself to move in a way that you hate. If you’re unmotivated to hit the gym when the sun is shining, find an outdoor workout you enjoy, like hiking, walking, running, a pickup game of basketball in the park, or an al fresco yoga session.

 Center Stage: Fathers and Families

Mr. Aubrey Yates is responsible for running The Fathers and Families satellite programs here at The Center.

As you might imagine, the program’s focus is on reuniting and re-engaging fathers with their families. The men in this program learn the importance of a father figure in well-adjusted families. The offerings of this program extend far beyond the family dynamics needed to facilitate a happy and healthy family unit.

The fathers are also taught skills necessary to be capable providers. Résumé training and job development are provided to help students get a job and create a career. Education regarding financial credit is also part of the course. Students not only learn how to make money, they learn how to get loans and managed debt correctly.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the program is each participant is connected with a family counselor. The counselor can assist the student and their families with the challenges that arise. Even more impressive is the counselors follow students and families for one year after graduation. This is vital to helping families get accustomed to their new lifestyles and dynamics.

Juneteenth’s History and its Implications for Equality


Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an annual holiday celebrated on June 19th in the United States. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and holds significant historical importance. This article explores the history of Juneteenth, its journey from a local Texan celebration to a nationwide observance, and the implications it carries for addressing racial inequality in the future.

Historical Background

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all slaves held in Confederate states were to be freed. However, due to the challenges of communication and enforcement, the news did not reach many enslaved African Americans in the southern states immediately.

Juneteenth’s Origin

It was on June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of enslaved people. This date marks the genesis of Juneteenth. The announcement brought liberation to approximately 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Texas, signaling a pivotal moment in American history.

Spread and Significance

Following the announcement, Juneteenth celebrations began to emerge within the African American communities in Texas, with traditions that included parades, prayer services, and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. As African Americans migrated to other states, they carried this celebration with them, gradually spreading Juneteenth to different parts of the country.

The Significance of Juneteenth Today

Juneteenth represents more than the celebration of a specific event; it embodies the resilience, struggle, and triumph of African Americans in the face of oppression. It reminds us of the systemic racial injustices that have plagued our nation’s history and serves as a testament to the ongoing fight for equality and justice.

What This Means For Racial Equality

Education and Awareness: Juneteenth plays a crucial role in educating people about the struggles faced by African Americans throughout history. By recognizing and understanding this history, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of racial inequality and work towards dismantling systemic racism.

Cultural Heritage and Identity: Celebrating Juneteenth helps preserve and honor the cultural heritage and identity of African Americans. It provides a space for African Americans to express their history, achievements, and aspirations, fostering a sense of pride and unity within their communities.

Acknowledging Past Wrongs: Juneteenth serves as a reminder of the injustices and atrocities of slavery. By acknowledging and addressing this painful history, society can move towards reconciliation, healing, and promoting racial harmony.

Continuing the Fight for Equality: Juneteenth compels us to reflect on the progress made in the struggle for racial equality and recognize the work that still needs to be done. It encourages individuals to engage in activism, allyship, and advocacy to dismantle systemic racism and ensure equal opportunities for all.

Juneteenth stands as a milestone in the ongoing journey toward racial equality in the United States. Its historical significance and cultural celebration provide a platform for education, acknowledgment, and reflection on the systemic racial injustices that persist. By recognizing Juneteenth and its implications, we can work towards building a more inclusive, just, and equitable future for all

Get in the News

Each month’s newsletter can be found at:
Questions, comments, or content suggestions can be sent to:

Important Dates

The cutoff for newsletter content suggestions is the last weekday of the following month.
Going forward, the newsletter will be published on the second Monday of every month.