A beautiful playground and recreation area greet clients, families, and visitors to the Sargent Rehabilitation Center on Quaker Lane in Warwick. The “play” that occurs here is both fun and therapeutic for the children at Sargent.
Established in 1917 as the Providence School of Lipreading, Sargent has expanded its services through the decades and now provides a full range of rehabilitation services to children and adults through its pediatric, neuro rehabilitation, and hearing center programs.
The pediatric program provides education, medical, and rehabilitative services through a day school program for children from ages three to 21 and an outpatient program for children from birth to 21. Of the day school program, which serves children with a range of diagnoses including autism, brain injury, and behavior disorders, Marilyn Serra, Sargent’s president/CEO, says, “Our target is to help these children get to the point where the school systems can successfully take them back.”
The neuro-rehabilitation program assists individuals who have suffered brain injury, stroke, or other neurological injury achieve a higher level of independence through clinical rehabilitation and life skills training. “These adults have been robbed of their productive lives and the young adults have been robbed of their preparation for productive lives. We work to get them back on a typical life track,” Marilyn explains.
“And we’ve always kept audiology active to this day,” Marilyn continues, noting that services offered through the hearing center build upon the organization’s initial focus.
The Sargent campus includes a recently-constructed resources center which can be used by outside groups for meetings. Marilyn notes that the board has raised funds for capital projects and that the organization is debt-free.
“We’ve had some productive years and have built up a cash reserve. We began to think we should take a piece of it to set up an endowment,” says Stan Slowick, Sargent’s senior vice president, finance & administration.
“We researched endowments, and we landed with the Rhode Island Foundation because of its track record on investments. The Foundation’s investments are global, but the people are local. That’s very important to us,” states Russell Hahn, chairman of the Sargent board of directors.