CUMBERLAND, Md. – As the new Center for Hope and Healing prepares to open next door to UPMC Western Maryland and provide residential crisis treatment for patients struggling with substance abuse and behavioral health issues, the WMHS Auxiliary has redoubled its commitment to wellness in this critical area.

For the News Tribune
CUMBERLAND, Md. –  As the new Center for Hope and Healing prepares to open next door to UPMC Western Maryland and provide residential crisis treatment for patients struggling with substance abuse and behavioral health issues, the WMHS Auxiliary has redoubled its commitment to wellness in this critical area.
    In 2019, auxiliary president Julie Davis, president-elect Kim Kremer, and past president Sherry Schmitt signed a $1 million pledge over six years toward construction and operation of the center. Now, as the center readies for opening, the auxiliary brings yet another gift.
    The Resilience collection features the work of photographer Darrin Isom and painter Sandy Arnold, who spent the summer of 2018 interviewing and culling stories from individuals who have faced and overcome a range of challenges and losses related to addiction and mental health disorders.
    Initially exhibited at the Allegany Arts Council in the fall of 2018, the collection powerfully illustrates the strength and tenacity of overcomers sharing their individual journeys.
    Past president Sherry Schmitt secured the exhibit to hang at the Center for Hope and Healing, which coupled with the auxiliary’s $1 million commitment to the center, serves as a permanent reminder of their support and gratitude to UPMC Western Maryland for creating this powerful stop-gap treatment facility.
    “I think more than anything else, we want the Auxiliary’s pledge and this unique art collection to demonstrate our commitment to the brave souls and families fighting substance abuse in our community,” WMHS Auxiliary president Julie Davis said.
“So many people – whether indirectly or right at home – have been affected across our region, but through UPMC Western Maryland, hope is on the way.”
    Jeff O’Neal, executive director of Clinics, Practices, and Behavioral Health Services – and the visionary behind the center – indicated the center has already gained statewide attention as a best practice for interventional care. The building will begin receiving patients in July.
    Since 2006, the auxiliary has contributed more than $2.75 million to UPMC Western Maryland, underwriting critical, cutting-edge equipment and patient services – all through the generous
participation of its member volunteer efforts. For more information about joining the Auxiliary or the work of the WMHS Foundation, contact 240-964-8051.