New Brace­bridge re­cov­ery cen­ter to open Aug. 1


Cecil Whig - - & - By CH­ERYL MATTIX


— Brace­bridge Hall, once a pri­vate es­tate and later a cor­po­rate re­treat for MBNA ex­ec­u­tives, is un­der­go­ing a $13.7 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion to trans­form it into a sub­stance abuse treat­ment cen­ter, along with a spe­cial­ized pro­gram for ex­ec­u­tives.

Last week, con­struc­tion crews were busy in­side and out cre­at­ing bed­rooms and treat­ment rooms within the sprawl­ing 31,000-square­foot Ge­or­gian man­sion that sits on 530 acres as the cen­ter­piece of a prop­erty that also in­cludes two guest houses, sev­eral barn-garage type build­ings, a he­li­copter pad, a con­fer­ence room with a 34-foot di­am­e­ter round ta­ble and a dock.

“We hope to open Aug. 1 with 39 beds avail­able,” said Dr. Bar­bara Kis­ten­macher, CEO of RCA’s op­er­a­tion at Bain­bridge Hall.

The man­sion sits about two miles off the road with wa­ter­front views of a cove on the Sas­safras River.

“RCA at Brace­bridge Hall will pro­vide our pa­tients and their fam­i­lies with the dig­ni­fied treat­ment so many strug­gle to ob­tain while bat­tling sub­stance use dis­or­ders,” Kis­ten­macher said.

A grad­u­ate of Elk­ton High

EARLEVILLE Kitchen fire da­m­ages home

—A stove-top grease fire is to blame for the es­ti­mated $15,000 of dam­age at a Tele­graph Road home, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of the Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal.


School who has spent the last 30 years away from Ce­cil County get­ting her ed­u­ca­tion and job ex­pe­ri­ence, Kis­ten­macher has now re­turned to her roots to head up this exclusive treat­ment fa­cil­ity here.

“The neat thing about this ex­pe­ri­ence for me is that I get to re­turn home and help peo­ple,” she said. “It’s re­ally a dream come true.”

She has had 20 years ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the field of sub­stance abuse and most re­cently worked at the Hazelden Betty Ford Cen­ter in New York City.

Un­til Brace­bridge Hall opens in Au­gust, Kis­ten­macher spends her days mostly over­see­ing the project and hir­ing staff.

“We have a big job fair planned for June 14 at Schae­fer’s Ban­quet Hall in Ch­e­sa­peake City,” she said.

Those in­ter­ested should be there be­tween 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Kis­ten­macher said they are look­ing to hire doc­tors, nurses, clin­i­cal su­per­vi­sors, drivers, pri­mary and fam­ily ther­a­pists, house­keep­ing, main­te­nance and re­cov­ery sup­port spe­cial­ists.

She es­ti­mates the fa­cil­ity will have 70 full-time em­ploy­ees by the end of the year and will gen­er­ate more than $4 mil­lion in salaries

The fire ig­nited around 10 p.m. Satur­day at the home in the 5700 block of Tele­graph Road near the Ce­cil County line. There were no in­juries and fire­fight­ers from Singerly Fire Com­pany needed just 15 min­utes to con­trol the blaze. and ben­e­fits.

RCA re­cently hired Joyce Bil­ski, a former Ash­ley Ad­dic­tion Cen­ter em­ployee, as their di­rec­tor of nurs­ing and Dr. Olga Ros­sello, who has 26 years ex­pe­ri­ence, as the med­i­cal di­rec­tor of the fa­cil­ity.

Kis­ten­macher, who is a clin­i­cal psychologist, is look­ing forward to help­ing peo­ple from the area who are struggling with sub­stance abuse dis­or­ders, point­ing out that RCA’s model has a strong fo­cus on nurs­ing and ther­apy.

“There are lots of ways to get well,” she said. “I’m go­ing to bring the best of all ev­i­dence-based pro­grams to this fa­cil­ity.”

“The 12-step pro­gram is prob­a­bly the most well­known, but there are many others, in­clud­ing cog­ni­tive ther­apy, mo­ti­va­tional ther­apy and en­hance­ment ther­apy,” she said. “We will in­te­grate all of th­ese pro­grams to cus­tom­ize the best ap­proach for each pa­tient.”

“We call it the ‘ one plan,’ but that sim­ply means the one plan that is best for you,” she said.

Some of the larger bed­rooms in the man­sion are be­ing ren­o­vated to ac­com­mo­date two or three pa­tient beds with pri­vacy walls and bath­rooms for each bed­room.

Many of the ther­apy rooms have large win­dows over­look­ing the wa­ter and the former li­brary lounge is be­ing con­verted into a group and fam­ily ther­apy room.

Kis­ten­macher said the fa­cil­ity will be staffed around the clock daily.

Two former pri­vate homes closer to the en­trance road are be­ing con­verted into ad­mis­sions of­fices and pub­lic, free meet­ing rooms for out­side 12-step groups and other com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion classes.

Yoga classes and acupunc­ture will be of­fered in the basement of the man­sion for pa­tients, and sev­eral of the out­build­ings are be­ing con­verted into fu­ture fit­ness, ad­ven­ture and mu­sic ther­apy ar­eas.

They’ve hired a food ven­dor to pro­vide high-qual­ity meals for pa­tients to dine in­side din­ing rooms or out­side on a pa­tio.

Kis­ten­macher said later this year the sec­ond phase of Brace­bridge Hall’s trans­for­ma­tion will be­gin with con­struc­tion of a three­story ad­di­tion to ac­com­mo­date 69 more beds for a to­tal of 108 beds when the project is com­plete in 2017.

Es­ti­mated cost of care at RCA Brace­bridge is $1,000 a day, or $30,000 a month.

“Most pa­tients will be able to self-pay or with the help of in­sur­ance,” Kis­ten­macher said. “We will have ap­prox­i­mately five beds set aside for char­ity care or schol­ar­ship-funded care.”

RCA of­fi­cials said that a re­cent $231.5 mil­lion do­na­tion has helped them fi­nance the Brace­bridge project and other lo­ca­tions they hope to open within the next two years.

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