History

Mission Statement

Serving our community by providing comprehensive quality services
that enhance the function, health and well-being of individuals and families.

 The Rehab Center has been an integral part of North Central Ohio for over 50 years. Pioneering in the provision of physical therapy, speech therapy and an orthopedic clinic, present day advancements have resulted in a comprehensive, one stop, full service rehabilitation service treatment center. Changes have occurred and expansion has taken place, adding new areas of patient care in an ever more complex setting. Innovative programs, as much a part of vision as of necessity, have continually been undertaken in response to individual and community needs.

In the early 1950's, polio, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and other disabilities caused by birth defects were increasingly affecting families throughout Ohio. Local specialized treatment facilities were not available, requiring those afflicted to travel long distances to outside communities to receive treatment and access services. Often times, family and local service organizations were relied upon to provide transportation. This deficiency in community resources took a heavy toll on the family, as many children were unable to walk, talk, or dress themselves without assistance.

The call for local medical rehabilitation services in the Mansfield area was answered by a young therapist, along with community leaders and service club organizations which provided care and transportation for the disabled children. In 1954, the Richland County Crippled Children's Society was opened in a two room house on West Third Street. Fifty three handicapped children were served in the first year. As the needs of North Central Ohio changed, the Crippled Children's Society responded. The two room facility on West Third Street outgrew its space and in 1961, a new center was opened in downtown Mansfield. In 1971, to better identify the clients served, the Crippled Children’s Society became Rehabilitation Services of North Central Ohio, Inc. (The Rehab Center).

The past decades have witnessed The Rehab Center's pioneering efforts and numerous "firsts." During the formative years, it was the first of its kind in North Central Ohio to provide physical therapy, speech therapy and an orthopedic clinic. It also opened and operated the first kindergarten for crippled children (1965). Other firsts for area residents included the Hearing and Speech Center (1963) and the Amputee Clinic (1965).

In the years after its founding, the agency quickly realized that a long-term community need was not being met. The children upon whom the agency's mission was founded were growing up. For a second time in their lives, these adults were faced with limited or no rehabilitation services, as The Rehab Center was geared towards children. The Rehab Center responded and became an organization for all people with disabilities.

In 1964, Progress Industries vocational workshop was established to meet the needs of the aging children and adult population. The charge was to offer on-the-job training to adults with disabilities and to assist them with the development of marketable skills and employment training. Progress Industries opened its doors to 13 clients with disabilities at its original Bowman St. location. Four years later, the workshop was moved to Distl Avenue, and today calls the Sterkel Boulevard property its home.

In 1974, The Rehab Center attained 'rehabilitation professional excellence' through national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

In 1997, The Rehab Center added behavioral health counseling for children and their families. Children who have been victims of abuse make up nearly half of the children treated at The Rehab Center today.

New Beginnings Recovery Services was originally formed in 1983 by 3 area women to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in North Central Ohio. In 1999, New Beginnings fully merged with the Rehab Center as its fourth division. True to The Rehab Center's history of 'firsts', New Beginnings adult residential treatment facility was a 'first' of its kind as well - as it was and continues to be the only male and female residential drug and alcohol treatment facility in Richland County. Community members no longer needed to travel out of county to seek these services.

In 2010, The Rehab Center integrated with The Center for Individual and Family Services, a primary mental health and drug and alcohol treatment center which is also located in the Sterkel complex. Combining these entities created significant efficiencies and enabled the two organizations to continue providing critical treatment during a serious economic downturn. Collectively, The Rehab Center and The Center have obtained significantly larger grants than would have been possible as individual entities. The result has been an increase in service opportunities to a community in economic crisis.

In  May 2013, after working diligently for over a year, a new brand for The Rehab Center and The Center for Individual and Family Services is announced.  The agencies, along with all the services provided within, are now known as companies of Catalyst Life Services

Crisis Hotline call
(419) 522-HELP • (419) 522-4357

For immediate assistance, call the Crisis Hotline above.