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RIVER BRIDGE REGIONAL CENTER

Mission

River Bridge provides collaborative services to child abuse victims, their families, and the community in a supportive environment through a child-centered approach.

Vision

A community where children are safe, families are strong, and where all abused children are believed, supported and able to heal.

WHO WE ARE

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River Bridge Regional Center is a child-friendly facility where law enforcement and child protection work together to investigate child abuse allegations. Mental health therapists, medical providers, and victim advocates help children and families heal, and prosecutors are supported in holding offenders accountable. River Bridge also provides the community with child abuse prevention and education. River Bridge is designed to reduce the stress on child abuse victims and to improve the effectiveness of the response to child abuse allegations.

We are making a significant, positive difference in the lives of children and families in Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco Counties. We also serve surrounding counties and communities when the need arises.

OUR STORY

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As the old cliché goes, you can’t know where you are going until you know where you have been.

December 2020 will mark the 13 year anniversary of River Bridge opening its doors to child abuse victims and their families. The work began way before our doors opened. Joyce Bulifant Perry and the Rotary Club of Carbondale – Aspen Glen (now known as the Mt. Sopris Rotary Club) worked tirelessly to make their dream come true.

Child Advocacy Centers were not new (the movement began in the early 1990’s) but the concept was new to our community. It took a lot of education, relationship building, and fundraising to make the Center a reality. The Rotary Club raised over $102,000 for the Center, the Garfield County Commissioners agreed to build a $600,000 building and the national non-profit organization Child Help offered to provide the administration for the program. The Child Help River Bridge Center (fka) opened its doors in December 2007 with a Director and a Victim Advocate on staff. In addition, Garfield County Department of Human Services provided a forensic interviewer, Susan Whiting, and a mental health therapist, Meghan Hurley Backofen on site. Meghan has been our Center’s one constant over the years and continues to provide hope and healing for child abuse victims and our community. In 2012, the local board determined that RBRC needed its own 501c3 status to provide services for the region, which was awarded September 2012.

Accomplishments:

  • Since RBRC’s inception in 2007, the organization has served more than 1,994 children and 2,991 non-offending family members.
  • RBRC earned its accreditation with NCA, a nationwide not-for-profit membership organization, in October 2010 and was re-accredited in October 2015. RBRC has begun the process of re-accreditation to be finalized in 2020. 
  • In August 2015, RBRC welcomed Frasier, a certified courthouse facility dog who is a graduate of Canine Companions for Independence. Frasier provides support and comfort for child abuse victims at RBRC through his calm, comforting presence at forensic interviews, in therapy, and finally as a companion should a child need to testify in court.
  • During our re-accreditation process in 2015, it was revealed that RBRC was growing out of its current space at 504 21st Street. The Garfield County Commissioners approved a purchase to provide us with a second facility. Our additional location at 520 21st Street opened its doors January 2018 and houses our medical and mental health services.
  • In 2017, RBRC embarked on a campaign, Bridge to Their Futures, to fund the renovation of this second building, add staff and programs, and build a strong reserve to sustain the expanding organization. Just over a year into the campaign and we’ve raised over $300,000 of our $500,000 goal. 
  • January 2018, the Mountain West SANE Alliance (MWSA) program moved under the umbrella of our established RBRC agency in order to provide adult victims of assault with essential services.

RIVER BRIDGE REGIONAL CENTER

OUR TEAM
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River Bridge Regional Center

Blythe Chapman, MA, LPC

Executive Director
River Bridge Regional Center

Mary Cloud

Assistant Director
River Bridge Regional Center

Kat Stenquist, MSW, LSW

Forensic Interviewer/Community Outreach Coordinator
River Bridge Regional Center

Lori Bennett

Family Advocate & Administrative Assistant
River Bridge Regional Center

Janet Earley, LCSW

Mental Health Coordinator for Eagle, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco counties
River Bridge Regional Center

Evelyn Nolasco-Montes

Bilingual Advocate & MDT Coordinator
River Bridge Regional Center

Becky Antonelli, BSN, RN, CEN, SANE

Clinical Coordinator, Mountain West SANE Alliance
River Bridge Regional Center

Angie Hildebrand, RN-BC, FNE

Forensic Nurse Examiner
River Bridge Regional Center

Meghan Hurley, LCSW

Mental Health Therapist
River Bridge Regional Center

Frasier

Facility Dog

RIVER BRIDGE REGIONAL CENTER

OUR BOARD
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