The legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Rogers inspires employee essays

Posted on 08/03/17 11:28:am


More than a century after its beginnings, those who carry out the mission of Rogers Behavioral Health remain steadfast in the commitment to those we serve. Read heart-felt narratives submitted by members of our team in recognition of our 110th anniversary to catch a glimpse of the heritage that continues today.

The winning essay came from Tammy Madrigrano, MSW/APSW, Rogers–Kenosha:

Dr. Arthur Rogers would be so proud of how far we have come today!

tammy.jpgFrom humble beginnings of a health resort to possibly completely closing in the 90s, we have FAR surpassed his vision and mission of increasing access for those with mental illness using innovative therapies. I believe it is due to the care and compassion offered and encouraged by our employees. The accountability for patient and staff care resonates and trickles down from the President, to managers, to administrative to maintenance. EVERYONE feels the desire to help from all levels of care, and this is a main reason I feel blessed to work for such an amazing company. COHESION is the foundation of this company.

Rogers would be pleased to know that we never say no to something without thoroughly weighing the options and outcomes. Instead we say, “why not?” or “let’s give it a try!” We are able to see what has potential and explore the possibilities. We have far surpassed other facilities using combinations of cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectal behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, experiential therapy, exposure therapy, and the list goes on. We understand that what works for one doesn’t work for all. We are FLEXIBLE!!!

We have been expanding leaps and bounds across the country and Rogers is becoming a household name. There have been many times when I have been asked where I work and I hear, “my cousin, husband, brother, friend, went there and they do AMAZING WORK!” It is so gratifying and validating to see that such a large organization is able to maintain this caliber of care and compassion in so many different states, cultures, and communities.

Rogers provides employees with so many resources, trainings and incentives to be the best we can   to not only take care of patients but ourselves as well. It is an honor and a privilege to work for a company that invests so heavily in the care and welfare of their employees that it makes the work we do that much more enjoyable. I am humbled and honored to be part of such a movement that is creating waves across the community due to its presence and accomplishments. I have seen the number of men asking for and getting help increase substantially which is huge!! We ARE reducing the stigma!! We ARE proving that ADDICTION IS A DISEASE and should be treated as such. Most importantly, we ARE treating humans despite their struggles with depression, anxiety, depression, and addiction with the love and support they so often desperately crave and deserve. We ARE making a difference!!!!

I personally carry Dr. Rogers’ mantra in my heart and hands with the work I do daily. I do not think there is ANYONE that is beyond help with the right treatment team, modalities, support, and resources. I am confident I will spend the rest of my career with Rogers and am looking forward to the expansions that are yet to come.

Hats off to you Mr. Rogers!!! I know you would be proud! Thank you for starting the revolution that is now Rogers Behavioral Health. Dare to dream….. look what happens!!!


Byron Beams, Therapeutic Specialist, Rogers–Oconomowoc, shares how the Rogers inspires him:  

Arthur and Theresa Rogers were visionaries, years ahead of their time.

Byron.jpgIf they could see what they had started (and who is to argue that they can’t), 100 years later I think they would be beyond words.

When I first walked through the door almost 25 years ago (with a total census of 52) the first thing that caught my eye was the two portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers and they are still in the same place. The gentleness and compassion that was captured within their eyes had a significant impact on me. Their vision appeared to say, “Those that are experiencing pain and suffering can be helped with the care of those who are willing and able to do so.”

Somehow I felt connected with the mission and vision to use and share my gifts to help alleviate the emotional suffering of my fellow human beings. When I think of Arthur and Theresa I think that their vision is played out through me and all of the other dedicated and truly gifted professionals that I am privileged to work with. Because Rogers has been such a significant part of my life and vision over the last 25 years, I believe that it has helped define the way that I describe HOPE. Hope is powerful medicine. It gives people the strength to care, to heal, to persevere through their most desperate times. Most importantly, it gives them the strength to believe that their suffering will be relieved. Our compassion drives us to actively seek out one that is suffering and use our gifts to ease their pain.

There are no words that can describe the softening of someone’s eyes and the smile of gratitude that emerges on the face when their pain and suffering has been eased. This is something that must be experienced to be fully appreciated and understood.

This is how I describe my interpretation of their vision.

I firmly believe that all of those people who are actively using their gifts to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings and giving them hope are carrying forward the vision of Arthur and Theresa Rogers.

We are conduits that something far greater than ourselves funnels through.


Josiah Buss, Intake Specialist, Rogers–Brown Deer, writes directly to the organization’s founder:

Dear Dr. Rogers,

josiah essay winner 2.jpgNames. Even though we’ve never met in person, we know that you valued names. That makes sense though. Our profession is based upon knowing our patients on an individual level, and one of the ways we connect is by using the patient’s name. We also know that names are important to you since you even named your organization in the memory of your wife. You’d be pleased, although hopefully not surprised, to know that even 110 years later, our hospital system still bears the Rogers name in the memory of your family.

What you may not have realized, however, is the recognition that the Rogers name would have. Not just in Oconomowoc, either, but in Milwaukee, Brown Deer, and across the country. You would be proud of the reputation that your name has, too. As intake staff we hear stories on a daily basis about how the hospital you created has changed lives. Statements such as “Rogers is the only reason I’m still alive,” “I told them that I would only be transferred to Rogers,” and “I have the utmost respect for the staff and the care at Rogers.” As you are well aware, people reach out to us on the worst days of their lives, and still share that they know they will be receiving the best possible care at Rogers.

The name that you shared with us and that we use in your memory is still going strong. Thanks for entrusting it to us. We’re looking forward to it standing for another 110 years of healing and hope.


Desiree Sigler, Experiential Therapist, Rogers—Kenosha, uses art to share the impact of the Rogers mission:

In true art therapist form, I can better respond with insight of how I’m personally carrying forward Dr. Rogers’ vision with imagery and art as communication.

desi.jpgNot too long ago, I was searching for my purpose in life. Art therapy became my purpose, my passion, my gift. Working as an experiential therapist for Rogers Behavioral Health has been the most humble, gratifying, and significant time of my life. I carry forth the vision of Dr. Rogers through providing a safe, supportive, and challenging environment for our patients to express themselves through creativity in order to instill introspection and a different outlet to utilize the skills gained in therapy.

This mural is more than just a painting, it signifies what we do at Rogers, what I do with patients while in treatment. Being able to guide and work alongside patients through their struggles of self-doubt, communication, and the weight of the world in order to gain acceptance of self and coping skills along the way. This mural was able to give a voice to the voiceless and inspire positivity in what seems to be dark times of understanding the impacts of mental illness. In ending, please read the heartfelt artist statement which captures the journey of healing through Rogers Behavioral Health.

essay winner art.jpg

Title: Happy Accidents            Medium: Acrylic paint on canvas 36” X 57”

Artist Statement:

“The waterfall over the stones represents our emotions coming out through therapy. The sunny day is how we will feel once we get discharged and the feather represents flying free and being ourselves after being discharged. The octopus was meant to be an image of a wave, but it became a happy accident and transformed into an octopus which just became a metaphor for the transitions and changes that can come from happy accidents. The tree is life, it’s our story, and it signifies who we’ve grown into today. The forest shows the confusion and being lost within our mental illnesses. The mountains are the tough parts in our lives, relapsing, falling, down, and having to climb back up. The dark sky and the stars symbolize having possibilities within dark times.”-CADT TEENS KENOSHA

“We started out apprehensive in the beginning of making this mural because of our self-doubt and anxiety of perfection.”-CADT TEENS KENOSHA

Together they were able to complete their Happy Accidents


Brandon Orser, Educational Therapist, Rogers–Oconomowoc, works to honor the Rogers’ legacy:

How are we keeping the vision alive today?

orser.jpgI have only been working at Rogers Behavioral Health for 6 months, but from the moment my training began the staff’s dedication to maintaining the values Rogers stand for, and the commitment to upholding the mission Rogers strives for was palpable. Employees are what makes a company great, and it is only through their passion, their dedication, and their commitments, that a company can be successful. Rogers highlights that idea in their mission, and it is clear that it is not an empty statement. At Rogers, I see each and every member of the team exhibiting behaviors of empowerment, respect, ethics, excellence and collaboration. By demonstrating these values consistently, we as a team, and a community, are able to achieve the mission for which our company stands. We exist to offer the highest quality behavior health services and we are dedicated to deliver quality care. Without a competent staff that is willing to go above and beyond, Rogers would not have the success and worldwide prestige that it has earned over the past 110 years.

It was refreshing coming into this new position feeling immediately supported, and part of something bigger than myself. I joined this company because I respected and appreciated the values that they stood for and the good they do for others. Those traits are not only consistent within this company, but prevalent. Although I am not part of what is typically a “hospital” position, (I am a teacher in one of the residential units) I feel valued in my position and leave daily with a sense of purpose and respect. The feeling of community I get when entering the building every morning is a testament to the single goals that we all strive for on a daily basis. It shows that each and every person not only knowns and understands the values Rogers maintains, but respects, and upholds them. It is only through collaboration, cooperation, and a common goal that teams can be successful. It is clear to me that Roger’s current and continued success is the result of the amazing staff that comes to work every day dedicated and striving to make the world a better place.

This is what I want others to know about Rogers Memorial Hospital, and this is how, I believe, we are keeping the vision alive today, 110 years later.


Janaie Sandoval, Residential Counselor, Child and Adolescent Center, Rogers–Oconomowoc, is ready to beat mental illness:

The Rogers victory in the fight against mental illness

janai.jpgWith such limited time and knowledge for mental illness, many of us do not know that battling a mental illness is just that- a battle. A fight that's going to need manpower and more time and space than just a small section of a hospital. A fight that’s going to need Rogers.

I am proud to be a new addition to the Rogers Behavioral Health System and since being here, I have seen that this is an amazing system that owns up to everything Dr. Rogers wanted it to be. The vision is carried out by the beautifully serene campuses, the amazing kind hearted and dedicated staff, and the motivation that Rogers instills in patients to fight for a life worth living.

I admire the vision of the Rogers Behavioral Health system and, in fact, If I could talk to Dr. Rogers and tell him how I am personally working to support his vision and keep it alive, I would tell him this: while the details are not important and will never be revealed, what is important is what I have learned from my experience with mental illness. I have learned that when mental illness hits a family, it hits hard, it is persistent, and it is relentless; sparing no one. There will be tears, there will be scars, there may even be blood. There will be sleepless nights, days or even weeks. There will be internal fights that come with victories, and many that come with losses. There will be bad days. There will be times where our patients think that they aren’t going to make it and even times when they’d wish they hadn’t. Family and friends of addiction will walk away from them, tell them to go, scream at them “I hate you!” There will be a time where the patient breaks and thinks “yeah, I hate me too.” Of course, there will be countless times where they think that no one will ever understand or be able to help them--and that, Dr. Rogers, is where I come in. I understand. I have an insight that many lucky people were not unfortunate enough to gain, and I promise to use my misfortune to help everyone who walks, runs, crawls, or is escorted up to me for help.

The beauty of my experience is that I will have this incredible, almost magical ability to understand and help our patients on another level and they will never even know how! My hidden knowledge gives me a secret understanding which holds the key to the alluring world of healing, where I will lead those who cannot yet find their own way.

My name is Janaie Sandoval and I wouldn’t want to fight mental illness with any army other than the Rogers’ army because I know that together, the patient and our team will fight their mental illness and we WILL win. 


Tama’ra Reed MSW, CTRS, MBCBT, Rogers–Silver Lake, shares her professional passion with our founder:

My dearest Dr. Rogers:

tamara.jpgAs I sit here in 2017 as one of your future employees, I want you to know that carrying on your mission has been easier than you could ever imagine. Yes, there have been many growing pains, and yes, there has been another time when we almost had to close the doors. With the groundwork you instilled in each and every one of us, we are determined to help reduce the stigma and move forward with your true heartfelt dream. Know that your passion lives on today as it has for the last 110 years!

I wonder what it would be like seeing you walk through the doors at Rogers Memorial Hospital and looking at the amazement in your eyes! Yes, progression! If you were able to visit all of our locations and see how we have all worked so hard for your dream. Rogers is not just one building tucked away in the woods anymore. Rogers has gone nationwide and continues to grow every day!

When I think of the changes I have seen in my short 10.5 years here, I’m in amazement! How old buildings have been razed and now stands big beautiful sturdy buildings. The prestigious reputation

Rogers has with leading mental health facilities and technology. We have satellite learning, teleconference, currently working on apps, CBT track, spiritual facilitators, and so much more!

When I was hired in 2006 as a ropes course facilitator, I just thought what a cool job! You should know that my devotion to your project has grown ever so much more! It’s not just climbing and giving these customers the fun times, it’s actually exposing them to challenges, giving them guidance to get their own conclusions, and helping them create their own future. Now 10 plus years later I strive to give as much as I can to Rogers with not only my position but representing Rogers proudly in many other volunteer positions.

I am truly helping patients in an experiential way! I am helping others by way of metaphors and just presenting real life situations letting the patients feel it and then being able to process with them about how they feel and think is AMAZING every day! I believe this has always been your true mission from the start! Yes, EVERY mental illness can be treated!!

I LOVE my job! Yes, because of you I can truly say I LOVE my job! Your passion is within all of us and seeing a customer enter the doors devastated and leaving a program a new person just truly proves your beliefs. Giving the customers a reason to live, a purpose, and even quality of life not only gives to the customer, but to each of us employees who have followed in your footsteps. I have seen it time and time again and can’t even put in words the magic that happens here every day and every moment.

Sincerely Thankful,

Tama’ra Reed MSW, CTRS, MBCBT, Experiential Therapist 


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