The PTSD clinic of UCF RESTORES has been renamed in honor of alum Jim Rosengren ‘81 and his wife Julia, who donated $1 million to the clinic.
In a ceremony Friday, the Rosengrens and Deborah Beidel, the clinic’s director and a Pegasus professor of psychology, unveiled the new name: Rosengren Trauma Clinic at UCF RESTORES.
Since its launch in 2011, RESTORES has become known nationally for its innovative PTSD treatment for veterans, active-duty military members, first responders and other victims of trauma such as sexual assault and mass shootings. The clinic has treated more than 300 patients, including survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Jim Rosengren’s son, Josh, was one of those patients.
“I have a son who had pretty severe PTSD after two tours in Iraq who benefited from this clinic. It was important to me to find a way that I could help and give back,” said Rosengren, a veteran who had a 23-year career with the Army.
The Rosengrens’ donation will establish an endowment for the clinic that will help ensure its continued operation and success, which was in jeopardy last year as startup grant money from the U.S. Department of Defense was near running out. Thanks to legislative and community support, the clinic has been able to continue treatments at no cost to patients.
“We all know somebody who has been impacted by trauma. When I first met Jim I shared my dream of the clinic, and that we could alleviate that suffering,” Beidel said. “Jim looked me in the eye and said ‘I’m going to give you money, but I also want to be your partner.’ It really touched me that the Rosengrens vowed to give me so much more than financial support. That’s what gets me choked up. They were the first to really believe in what we could do here.”
RESTORES’ treatment includes a three-week program that combines virtual reality and group therapy sessions on guilt, anger, resocialization, insomnia and more, and has found that 66 percent of people in the program no longer have PTSD, which is above the success rate of standard PTSD treatments.
Others who spoke at the ceremony include Mike Morsberger, CEO of the UCF Foundation; Michael Johnson, dean of the UCF College of Sciences; Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith; Lt. Jeff Orrange of the Orlando Fire Department; and Ricardo Garcia, an Air Force veteran, all of whom praised the clinic and expressed their gratitude for its support and services.