Lynn Rushing retires as CEO of mental health care provider Brook Lane

The plaque on the wall next to Lynn Rushing’s desk reads “By Grace Alone”.

This might sum up his feelings about the success and growth of Brook Lane during his 27 years as CEO.

He hastens to credit his Heavenly Father as well as the the mental health service provider.

“My faith has been a huge part of me sitting in this chair,” he said. “Sometimes I frustrate my staff by not taking action, but sometimes I listen to that soft little voice and wait.”

Lynn Rushing pauses in his office as he reflects on his upcoming retirement after 27 years as CEO of Brook Lane, a mental health service provider near Leitersburg.

At all there is a season, and Rushing, 68, is about to retire at the end of October.

“I have had a lot of good years here and we have made a lot of progress,” he said. “I feel like we have a good team… it positions the organization to move forward.

“I hope they move forward so well and so fast that they say, ‘Lynn who?'”

Rushing had considered working another year, but he and his wife, Chris, finally decided it was time to move on.

“We were just looking at things and we were like, ‘Why wait?’” He said. “If I wait until all of my projects – the things I would love to see in Brook Lane – are completed, I probably won’t be retiring for another 10 or 15 years.”

To be Discret “

Rushing will miss using the skills he learned working with Brook Lane staff, but said he may be able to give back to the community and apply them in another way, such as serving with community organizations.

He plans to spend more time as a “low-key” himself with his family and in his carpentry shop, and perhaps travel a bit. He also sings in the choir of Otterbein Church in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania., and has played the organ in various churches for the past 50 years.

The Roanoke, Va. Native was working as an assistant controller at a paint manufacturing company when he met Chris, a Washington County native who was interning as a dietitian at a Roanoke hospital.

The couple moved to Washington County when Lynn took another job here before settling locally in banking for seven years.

Chris was already working as a dietitian at Brook Lane when Lynn went there to work as a CFO in 1987.

At the time, he said, Brook Lane had around 100 employees at its single campus near Leitersburg, and the main building was roughly the same as when it was founded in the late 1940s by a group of Mennonites who saw a need for mental compassion. health care.

Since then, Brook Lane has had around 500 employees on a significantly expanded main campus, with a private 57-bed inpatient hospital, one of only two in Maryland. The other is Sheppard pratt Towson Hospital, Maryland.

Growth over the years

Brook Lane Hospital expanded twice during Rushing’s tenure and ambulatory care facilities were established in Hagerstown and Frederick.

Facilities and programs have grown because the need for mental health services has continued to grow, he said.

On the one hand, people these days are more comfortable with seeking mental health care, Rushing said.

“I think for many years mental health has been associated with a stigma that people weren’t talking about,” he said.

And modern life is definitely more stressful, especially for kids who are faced with school, peer pressure and social media, Rushing said.

“It’s a lot more than it was,” he said.

For example, the Laurel Hall school program, which began to meet an observed need in the mid-1990s, provides educational services to children of all ages, such as those with autism or those with mental health issues or of behavior. Students are referred by public schools, he said.

There are approximately 60 students at Laurel Hall School on the main Brook Lane campus, and approximately 50 at one institution in Frederick. Brook Lane also has therapists available at all Washington County colleges and high schools offering the first three visits for free, Rushing said.

Responding to the needs of the community has been at the center of Brook Lane’s mission since its founding, according to Rushing.

He describes as his “center of focus” a writing recorded by the founders: “If God has exposed us to this need and we do nothing to address it, how can we expect someone else to do it?

Rushing said he believes it will be an important qualification for his successor.

“For me, it is essential to understand how faith has to fit into the work,” he said.

Rushing said he was confident in the ability of the Brook Lane team to meet future needs.

“The ministry of labor here is so essential to the community, and it should be more important than any individual here,” he said. “I feel blessed to have been able to participate in our move from point A to point B, and I will be one of the greatest cheerleaders as they move from point B to point C.”

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