Rhodes State’s Justin Borra Center for Behavioral Services Dedicated and Opened to the Community

The doors of the new Justin Borra Center for Behavioral Services officially opened to the public on Tuesday, October 3 at 11:00am. College leaders, faculty and staff, donors, community partners and students attended the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting at the entrance of the Center, located in the Technical Education Laboratory building on Rhodes State’s campus. A reception and facility tours, then, introduced the brand-new opportunities found at the Center and within the Mental Health, Addictions, and Social Work Assistant Associate degree and Addiction Services certificate programs.

Attendees at the dedication were welcomed by Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Rhodes State, Mr. Kevin Reeks. Immediately following, the impetus of the Center’s planning and realization as well as the motivation for the new academic programming was detailed in remarks given by Rhodes State President, Dr. Cynthia E. Spiers. Mr. Everett “Butch” Kirk, III, the newly appointed Chair for the Rhodes State Board of Trustees addressed the attendees and shared his gratitude for the opportunities those who supported the project were offering the community.

The Center’s namesake is Justin A. Borra, a long-time health care executive, who began his career as a nursing home administrator at Arbor Health Care. He was a founding member of CORA Health Service, where, as Executive Vice President, he worked to grow the outpatient rehabilitation business from a start up to over 200 clinics. Justin passed away in July of 2019. The Borra Family Foundation gave a transformative gift to the Rhodes State College Foundation in his memory. Justin’s father, Mr. Pier C. Borra gave remarks on behalf of the Borra Family Foundation.

Finally, Jennifer Truman, Rhodes State alumna and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Lima Memorial Health System as well as Angela Heaton, Dean of Health Sciences and Public Service offered their remarks about the positive impact of the new programming and Center on the mental health, addiction and social work climate in the region.

Tours of the Center commenced after a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Upon entering the Justin Borra Center from outside the Technical Education Laboratory building, visitors found a fully functioning counseling center with a private counselor’s office and reception area. Further inside, is a Group Therapy room with floor to ceiling views of the woodland nature-scape outside. A student lounge is located outside the Group Therapy room, appointed with soft space for studying or relaxing. Down a hallway from the Lounge are three student collaboration rooms for students to practice what they have learned in class. These rooms are equipped with hyflex technology, giving both present and remote students the opportunity to learn from each other. Finally, the hallway opens up to a 24-person hyflex classroom, where collaborative and asynchronous learning can occur.

Gifts to the Justin Borra Center for Behavioral Services were a part of the Educate Collaborate Innovate Major Gifts Campaign. Rhodes State College and its Foundation extended their thanks and gratitude to the donors who directed their gifts to the establishment of the Justin Borra Center for Behavioral Services. Special appreciation was given for the generosity and inspiration of the Borra Family Foundation, Brad and Judi Roush, The Dennis and Susan Smith Family Foundation, The Rohrer Family, and Dr. Cynthia E. Spiers. 

In addition to their gift for the Justin Borra Center, the Borra Family Foundation also funded multiple scholarships for the Addictions, Mental Health and Social Work Assistant degree program and Addiction Services certificate program. Thirty-two students are currently enrolled in the associate’s degree program as well as 16 working toward the certificate. Those obtaining an associate’s degree will be eligible for registration as a Social Work Assistant through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board, and the Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant through the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board (OCDP) as well as fully prepared to go on to a bachelor’s degree in Social Work or Addiction Services. Those who obtain an Addiction Services certificate will meet the standards for the Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant Certification through the OCDP. This certificate is valuable for many health care workers and first responders in addition to those working directly in addictions, mental health, and social work.

The dedication of the Justin Borra Center for Behavioral Services comes at the two-year anniversary mark of the dedication and opening of the Borra Center for Health Sciences in Downtown Lima. Thousands of health science students have benefited from the state-of-the-art facility, and the excellence already exhibited there lends great hope and excitement for the new Justin Borra Center. 

Since 1971, educating students to become essential contributors to manufacturing, business, public service, healthcare, and their communities has been a constant for Rhodes State. The College continues to create new programs, repurpose facilities, purchase advanced laboratory and program equipment, and collaborate with regional partners to meet in-demand workforce needs. The Justin Borra Center for Behavioral Services is an example of how Rhodes State is creating new learning environments, equipped with the latest technology, to serve students and the region.