The Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health, Inc. was incorporated in 1966 and began offering comprehensive mental health services at its current site in 1970. Since then, the Center has been a Source of Strength to those members of our community diagnosed with a mental illness.
The project to create a Mental Health Center was conceived by Mrs. Ralph (Vivian) Rubinger in 1966. The Center was founded, according to Mrs. Rubinger, “to treat mental health problems and return patients to the community at a point where they can function comfortably in the family and in the community.” Her dream was four years in the making and it was nurtured by dedication, effort and sacrifice. The dream finally came true in November of 1970 when the $2 million dollar Center was dedicated. Mrs. Rubinger was joined by Edward M. Eissey, Ph.D. who was, at that time, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Asked why this project was so important to Mrs. Rubinger, a friend explained, “She wants everybody to feel that they are somebody.”
Jerome Golden Center was first known as Palm Beach County Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center and later as 45th Street Mental Health Center. In 2001, the Board of Directors of the Center voted to change the name to the Oakwood Center of the Palm Beaches, Inc. The symbol of the Center, the oak tree continues to represent the Center as a “Source of Strength” for those we serve. In 2011, the Center was given a generous gift of over one million dollars by long-time supporter, Jerome Golden. This gift came as the Center celebrated its 40th year as the premier provider of mental and behavioral health services to the Palm Beach County community. In light of this most-charitable gift, the Center was renamed “The Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health, Inc.”
Throughout its history, the Center has worked with both Federal and State agencies to seek out scientifically proven and best practices for the delivery of behavioral health services. The Center is a private, not-for-profit agency and has been accredited by the Joint Commission for over 25 years. The Center has been the main source for providing a full range of mental health services to the residents of central, northern and western Palm Beach County. Since the Center’s inception, it has brought quality mental health care to the community in a manner, which enhances and preserves human dignity.
The Center provides acute and continuing care services to the severely and persistently mentally ill, those with acute psychiatric disorders, those with co-occuring disorders ( primary diagnosis of mental illness and substance use disorder), and those in need of crisis support. Outpatient services are available for those with less severe disorders. As a designated Baker Act receiving facility, the Center evaluates any person brought to it by the police, courts, physicians, or other mental health professionals. The continuum of behavioral health services to the community includes emergency services, inpatient care, short-term therapy, psychiatric services, case management, group programs, housing and residential services among others.