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Patient Stories


Daniel Kay

Behavioral Health Patient

Daniel sees the world differently after treatment and is grateful for the behavioral health care he's receiving at Summa Health.


Daniel Kay - I have mental illness. I suffered with traumatic stress as a child and up into adulthood. And a community agency referred me to Summa's Behavioral Health. Dr. Ivan, he handles my medication therapy. My counselor is Dr. Ellen Harrington. With her counseling, I see the world in a different way. Mental illness doesn't take a vacation and Summa's helping me to live with that.

I have two master's degrees and I would like to get back into the financial field, and I'm getting there day by day. I want to thank Dr. Harrington and Dr. Ivan. I've found a home, so to speak, at Summa and I am so grateful.


Jason Hale

Vivitrol Clinic Patient

Now two-and-a-half years sober, he feels like he’s been reborn


Jason: For 30 years, I was a functioning alcoholic, college educated to the PhD level, but the disease kept progressing and progressing. And I came to realize that alcohol is not your friend, it's out to kill you. It wasn't until I found myself at Summa Health emergency room almost dead, that I realized I need help. And that's when I learned about Vivitrol Clinic at St. Thomas that saved my life.

Dr. Vellanki and Annie, the nurse, gave me the hope that I needed to move forward. I received the Vivitrol injection once a month. It helps curve my cravings for alcohol and helps me to focus on the tools that I've learned in treatment.

Thanks to the team at Summa. I am now two and a half years sober, I have a new lease on life, I feel like I've been reborn. So if you're out there struggling, no hope, rock bottom, no future, Summa saved my life, they can save yours too.


Tom Saal

Traumatic Stress Patient

Realized his life's value through the Summa Health Traumatic Stress Center


Tom: As a result of 40 years of anger, and frustration, and suicidal thoughts that I brought home from Vietnam, I knew I needed help.

When I arrived at Summa St. Thomas I was emotionally devastated. Summa treated me like a human being. I was born at Summa St. Thomas Hospital, and I was re-born there through the help of Dr. Palmieri and Summa St. Thomas' Traumatic Stress Center.

The greatest thing for me was my realization that my life did have value and that my family was important to me. That program saved my life. There is no doubt in my mind about it. I would not be around today had it not been for Summa's post-traumatic stress program.


Kelly Hartman

Removing the stigma of mental health disorders through hope and healing


Kelly: I have a great life. I have two little girls. I have a wonderful husband. I have a wonderful career as a teacher.

Out of the blue, I had the most fear that I was dying and I would never see my family again. I realized I was have a psychotic attack. That led me to St. Thomas hospital where I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety.

I was there for six days. It was life changing.

I came to realize that mental illness can be a part of anyone's life. I'm living proof, and so many other people have this going on.

My message is that it's ok to have a mental illness. We have got to get rid of this stigma.

What I found through Summa Health that there is hope, and there is healing. And I am forever thankful.

It's so important for me to be mentally healthy for my two little girls, my wonderful husband. They mean the world to me.


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If your situation is an emergency, call 911.