The Robert Crown Center's Mick Kane interviewed by The Hinsdalean

The Robert Crown Center for Health Education Celebrates 6 Million by Welcoming New Board Members and Launching a New Strategic Direction

Hinsdale, IL (August 17, 2015) In the spring of 2017, The Robert Crown Center for Health Education will celebrate educating its 6 millionth student since moving to Hinsdale as a full-service health education center in 1974. As they celebrate this incredible milestone, they unveil a 3-year strategic plan for the organization, introduce a new, fully responsive website, and welcome 7 new members to their Board of Directors.

  • Sasha Bigda, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for USG Corporation, brings to the organization an expertise in ogranizational positioning and thought leadership. She is a graduate of Western Illinois University and has worked in strategic communications, public affairs and government relations.
  • John Bucheleres, Founding Principal of Triton Real Estate Partners, has a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Kansas School of Business and resides in Hinsdale with his family. His background in business management and marketing will support RCC’s strategic evolution.
  • MaryBeth DeBord, a former member of the Robert Crown Center Women’s Auxiliary Board, brings to the board a historical perspective. She will also lend her strengths in finance, marketing and law. DeBord is the V.P. and General Counsel of PROTential, a strategic marketing firm. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and Juris Doctorate from Indiana University.
  • Graham Hershman, another Hinsdale resident, is the co-founder and COO of Portfolio Hotels & Resorts. He has a background in business consulting, a degree in economics from Purdue and an MBA in Finance from Loyola University. His background brings the organization strong financial and operational support.
  • Mick Kane, partner and National Line Leader for Deloitte, has a degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa, an MBA from Drake, and a Certificate of Public Accountancy. His business experience will provide important directional influence to RCC as it moves into a new phase. He resides in Hinsdale.
  • Ed McCarthy, real estate partner in the McCarthy Group, has a long career in commercial real estate. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola and an MBA from DePaul University. He bring to the organization a strong business background and passion for issues that relate to adolescent health. He resides in Hinsdale.
  • Debra Sunderland brings to the organization 20 years of organizational leadership experience, including employee engagement, team collaboration and retention. She is a Leadership Coach, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. She has a degree from Miami University and a certificate in Corporate Goal Coaching. She resides in Clarendon Hills.

Brian Hammersely, a Robert Crown Center alum, and RCC board veteran, recently took over the role of Board Chair. Other returning board members--Julie Beck, Melissa Covert, Daniel Marginean—will continue to support the organization.

“The recently completed strategic plan will guide the organization in best serving our communities’ youth,” said Brian Hammersely, Robert Crown Center Board Chair.

Hammersley thanked the community for supporting the organization and invited alumnus, parents and other interested community members to continue to be ambassadors and supporters of the organization that has historically been such an important milestone in children’s coming-of-age. Hammersely continued, “The new, 3-year strategic plan is the result of great work done by the 2015-16 board members and will come to fruition with the dedication, experience and vision of these new board members.” The plan was performed with the input of hundreds of community leaders, parents and schools and idenitified four priorities:

  1. Relevant and innovative program content
  2. Diversified program delivery
  3. Relationships that deepen influence and expand scope
  4. A robust and sustainable model that grows the mission

The team of new and existing board members will go a long way in supporting the organization, stengthening its programs, building community support and fulfilling the mission to positively impact the physical and mental health of youth.

For further information about new board members or the Robert Crown Center for Health Education’s strategic priorities, please contact: Katherine Leibforth at 630-325-1900 x 212 or .

Soft Landing Recovery Center Commits $35,000 to Robert Crown Center Prevention Education

Hinsdale, IL –Dr. Abdel Fahmy, CEO and Chief Medical Officer at Soft Landing Recovery, has been working in opioid addiction treatment for 15 years. Throughout his years as an addiction specialist, Fahmy has dedicated himself to increasing public understanding of addiction and easing the pain of the addicted and their families. This month, Soft Landing committed $35,000 to the Robert Crown Center for Health Education to use in its fight against the opioid epidemic that has resulted in an increasing number of deaths in Chicago and its suburbs. Fahmy said that, at this juncture, the next step in his life’s work was to take a step forward by taking one step back: stopping the problem before it starts.

“We must prevent the disease from spreading further and save our kids and communities,” Fahmy stated. “Once the disease of addiction occurs, everyone suffers. Education is the only way out of this crisis.”

The funds donated by Fahmy and Soft Landing Recovery will fund opioid pain pill and heroin prevention in Lake County middle and high schools. Fahmy said, “local government and law enforcement in Lake County have acted proactively against the epidemic,” but the heroin death toll has continued to rise.

“Unfortunately, the addiction that already exists in our communities will keep me busy for the rest of my working life,” he said. “I can help addicts to have a normal life, but the disease will never go away. I feel that the next important way that I can make a difference is through prevention education.”

The Robert Crown Center for Health Education’s Opiod-Heroin Prevention Program, which is based in recent research and proven prevention practices, has twice been piloted and evaluated with 11 schools. Program evaluations, performed by Ryerson Espino Evaluation & Development, noted that student recipients of the program experienced a positive change in resistance behaviors related to heroin use.

The program meets teens in an interactive, online space, using social media messages and visual images to create a video game-like experience wherein student recipients are at ease working through role play and social-emotional skill building exercises.

The Soft Landing donation will enable the Robert Crown Center to provide this program--along with its associated teacher training, lesson plans, parent materials, and reinforcement exercises—at no cost to 10 schools. Currently, four Lake County schools – a total of 500 students—have been committed to receiving the program.

For further information about the Robert Crown Center for Health Education and its programs, please contact: Katherine Leibforth at 630-325-1900 x 212 or For information about Dr. Fahmy and Soft Landing Recovery visit

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