Remembering Frank Ware—a champion for mental health issues

The city of Rockford, our great nation, and the entire world has just suffered the tremendous loss of yet another truly exceptional human being. Frank Ware, who had been the president and CEO of the Janet Wattles Mental Health Center for 22 years, passed away Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, due to natural causes. He was 64 years old.

The amount of care, hard work, and pure dedication this brilliant man gave every single day to the mental health field he so greatly loved cannot ever be effectively gauged by any meaningful measure.

This writer sat and spoke with Mr. Ware last Friday afternoon [Feb. 11], and his passion for progress and vision for a more reliable and efficient mental health system was undeniable. He expressed his wish of more public awareness regarding mental health issues, and was very enthusiastic of the recent affiliation with Rosecrance. It would be impossible to say how much the public has been directly affected by Mr. Ware’s persistence and drive to reduce negative stigma surrounding those who suffer from mental illness, but his many awards and recent promotion to senior vice-president and CEO for Mental Health at Rosecrance should be a significant indicator of this gentle man’s great successes as a giant for healthcare reform. Mr. Ware could not have been a more committed and dedicated champion for those suffering from mental illness. His wisdom, knowledge and unrelenting compassion to the mental health field will be sorely missed. He was a great pioneer, advocate, teacher to many and a friend to all. Rest in peace, sir. You will not ever be forgotten.

Scott Kilgore

From the March 9-15, 2011, issue

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