Marge and Jerry Donovan in the early years
Robin Hill Farm was established in 1983 by the Donovan Family, who recognized the need for community-based rehabilitation designed specifically for adults who were survivors of traumatic brain injury. With a multigenerational background in extended care, we observed survivors languishing in rehab facilities and nursing homes, who were medically stable, and really needed the next step, community-based cognitive rehabilitation.
Our first program was started in the White House, which was our family home, with 1 resident. In 1985, the house was remodeled and expanded to accommodate 6 Residents and was licensed by the state as a Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Facility (RTRF). That same year, we were inspected by the Veteran’s Administration, and began to offer treatment to veterans who had sustained a brain injury.
In 1986, an adjacent family residence, the “Blue House”, was purchased and remodeled to accommodate those brain injury survivors with mobility issues. It has a capacity of 8 residents, and is wheelchair accessible. The upstairs living space serves as a step towards living in a less restrictive environment.
In 1989, Jeremiah Donovan Jr, one of the original founders passed away, and responsibility for the programs began to be assumed by the next generation.
The Supported Residential program was added to the main campus in 1993, after hearing from families of survivors who were medically stable, but had significantly more involved need than those we began serving in 1983.
In 1994, we established the first off-campus program, the Meredith House. It currently serves 5 residents, and is wheelchair accessible. The following year, Robin Hill established the independent apartment program in Peterborough, which combined the least restrictive philosophy with 24-hour on-site support.
In the fall of 2006, we opened our most unique community-based program to date in Peterborough, by combining our apartment concept with the original “RTRF” program, in a walk to town location that truly reflects our community inclusion efforts. “Summer Street” has 4 supported apartments, a two bed traditional apartment and 3 wheelchair accessible RTRF licensed beds. It is truly a continuum within a continuum.
In the spring of 2012, we expanded again in Peterborough, opening up Wilton Road, which has 5 licensed beds. Similar to our Meredith House model, Wilton Road offers access to the community, and is designed to provide maximum assistance for those with mobility issues.
Today, 36+ years after our first program opened, the Donovan family still owns and operates Robin Hill Farm, but with the invaluable assistance of over 100 dedicated, compassionate staff, in seven different programs along the continuum, for 43 residents.