Our Mission

The Center for Rapid Recovery is dedicated to the promotion of recovery, well being, community integration and productivity among persons who are at the beginning stages of recognizing their own strength.  Concerned about the disparities in health among persons of colour, CRR has made its mission to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes. Our goal is to improve access to culturally and linguistically competent care to populations whose worldview of illness and disease is framed within a cultural context.

Our History

(CRR) traces its roots to Zion Cathedral Church of God in Christ, located in Freeport, New York, formerly known as Little Zion Church of God in Christ.

Recognizing that people of faith often are reluctant to seek help outside of the four walls of the church and following the AIDS-related death of relatives and members within the church, a ministry of health, faith, and recovery was established in 1990. Founder, President, and CEO Dr. Renee D. Charles, with the support of the Senior Pastor of Zion Cathedral, Bishop Frank White, devoted their time, efforts, and resources to developing a holistic health ministry approach. The team utilized biblical principles to address the congregation’s health and faith beliefs. They emphasized the authority of God to use professionals everywhere in and out of the church setting. Culturally competent services were provided to members in the church’s basement for three years. The demand for services grew beyond the walls of faith, and we organized expanded
services to be inclusive to all communities.   

CRR opened its doors on December 28, 1994, during one of New York’s worst snows, serving its first client. Within the same year, CRR received funding to operate early interventions services for children from birth to three -years old, funded by the NYS Department of Health, a Mobile Intervention and Outreach program funded by the NYS Office of Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), a 24-bed supported housing program for persons with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder and HIV/AIDS.

Within 18 months, CRR received licensure as a Medically Supervised Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic. In 1998 CRR opened a Day Habilitation program licensed by OPWDD. In 2000, CRR opened two residential programs for individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities.

To God Be the Glory!

Agency Philosophy

CRR recognizes how people of different cultures access care, sustained in treatment and utilize distinct patterns of communication, embrace culturally influenced health beliefs, behavioural codes and problem-solving techniques.  CRR has operationalized the concept that cultural beliefs impact health beliefs, help-seeking activities, interactions with healthcare professionals, healthcare practices and health outcomes (including adherence to life-prolonging medication regimens), and this understanding grounds our evidence and practice based clinical model. 

At CRR, trained, culturally competent and ethnically indigenous counselors offer health education, holistic risk reduction, prevention interventions, and HIV/AIDS treatment in the client’s native language.

Treatment Philosophy

The Center for Rapid Recovery’s treatment philosophy presumes that cultural norms, behavioral codes and values are inextricably linked to health outcomes and have a considerable impact on how patients’ access and response to services. The influence of cultural background upon a society’s definition of illness and appropriate illness behavior has been well documented by numerous and anthropological field studies. In general these studies have shown that perception and definition of illness, the function it serves, the medical care sought, and the adjustments made are rooted in social-group factors- religious beliefs, group values, family organization, and child–rearing practices.
CRR’s philosophy is grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy and based on the belief that there are culturally-determined differences in the perception of how problems are identified experienced and resolved. CRR treatment philosophy also includes the fact that people do not change their beliefs base because it makes sense to others.  At CRR we believe people change their beliefs when they begin to doubt it.

CRR stands on the platform that you can recover if you want to and utilize a strength based competency model to examine the cultural context of risk behaviors. For clients in a clinical treatment track, CRR utilizes proprietary algorithms to establish culturally relevant, strength-based partnerships between the patient/physician and counselor. Having identified a host of treatment access barriers, CRR has incorporated an acknowledgement of basic health beliefs (typically embraced by African, Caribbean and Latino populations) into a series of surveys to identify beliefs that may impede or enhance access to care and impact health outcomes.

The health belief surveys are administered as a pre-test, and then re-administered to each client as a repeated measure on a quarterly basis. The counseling session establishes a client therapist partnership and a welcoming forum to discuss beliefs, behaviors, hopes and fears. Beliefs are discussed for content and segregated into one or two categories, those which impede or improve health outcomes. Comparing questionnaire results over time enables CRR to monitor changes in beliefs about disease transmission, health management, and treatment compliance. Changes in perception are validated by comparing them to other outcome measures, including decreases in viral load, compliance with a prescribed medical regime, including a reduction of alcohol and illicit substances and adherence to the therapy visit schedule.

Organizational Competency

CRR has consistently been licensed in NYS to provide behavioral healthcare treatment and services to individuals who have a mental illness, HIV/AIDS, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities. CRR utilizes its unique position as a minoritygoverned faith-based organization to promote more widespread recognition of how people from different cultures communicate, interpret illness and disease, access care and make use of that recognition to provide and improve treatment for racial and ethnic minorities on Long Island, NY.


We believe that God uses the staff, to accomplish His plans for health through the Center for Rapid Recovery. As servant leaders, each person who is part of our workforce community can make a difference in their vocations. CRR is dedicated to engaging in intercessory prayer on behalf of the local community and nation at large for the healing of communities, families and individuals. We also recognize the intent of the adversary to destroy the work of CRR and we call upon the Holy Spirit to overcome the strategies of the adversary in the lives of our employees, clients, their families, and in the affairs of the nation.

Our desire is to manage our time, resources and talents in a way that models a commitment to excellence and glorifies God.