Fountain Centers celebrates 40th anniversary with yearlong events
Published 9:50 am Monday, October 20, 2014
Since 1974, Fountain Centers has been dedicated to helping people struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
Over the course of this year, Fountain Centers has been celebrating its 40th anniversary. This anniversary culminated with a banquet earlier this month.
Fountain Centers began as a committee in 1973, chaired by Stan Haugland of Lake Mills.
Email newsletter signup
In June 1974 a 12-bed residential chemical dependency unit was opened at Naeve Hospital Association, and by December 1975 the chemical dependency unit grew to 50 beds.
In 2000, Fountain Centers moved to a new 32-bed wing in the Albert Lea Medical Center.
In 2011, Albert Lea Medical Center was re-branded as Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.
Now, Fountain Center’s residential programs include adolescent programs for people ages 12 to 18, and adult programs separated by gender.
The residential programs feature individual and group counseling; 24-hour-a-day staffing; attention to mental, behavioral and medical issues; family and group education; therapeutic recreation; and on-premise school, tutoring services and individualized learning plans for adolescents.
Jenine Koziolek, clinical supervisor and outreach specialist with Fountain Centers, said the average stay in residential programs is 25 days.
There is also an extended care program in Albert Lea for adults with chronic, relapsing substance abuse problems or those who are at risk for relapsing.
Fountain Centers also offers outpatient programs in Albert Lea, Austin, Fairmont, Faribault, Jackson, Mankato, Owatonna, Rochester and Waseca.
Fountain Centers offers free education in the form of community education. Fountain Centers Director Larry Blair said Fountain Centers staff will go almost anywhere for a presentation, including community coffee shops.
Fountain Centers added alumni connection recently, according to Koziolek. Alumni connection offers guidance, but that started to fall off as clients came from farther distances, such as New Jersey and New York.
Two years ago, Fountain Centers hired a recovery specialist to help meet with alumni and give guidance. Ric Staloch was hired to this position two years ago, but he’s been a treatment technician at Fountain Centers for over 10 years.
Fountain Center’s 40 year anniversary celebration began in January with employee appreciation. February followed with volunteer and speaker appreciation.
In March, 15 alumni, interns and staff went to the Capitol for Recovery Day on the Hill. In April, it was Alcohol Awareness Month and Fountain Centers reached out to the community for education.
In June, Fountain Centers held an an alumni picnic at Edgewater Park, and over 100 people attended.
In August, Fountain Centers hosted a talent show called Recovery’s Got Talent. People from Mankato, Albert Lea and Rochester participated. The finals for the talent show were in September in Owatonna, and a woman from the Albert Lea area won with a rendition of Bobby McGee.
September was also Recovery Month and featured a walk in Rochester and a fall workshop.
Finally, in October, there was the Blazing 5 and 10K, which was a partnership with the Albert Lea Family Y, and a banquet on Oct. 4 featuring guest speaker Dick Beardsley. Beardsley is a runner who also recovered from addiction.
There was also a sobriety countdown at the banquet. The countdown highlighted someone who had been sober for 46 years to someone who had been sober for four weeks.
Koziolek said that was immensely important to the person who had been sober for just four weeks.
“We care about you at the lowest point in your life,” she said.
Koziolek said the biggest message Fountain Centers has been striving for is to not judge others or cast them aside, but instead to embrace and help people. Blair said work needs to be done to recognize addiction as a chronic illness.
“Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to be an addict,” Koziolek said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”