Fountain Centers: ‘A pearl’ of Albert Lea

Published 10:40 am Monday, December 19, 2016

Medical director at treatment facility moves from st. Cloud

The new medical director at Fountain Centers in Albert Lea is hoping to help grow the local program for patients in need of addiction services.

Tyler Oesterle, an addiction psychiatrist, has worked in the medical director position for four months at Fountain Centers, which was expanded to complement the addiction services provided to patents.

Oesterle completed his residency in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry and addiction psychiatry through the Division of Adult Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

A butterfly can sometimes be seen as a symbol of recovery. This butterfly hangs on the wall in the hallway near Fountain Centers Medical Director Tyler Oesterle's office. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

A butterfly can sometimes be seen as a symbol of recovery. This butterfly hangs on the wall in the hallway near Fountain Centers Medical Director Tyler Oesterle’s office. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Prior to coming to Albert Lea, he was medical director at a 250-bed chemical dependency treatment program in St. Cloud called Recovery Plus and the director of the adolescent recovery program.

He said his career started out in psychiatry and transitioned into a focus more on addiction after seeing how rewarding that line of work is.

“I like to be useful and helpful, so I thought it could be an area I could be helpful,” he said.

As medical director, he oversees all of the medical-related issues taking place at Fountain Centers, including medication interventions. He uses medication and psychotherapy to address challenges each patient is facing and works with a team of others in the program.

“It’s always really rewarding when someone makes that change,” Oesterle said. “It’s transformative for people.”

He said addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. Even some people with longer sobriety can struggle at times.

Oesterle said when people have mental health challenges, they are more likely to relapse. Fountain Centers offers a dual-diagnosis program, which aims to address some of the mental health concerns people face as well.

All patients are asked to see a therapist at least one time, and some opt to continue to see a therapist as an ongoing part of his or her treatment.

He said presently there are 25 patients in treatment and eight patients in the extended care facility on Fountain Street.

From October 2015 to October 2016 there were 2,107 patients admitted for outpatient and residential treatment and detox. There were 1,625 outpatient assessments conducted.

Adolescents needing in-patient treatment are referred to a facility in Winnebago; otherwise, adolescents can be served through the outpatient sites.

Oesterle said he is proud to be a part of Fountain Centers.

“It’s a pearl of the community — that we’re offering this very high quality chemical dependency program,” Oesterle said of the facility.

Oesterle and his wife, Nicole, have four children, their oldest of which is 8. He said they enjoy hiking and biking as a family.