Peak history - 54 years ... and counting!
The Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health began to develop a national policy for Mental Health.
Southeast Wyoming Mental Health Center (SEWMHC) was incorporated to provide these services: evaluation and treatment of emotional disturbances of children and adults; community planning for mental health; community information on mental hygiene; consultation to social agencies, physicians, ministers, teachers and other professionals.
Congress established the Community Mental Health Center Act which later provided federal funds for our Center.
Raymond Muhr, Th.D., became the Executive Director of SEWMHC.
The National Institute of Mental Health, under the Community Mental Health Center Act, granted SEWMHC an eight year staffing grant to provide five basic services: Out-patient; Consultation and Education; In-patient; Emergency; Partial Care.
Congress mandated eight additional services to NIMH: Alcohol; Drug; Rape counseling and prevention; Screening of institutional patients; Follow-up of institutional patients; Children; Transitional care; Elderly.
Southeast discontinued federal funding at the end of the eight year staffing grant and continued to provide twelve of the thirteen federally mandated services ... all but transitional care.
The Board of Directors reaffirmed these policies for the coming decade to include:
* To serve all four counties with full time staff providing comprehensive mental health services;
* To continue to reduce admissions to Wyoming State Hospital in keeping with the spirit of the 1963 Community Mental Health Center Act;
* To emphasize services to the chronically mentally ill;
* To emphasize services to the alcoholic, due to the pervasive nature of this problem;
* To develop a Disaster Plan for Community Emergencies, such as the 1979 tornado in Cheyenne.
During this Spring Cheyenne suffered four suicides in three weeks, three of whom were adolescents. The Center responded to requests from more than a dozen organizations for training on suicide prevention and developed a suicide intervention and prevention plan with local schools. The Community Emergency Disaster Plan, developed in 1979, was utilized to assist the people of Cheyenne.
Our new facility was opened at 2526 Seymour Avenue. Psychiatric services and detoxification services were emphasized in Cheyenne this year in response to the MX Missile Impact Study done by U.R.S. Berger.
The 1979 Community Emergency Disaster Plan was reorganized and implemented to relieve the suffering caused by the August 1, 1985 flood.
In response to the needs of the community, the following programs were developed this year: Anger Control Group, Therapeutic Foster Care, Case Management for the Chronically Mentally Ill, Family Sexual Abuse Treatment Program, Divorce Groups, School Suicide Prevention (in cooperation with Laramie County School District #1) and continuing consultation and education services for over 50 local agencies. In October of this year, the Alcohol Traffic Safety Program, New Morning Awareness House, and Project Hope joined together to form Chemical Health Services.
The Center continued to strengthen collaborative relationships with other Health Service Programs in the Region. Notable alliances: providing student placements for the University of Wyoming Psychology Dept; sharing funding with Laramie County School District #1; cooperating with Laramie County D-PASS to expand the Therapeutic Foster Care Program; and implementation of a state wide Human Resources Development Program.
This year saw many changes in the Center. The growth of the newly implemented Wyoming Youth Initiative Program, the development of the ADAM (domestic violence prevention) project in Albany County, and the implementation of two new substance abuse prevention programs run cooperatively between SEWMHC and the Laramie County School District #1. David H. Birney, Ph.D., became the Executive Director of SEWMHC.
Southeast continued to develop programs offering expanded services to Eastern Laramie County and staff expansions in Albany County, Goshen County, and Therapeutic Foster Care. Medicaid waiver programs for developmentally disabled were started in Goshen and Laramie Counties. The facility needs of the Laramie County Substance Abuse Program were resolved with the remodeling of the Chemical Health facility. A strategic planning effort was initiated to plan the future direction of the agency. Steve Mincer was appointed Director of the Platte County Clinic. Dave Beck was appointed Director of the Goshen County Clinic. Bill Fairbanks was appointed Director of Substance Abuse Services.
Southeast continued growth, particularly in service to seriously mentally ill adults and children, while maintaining services to all members of our communities. Major expansions in housing services to seriously mentally ill clients were accomplished through the Supported Independence Project. Community planning based upon CASSP principles was accomplished in all four counties served by Southeast, resulting in increased levels of service to SED youth.
Bobby's House in Goshen County opened, providing day treatment services to the Seriously Mentally Ill, a drop in center and a detoxification center. Logan Manor, a supervised apartment complex for Seriously Mentally Ill clients opened in Cheyenne. Services to Seriously Emotionally Disturbed youth continued to expand with the addition of the "Guides Program."
Housing options for seriously ill continued to expand with the purchase of the Shared Living Facility in Cheyenne and the construction of the Supported Apartment complex in Laramie. Intensive youth services programs agencywide continued to grow to meet demand. Substance abuse services also expanded through the addition of an IOSAP program in Cheyenne, and Transitions, a primary residential treatment program for the chemically dependent serving the Southeast portion of the state.
New Chemical Dependency treatment complex opened in Cheyenne in October. The Gables apartments for seriously mentally ill clients opened in Laramie. Partnership negotiations to resolve P. & A. Inc./ WYAMI lawsuit against the State initiated.
Ed Majors was appointed Director of the Albany County Clinic. Dan Quance joined Southeast as Business Manager. The agency long range facilities plan is finalized by the Board of Directors. New funding was appropriated by the Legislature to expand services to seriously ill populations.
Significant increases in State funding resulted in expansion of services to seriously ill clients. Staff increases included substantial expansion of psychiatric services. Southeast's Quality Improvement Program was formalized with the employment of Dan Miller as Quality Improvement Coordinator. The Employee of the Quarter Program began.
Laramie County ARS Services moved into the newly renovated Ross Building. Laramie County Chemical Health Services was consolidated with Adult Outpatient Services.
Funding to improve clients' "Quality of Life" was obtained from the Legislature. Muriel Apartments in Laramie were completed. Services in Goshen County were consolidated when the new Goshen County Clinic opened. The Laramie County TFC Program was accredited by Boys Town.
Substance Abuse Division created. Southeast implemented an initiative to expand services to the elderly. Y2K conversion was completed successfully and staff was assured that numerous spare flashlights will come in handy. Federal grant received to support STAR Program in Laramie. U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health published. Southeast initiated agency-wide CQI program.
Mountain View Apartments in Torrington and the new supervised residence in Cheyenne opened this year. All agency policies were revised, codified and distributed to staff through agency computers. All clinics except Albany County established internal computer networks. Lisa McBride joined Southeast as Business Manager. Jill Smith became Clinic Director of the Goshen County Clinic.
Construction was completed on the new Albany County Clinic. Substance treatment services were restructured and expanded through the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Center (CSAC) project in Laramie County. The computerized clinical record system was utilized throughout the agency. Southeast received national accreditation through CARF.
Completed new five year facilities plan. Opened new facility for Stagecoach Drop-In Center in Cheyenne. Remodeled Transitions into 26 bed facility for primary residential treatment. Opened first Recovery House. Employed Kristi Leavitt as first Community Relations Director.
Opened Chrysalis House, a ten-bed residential substance treatment facility for women and their children. Opened Sundance Drop In Center in Laramie. Initiated a comprehensive community relations plan to fight stigma and raise community awareness. Expanded Laramie County Clinic to provide space for expanding substance treatment programs. Carol Sprabery, Ph.D. was appointed Clinic Director for Albany County. September 2004 the agency name was changed to Peak Wellness Center, Inc. and mission statement was updated.
Joel Burian was appointed Clinic Director of Goshen County Clinic. Moved to paperless clinical records in Cheyenne and Laramie. Initiated major community relations campaign to educate the public about mental health and substance abuse issues and reduce stigma, and to improve agency profile in the community. Began publishing a monthly agency newsletter and launched a new website. C.A.R.F. recognized our Community Relations and Computerized Clinical Records programs as exemplary practices.
New Platte County Clinic building opened. Received CDBG grant for construction of new supported apartment complex in Laramie. Kathryn Hopfensperger, M.D. joined our staff as fulltime psychiatrist. Expanded substance abuse services in Albany and Platte County through a state grant. The .Own It!. program in Platte County was recognized by Wyoming’s First Lady, Nancy Freudenthal, as an outstanding prevention program. Continued development of diversionary services through Crisis Stabilization Project, Jail Diversion Project, and Bridge Program.
Opened Casa de Paz for crisis respite for clients throughout the Southeast Region. Opened Drop In Center in Goshen County. Restructured clinical record system to include consumer friendly treatment plan. Expanded capability for electronic billing. Began internal training program in group services to better accommodate the increasing demand for services.
Implemented a major expansion of regional services with our partner agencies Carbon County Counseling Center and Pathfinder. Opened “The Haven” to treat persons with serious and persistent mental illness and substance dependence problems. Expanded Quality of Life services to include persons with substance use disorders. Created early intervention program to provide treatment for very young children. Opened “Recovery Houses” for men and women and their children. Moved billing from paper based to electronic. Completed telemedicine network among all four counties.
Youth and Family Services, Administration and Foster Grandparent Program moved to the newly renovated Churchill School facility. Bill Quinn retired as Clinic Director in Laramie County. Linda Goodman became new Laramie County Clinic Director. Sue Garrett retired as Laramie County ARS Program Director. Mike McKee was appointed new Laramie County ARS Director. Opened Snowy View Apartments in Albany County. Opened intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program in Goshen County. Implemented comprehensive, computer-based staff training program. Granted three-year renewal of CARF certification.
Despite suffering major cut in state funding, PWC maintained service levels from previous year. Laramie County implemented walk- in model for intakes to reduce waiting times. Darci Sprenger became Director of Chrysalis House. Nancy VanCise became Business Manager. The U.S. Congress passed national healthcare reform.
During FY2011, client admissions increased by 15% while wait times decreased from eleven to five days primarily due to implementation in Laramie and Albany Counties of a walk in assessment model. Sundance Center in Laramie moved to a new facility. Albany County Clinic became the drug court service provider for the county. Dr. Marta Pieczalska joined PWC as child psychiatrist. Mike Alles became Director of Casa de Paz.