The day Crestwood Behavioral Health opened the Kingsburg Healing Center was one of those beautiful moments of transformation. We spend much of our lives working with people and ourselves on transformation, it could be changing a small behavior or a big one, and it may mean adding an exercise routine, revising a Recovery Service Plan, or helping a person find a job. Transformation may also be seen in the developing of a new program, which was the central theme in the opening our Kingsburg Healing Center.
Transformation for Kingsburg Healing Center began with rehabilitating an old building that had been vacant and lifeless for decades, into a beautiful, warm, welcoming facility. It involved designing a new program that incorporates all of our recovery services such as Homelike Environments, Mind, Body, and Spirit Wellness, Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Trauma-Informed Approaches. The development of the Kingsburg Healing Center also gave us a chance to get to know the neighbors and community leaders and to start becoming part of such a wonderful community.
Opening week for our Kingsburg Healing Center was very exciting and included an Open House on January 27, where community leaders and neighbors were welcomed in to tour the newly transformed facility and meet the staff. The event began by a warm blessing from Father Gregory, from the Holy Family Parish. Kingsburg Mayor, Bruce Blayney, then provided opening words and other local community leaders such as Kingsburg District Hospital Board Members Glenn Snyder, Robert Johnson and Arlie Rogers, as well as Kingsburg City Manager, Alex Henderson also added their own words of welcome. Dawan Utecht, Director of Fresno County Behavioral Health, shared her kind words with the group. Many other community leaders were also in attendance such as City Council Members Staci Smith and Michelle Roman; Chief of Police Neil Dadian; and Steve Safarjian, local broker/owner of RPS Real Estate.
The Open House was a great success with more than 200 community members attending. One Kingsburg citizen, Mrs. Johnson, commented, “Thank you so much for letting us tour the facility. Crestwood has done an amazing job transforming the old Hospital. My husband and I are excited to leave here and tell all our friends what the facility looks like and what we learned from the tour.” And another Kingsburg citizen, Mr. Lopez, said, “Your staff was so nice and gave us a lot of great information about the facility during our tour. Thank you for giving the community a chance to see for ourselves all the hard work that has gone into the building and understanding what your company stands for.”
So one week later on February 1st, after two years of planning, challenges, hearings and a lot of hard work, the Kingsburg Healing Center was ready to open for clients! On that opening day it was a gift to have five clients who were warmly received in our welcome room; who sat watching our fish tank; who walked in our yard; who found a space for a quiet time in our serenity room; who shared in delicious homemade lasagna; and who slept on new beautiful, comfortable beds. These five people were now on a journey to start their own recovery transformation.
Kingsburg Healing Center is not only a transformation of an old building into a beautiful new program; it also is the beginning transformation in the lives of our clients and their families. “I want you to know that I think the Kingsburg Healing Center is such a loving and warm place. It is a wonderful place for my daughter. She is doing so much better now that she is here,” said one client’s mother. No longer will clients in Fresno County have to travel hundreds of miles for mental health services and no longer will their families have to make long trips to visit them. “I wish this place had been here sooner, it would have been nice to have our son here sooner. Now that he is back in Fresno County we can see him anytime we want and we know it will help him get better,” said one client’s parents. The transformations at Kingsburg Healing Center are just beginning.
Patty Blum, PhD
Crestwood Vice President