About one-third of college students (32%) report that stress impedes their academic performance.


Ozark Guidance Expands Operations


SPRINGDALE, Ark. (August 6, 2018) – Ozark Guidance Center is expanding its operations to meet the mental health needs of more Arkansans. This expansion means Ozark Guidance will begin serving Baxter, Boone, Marion, and Newton Counties to provide counseling and medication services for individuals with mental health issues, substance use disorders, and co-occurring conditions. Services will be provided to individuals of all ages in local facilities, schools, and the local communities.

Ozark Guidance will also be expanding substance use disorder services in Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington Counties. This is due, in part, to the fact that Ozark Guidance will be taking on the contract previously held by Decision Point. Both expansions are consistent with the mission and supported by the Ozark Guidance Board of Directors.

Ozark Guidance is the oldest, nonprofit behavioral health care center serving northwest Arkansas. Nearly 500 employees currently provide services throughout Washington, Benton, Carroll, and Madison Counties. This includes providing services at 150 schools in 16 school districts.

“We want to provide a continuum of care for clients,” said Laura H. Tyler, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ozark Guidance Center. “We are committed to meeting the needs of individuals and families for better behavioral health and we look forward to serving additional people in a larger geographic area.”

Ozark Guidance was recently reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for another three years. The organization specializes in therapeutic day treatment, school-based, and outpatient services for children and adults. Interested individuals may visit http://www.ozarkguidance.org or call 800.234.7052 for more information.

Chris Bockelman Named Chief Financial Officer Experienced Leader to join Executive Team

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (Nov. 7, 2017) – Chris Bockelman has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Ozark Guidance. He began his new role October 30, 2017.

A certified public accountant, Bockelman will be a member of Ozark Guidance’s executive team, consulting on organizational strategy, programmatic planning, budgeting, and other financial matters. He will directly supervise employees of the accounting department, including accounts payable and accounts receivable. Additionally, he will manage grants and contracts.

“It is very fortunate to have employed someone with Chris’ extensive healthcare and finance background and we are happy to welcome him to northwest Arkansas,” said Laura H. Tyler, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. “The healthcare delivery system is complex and an individual with Chris’ experience and expertise positions Ozark Guidance Center to continue as a strong financial steward with streamlined business practices. This is especially important during a time of unprecedented change from our payers given our goal to maximize resources for direct client care.”

Bockelman most recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Outpatient Surgery Administrator at Summit Medical Center in Edmond, Oklahoma. He was responsible for all financial aspects of the daily operations of the hospital. In addition, he led the merger and acquisition of a large ambulatory surgery center representing the governing board and owner physicians.

“My family and I are looking forward to moving into the area,” said Bockelman. “This position is one that I am excited to begin and know that this experience will enhance my learning and broaden my scope of providing support for the team and Ozark Guidance Center’s client base.”

Previous roles for Bockelman include being an independent broker for Mass Mutual Financial Group through Applied Wealth Management, LLC, and serving as area vice president for Option Care, a national home IV therapy company based in Chicago that was purchased by Walgreens.

He is president of the Oklahoma Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. In addition, he has also served as a faculty member in the financial department for the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification education series in Boston.

Bockelman earned a Master of Arts in human and health services administration from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Science in both accounting and general studies from the University of Central Oklahoma. He and his wife, Suyoung Kwon, have two children, Grace and Andrew.

Ozark Guidance Expands Operations

Ozark Guidance Center and Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas are working together to meet the mental health needs of northwest Arkansas. Vantage Point has announced a decision to focus on acute inpatient services and to discontinue operations of their therapeutic day treatment, school-based, and outpatient services, effective December 31, 2017.

“Our hospital will still be open to serve the needs of children, adolescents, adults, and seniors who need inpatient services,” said Connie Borengasser, Chief Executive Officer of Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas. “We look forward to continuing to play an important role in the northwest Arkansas community.”

Ozark Guidance Center is the oldest, nonprofit behavioral health care center serving northwest Arkansas. In an effort to provide options for ongoing care for clients who may be affected by the change at Vantage Point, Ozark Guidance is expanding its operations.

“We want to provide a continuum of care for clients,” said Laura H. Tyler, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ozark Guidance Center. “While people always have a choice of provider, we are committed to meeting the needs of individuals and families for better mental health in the communities we serve.”

Ozark Guidance specializes in therapeutic day treatment, school-based, and outpatient services for children and adults in Bentonville, Berryville, Fayetteville, Huntsville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, and Springdale.

Justin B. Hunt, M.D., Named Chief Medical Officer

Ozark Guidance Looks to Future

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (Oct. 16, 2017) – Dr. Justin B. Hunt has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Ozark Guidance. He will begin his new role October 30, 2017.

A board certified psychiatrist and prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program alumnus, Hunt will be a member of Ozark Guidance’s executive team, consulting on organizational strategy, programmatic planning, budgeting, and other matters related to clinical care. He will have direct supervision of all physicians, other medical prescribers, and medical staff. He will partner to ensure quality monitoring and outcomes management across the organization, oversight of clinical care, and resource planning. Additionally, he will provide some direct patient care to adults and children.

“I am so pleased that Dr. Hunt is joining the leadership team at Ozark Guidance,” said Laura H. Tyler, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. “From prior work with him, I know he is an excellent strategic leader with broad knowledge of health care delivery systems. A gifted teacher and proven researcher, Dr. Hunt clearly cares about clients and families.”

“His significant experience in the medical field and his commitment to northwest Arkansas make Dr. Hunt a phenomenal choice for Ozark Guidance Center,” Tyler continued. “Clients and employees will benefit from his knowledge and compassion.”

Hunt most recently served as Assistant Chief and Psychiatrist Supervisor in the Mental Health Service within the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks. In addition, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the northwest Arkansas community through this clinical leadership role at Ozark Guidance Center,” said Dr. Hunt. “I had my very first job in mental health at Ozark Guidance during the summer prior to starting medical school—this early positive experience helped to shape my subsequent career path in both mental health and public health policy.”

“As the health care system continues to evolve toward a value-based system aimed at preventing disease and improving overall community health, Ozark Guidance will remain a critical player in achieving true holistic wellness in our diverse northwest Arkansas communities,” Hunt said. “I’m very excited to be a part of this ongoing transformation, and I believe thriving northwest Arkansas is certainly up to this challenge.”

Previous roles for Hunt include medical director of the Comprehensive Diagnostic Service for UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute; director of the UAMS Faculty Wellness Program; and medical director of the Center for Healthcare Enhancement and Development for the UAMS College of Medicine and UAMS Medical Center.

In addition to his academic and administrative appointments, Hunt has spoken at numerous conferences throughout the United States. He has been published in many journals, including Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Academic Medicine, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and Psychiatric Services.

Past consulting activities for Hunt include being a clinical advisor for Lyra Health, a behavioral health technology company in Burlingame, California, where he consulted on college mental health and applying the collaborative care model in rural, underserved settings. In addition, he has written, reviewed, and edited federal grant and cooperative agreement submissions for the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) in Dallas.

His professional memberships include the American Psychiatric Association and the Arkansas Psychiatric Society, where he currently serves as secretary. He has also served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas.

Hunt earned three degrees, a Doctor of Medicine from UAMS, a Master of Science in health and health care research from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of Arkansas where he graduated summa cum laude. In 2007-2008, UAMS presented him the William G. Reese, M.D., award for excellence in scholarship and research and the American College of Psychiatrists selected him as a Laughlin Fellow. Hunt and his wife, Katy, live in Fayetteville and they have two children, Ben and Ellie.

Steven Hinds Named Vice President of Philanthropy and Development

Ozark Guidance Fills Crucial Role

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (Oct. 11, 2017) – Steven R. Hinds has been named Vice President of Philanthropy and Development for Ozark Guidance. Hinds brings more than 20 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and special events to his new role.

Hinds will serve as an advocate for Ozark Guidance and manage its brand and reputation. He will provide strategic leadership for the center’s development initiatives and work closely with the Ozark Guidance Foundation Board of Trustees. In addition, Hinds will supervise the Marketing and Special Events Coordinator for the center.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Steven to Ozark Guidance,” said Dr. Laura H. Tyler, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to Steven’s leadership in our fundraising and public relations efforts as he works to communicate our strengths and variety of services available in Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington Counties.”

Hinds’ professional experience includes Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing at NorthWest Arkansas Community College, President of two local public relations and advertising agencies, and Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Arvest Bank, Fayetteville.

“The hardworking staff members at Ozark Guidance provide important care for clients,” Hinds said. “I am excited about the opportunity to interact with community members, stakeholders, and the media while sharing information about how our programs and services benefit individuals.”

Hinds is a member of the Washington Regional Medical Foundation Board, the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council for the Sam M. Walton College of Business. In 2001, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal selected him to its “Forty under 40” list.

Hinds holds two degrees from the University of Arkansas, a Master of Education in higher education administration from the College of Education and Health Professions and a Bachelor of Science in public administration from the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Hinds and his wife, Christina, live in Fayetteville and their son, Blake, is a junior at the University of Arkansas.

Rocha Joins Ozark Guidance Medical Team

Donna RochaPsychiatrist Donna Rocha, MD has joined the Ozark Guidance Medical Service team.  An honor graduate from North Little Rock, Rocha was a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Dallas.  She earned her medical degree and completed her Psychiatry residency at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston where she served as Chief Resident.  After Residency, Rocha was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences where she educated incoming physicians for eight years. 

For the last several years Dr. Rocha has been caring for the mental health needs of patients, in the Houston, Texas area, in the general medical setting.  She believes “it is imperative that we not only review your psychiatric history, but also your medical problems and other medications that potentially have a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of your symptoms.”

Ozark Guidance Chief Medical Officer, Kenneth Fattman, MD said, “Dr. Rocha will have a key role in treatment of adults at our Bentonville and Springdale campuses.  Her extensive background in the treatment of concomitant complex medical and psychiatric issues will complement the team.”

After making the transition from Texas, Dr. Rocha, her husband John, and family live in Benton County.

On Your Mind:  Are You a Little OCD?

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On Your Mind:  How to deal with the holiday blues

On Your Mind:  Do I have an anxiety disorder?

On Your Mind:  An angry husband

On Your Mind:  Could this be ADHD?

On Your Mind:  How to talk with your children about suicide

Doing Good - Therapeutic Foster Care Program

A Breakdown Next Door

From the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Sunday, August 30, 2009:

A week ago, my husband and I spent the day knocking on doors and apologizing to our neighbors.  The night before, I had called 911 for an ambulance to transport our schizophrenic son to the hospital. Again. He didn’t want to go. Again.

He pushed me away from the phone and began raging at the 911 operator as we ran from the house. Almost immediately, there were two police officers on our front lawn. Our son stood in the kitchen, shouting at them to leave. They called for backup; four, then six officers on the front lawn. Patrol cars blocked traffic on the narrow street in front of our North Hollywood, Calif., home. Our son called 911 again, screaming, shouting: “There are police officers here, make them go away!”

I tried to reason with the police: “We just need an ambulance.” But by this time, it was out of my hands.  Two more officers arrived and ordered me to the edge of my yard, away from the view of the kitchen window. Another pair of officers pulled me aside, asking me what had happened. “I called an ambulance,” I said, watching two more officers stride across the brown lawn. One, her dark hair pulled back in a tight bun, carried a shotgun wrapped in what looked like bright green cloth. She paused to smile at me, “Just bean bags, not lethal,” and stood at the ready under the mulberry tree.

We have been through this so many times before. We’ve heard all the arguments from well-meaning people about how Big Pharma is bad and that we should try diet or therapy or other things. But from here in the mental health trenches, the reality is very simple. When our son takes his prescribed psychotropic medications, no one would ever suspect the depth of his illness. But when he is off his meds, he is unable to eat, sleep, bathe or make sense. He is overtaken by delusions: The Red Hot Chili Peppers have used his name without his permission; sitting on his guitar case is the same as playing the guitar. He regularly becomes violent when we suggest he should resume his medication or stop smoking pot.  Oh, yes, pot. Research has shown that marijuana use is toxic to schizophrenics, that it exacerbates psychosis. It was an astounding surprise to me that marijuana could be so dangerous.

As more and more officers arrived, my cell phone rang. Our son. I held the phone away from my ear so my husband and I could both hear it. “How could you do this to me? I hate you! Stop being my mom!”

There was still no ambulance, but now officers had pulled the screen from the dining room window and climbed inside. There were shouts, thumping and thrashing as they tackled our son. Four officers carried him down the front steps, howling and spitting. They pulled a hood over his head, handcuffed him, hobbled him with an ankle leash of thick webbed nylon and set him on the curb.

This is his sixth hospitalization in less than a year and comes just eight days after his previous discharge. At 24, he is no longer covered by our insurance, but this may be to his advantage. We’ve been told he can now access services through the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and we’re hopeful there may be more options for him now.

With severe mental illness, nothing is certain. Except that we owed our neighbors an apology for the disruption.  It felt odd, standing on doorsteps of neighbors we hardly know, telling them we were sorry. All those who answered their doors were quick to wave our apology away: “No, no, no problem.”

We were hesitant to share our story with our neighbors, but giving up the pretense of privacy offers us a chance to be free of the burden and shame of this mystifying illness.  By being open, we may even be able to help someone. Our letter to our neighbors included information about NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an all-volunteer grass-roots organization dedicated to helping individuals and families living with mental illness.

Our odyssey has taught us many things, but none more important than these: Mental illness is no one’s fault. Treatment works. There is hope.

Octogenarian Just Refuses to Quit

SPOTLIGHT NANCY McVEY : Octogenarian just refuses to quit
BY MICHELLE PARKS Posted on Sunday, June 28, 2009    URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Northwest_Profiles/263056/
FAYETTEVILLE - The living room walls in Nancy McVey's condominium are painted pale yellow, magnifying the sunlight so that the room looks like an indoor garden.   Like her home, she looks on the bright side of life, approaching troubles with a positive attitude.
She recently visited her son, Kelly, in Michigan, during one of his monthly furlough weeks from work. At least, she reminds him, he has a job.   When her husband, Kent, was alive, they enjoyed traveling - the Mediterranean, Europe, the Galapagos Islands.
The couple were on their way to a two-week time share when he passed out while driving 70 miles per hour on cruise control. She turned off the Dodge Caravan and waited for impact with a tree.   "Fortunately it didn't involve anybody else," she says. 
Fearing her husband was dead, she headed to the roadside for help. A truck driver drove right by her, getting in the other lane instead of pulling over. Not so with a woman driver, and the next woman. They prayed for her husband, still trapped in the van, and a third woman arrived, having called 9-1-1. McVey calls the women her three "good Samaritan angels."
After an exam at the hospital, doctors discovered Kent had a brain tumor. He went to Little Rock for an operation and a round of chemotherapy and radiation - and never got sick from the treatments.   Then, more tumors appeared.
After his death in 2001, just two months after their 50th wedding anniversary, Nancy McVey approached the pastor at her church, Central United Methodist. She said she wanted to "witness," or share the meaning of this experience, with her fellow churchgoers. The pastor asked her to do that for all three services.
She spoke about the three women, how her husband never got sick from his treatment and how he was energetic right up to the end. He was at a Rotary meeting two weeks before his death, and people were truly surprised when he died, because he didn't seem sick.
She'd just lost her life mate, and she was counting her blessings. "If you really stop and think, you'll count blessings," she told the congregation. "And you need to thank God for them."
Kent McVey had worked 41 years for Standard Register, his only employer. He was offered jobs supervising either 41 people in Dayton or four people in Fayetteville.
He almost didn't take the job in Fayetteville because he didn't have supervisory experience. His wife suggested he might take the job so he could get that experience. So he became the plant manager and eventually retired from there.
Still, she wasn't sure about living in a small town, and "came sort of kicking and screaming." But she adjusted, and she quickly got involved. After he died, her two sons and daughter asked if she wanted to stay in Fayetteville. She can visit them, her 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren whenever she wants. But this had become home.   "My friends and my church are my support group," she says.
McVey, 81, has been helping people ever since she moved here 50 years ago, even though she worked full time for several years as manager of Norm, a furniture store.
Her neighbors, the first couple she met, got her involved in the local mental-health association. She served on the local, state and national boards. At that time, there was no way to dispense prescription drugs for the mentally ill locally, so a doctor came up monthly from Little Rock to see patients.
"The idea was to get an actual center started," she says.   They did that when she and the late Betty Lighton helped start Ozark Guidance Center in Springdale.
When McVey answered an ad for a volunteer probation officer for juvenile court, she said she thought she was sort of old to work with troubled youngsters. They told her she was perfect because they needed someone who was a "grandmotherly type."
When she volunteered for Rape Crisis, she answered the phone and offered support to women. She also went with victims to the hospital for exams, sometimes two women in one night. If a rape case went to trial, she stood there with the woman, too.
McVey was working once a week at the Washington Regional Medical Center gift shop when she filled out the application for Faith in Action. On it, she simply said she wanted to help people.
She didn't want to clean houses, so that mostly meant driving people to medical appointments and beauty parlor visits. She often took one woman in her 90s, who never married and never learned to drive, to the doctor.
McVey also became good friends with a widow whom she met while they were hospital volunteers. The woman lived alone until the last two years of her life, which were spent at a nursing home. McVey visited her every day, and she was there when the woman died at 100.
"It's just very fulfilling to be able to help someone else and hopefully enhance their lives," says McVey, who has worked with Faith in Action for 10 years.
She's also a member of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, which gives her the opportunity to keep her finger on the pulse of the community. She typically serves as a diplomat, attending new-business ribbon cuttings. She also enjoys the intellectual aspect of discussing business.
"This community has been so wonderful to Kent and me," she says. "And now that he's gone, I feel very strongly now that I need to pay back in some way to the community for what they've done for us." "I feel like I've had a pretty full life, and an interesting one," she says.
For fun, she plays Bunco with members of a couple of groups.


First Lady Likens Mental Illness to Butterfly’s Metamorphosis

Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe compared mental illness to a butterfly's metamorphosis on Friday.

"Those who suffer with mental illness struggle to be free, much like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon," she said. "They struggle for a diagnosis, and they struggle to find a facility that can treat them. But once they find that treatment, they emerge more beautiful than before."  Beebe served as keynote speaker during Ozark Guidance's second annual Butterfly Festival. The event takes place each May, as a culmination to Mental Health Month. This year's butterfly release took place at the Gerald and Vicki Harp Park on the Springdale main campus.

"It's important for us all to remember why we're here today," said master of ceremonies Jennifer Irwin, of radio station Magic 107.9. "One in five people will experience mental illness. It's a disease that affects more people than cancer, diabetes and heart disease."  According to Irwin, mental illness ranks as the No. 1 reason for hospital admissions nationwide.

Friday's event, dubbed "Metamorphosis: Freedom Through Mental Health," featured the release of more than 500 monarch butterflies. The release signified the thousands of Northwest Arkansas residents living with mental illness who have hope for a better future. Specifically, the butterflies represented those being treated with mental illness, those struggling with the disease, those who care for the mentally ill, and those who've lost their lives.

"People with mental illness suffer every day," Irwin said. "Unfortunately, it's a disease that has negative stigma in society. This is a time to not only reflect on the lives that are broken or lost, but also a time to recognized those who've recovered."  In honor of Mental Health Month this year, Ozark Guidance has launched the Live Your Life Well campaign to provide people with specific, research-based tools that can combat stress and promote health and wellbeing.

"We don't have enough facilities in our state to treat those affected with mental illness," Beebe said. "Northwest Arkansas is very lucky to have Ozark Guidance. It helps those suffering emerge from their cocoonlike state to go on living long, wonderful lives."  Beebe, who's known for being a mental health advocate in Arkansas, named Ozark Guidance as the largest mental health facility the state.  "Mental illness is a disease, and it needs to be talked about," she said. "We need to raise as much funding and awareness as we can."

Located at 2400 S. 48th St. in Springdale, Ozark Guidance is a nonprofit, private community mental health center with satellite offices in Bentonville, Berryville, Fayetteville, Huntsville and Siloam Springs. The facility treats those suffering with mental illness through a variety of treatments, including individual counseling, education and rehabilitation.

Butterflies released during Friday's ceremony were available for purchase through the Ozark Guidance Foundation. Proceeds will benefit children's mental health services in Northwest Arkansas.

Jenkins Celebrates 35 Years of Service


Travis Jenkins, MD, has been a steadfast advocate and skilled service provider for persons with mental illness in Northwest Arkansas at Ozark Guidance for 35 years. He received his medical degree from UAMS and completed his residency at the William Hall Psychiatric Institute in South Carolina where he served as Chief Resident.
In 1973, Jenkins joined Ozark Guidance and served as Medical Director for over 30 years. During his tenure he helped grow the organization to the largest community mental health center in Arkansas. The care, education, and training Dr. Jenkins provided has touched the lives of thousands of area residents and improved the health and well-being of those individuals, their families, and the community at large.
Ozark Guidance President and CEO Tom Petrizzo says, “Travis has not just helped thousands of individuals and families throughout his career at Ozark Guidance, but he has done so with great dignity, utmost professionalism, and flair. When I’m out in the community I regularly hear outstanding comments from former clients or family members of clients that he helped.”
Recently, Dr. Jenkins became Chief Medical Officer Emeritus for Ozark Guidance. In this new role, he will continue his excellent clinical work, but also be an ambassador, trainer, and historian for Ozark Guidance and the local mental health community. 

Ozark Guidance has tools to put kids on the right path

From the Siloam Springs Herald, October 12, 2008

Throughout the year, the mental health of local students is overseen by two collaborating entities in Siloam Springs.
In addition to in-school counselors hired and employed by the Siloam Springs School District, for the past nine years, counselors and case managers from Ozark Guidance Center have also had a strong presence within local schools.
“ We are here to try to provide mental health services for kids and families more intensive than school counselors might be able to address, ” said Blaine Hubbard, coordinator over OGC school-based services for Siloam Springs and surrounding areas. “ We have offices at all of the schools and deal with many of the longterm issues that our students face. ”
Since 1970, Ozark Guidance Center has heralded itself as a private, Joint Commission-accredited, non-profit community provider committed to the goal of bettering mental health in Northwest Arkansas. The agency has presence in Washington, Benton, Madison and Carroll counties.
Similar to school counselors, OGC professionals are licensed by the state.
Siloam Springs School District shares nine master degree holding OGC counselors, nine case managers and multiple community resource personnel with nearby schools, Hubbard said.
“ In such a large population of students there are always going to be students who have a wide range of problems that take an extraordinary amount of time and attention to help them work through their issues and find ways to cope and adjust, ” District Assistant Superintendent Kent Raymick said. “ It is very difficult for our regular school counselors to adequately provide those services and OGC fills the void very effectively. ”
Completely separate from the OGC services, for the past several years, the local school district has employed a set of licensed professional counselors to serve students attending Siloam Springs schools.
With only one or two onstaff counselors positioned within each school and enrollment at an all-time high, the additional services provided by OGC are a welcome supplement to existing services, said Raymick.
“ The local schools and superintendents have been so great in helping with our services and giving us space in the schools, ” Hubbard said. “ We want the families and the schools involved — if they aren’t on board, we’re in trouble. ”
Less than 15 counselors are listed on the district’s payroll, and with a recent enrollment report of 3, 759 students within the district and population expected to rise in upcoming years, the extra help is welcome for intensive, lengthy issues. Anywhere from 10 to 40 student clients per school are served by OGC counselors each week, Hubbard said. In addition to providing onsite clinical services, OGC staff handle crisis intervention, some ancillary clinical services and individual, group and family counseling. “ I know without their services many students would not receive the level and depth of help they need and deserve, ” Raymick said. “ That is not meant to be indictment of our regular school counselors. They do a fantastic job as well in dealing with students ' issues, but the reality is that the expectations and job responsibilities they have in working in public school is so wide-ranging that it is next to impossible for them to handle all of the problems and issues that many of children face in their struggles with emotional and social issues or home situations that put them at high risk of dropping out of school or worse. ” Individual schools provide OGC representatives office space and telephone services on campus but are not required to make payment for services rendered.
As per the agreement between the district and OGC, services are paid by thirdparty reimbursement, which includes private insurance, federal program reimbursement or payment from individual families. “ Kids come referred to us from a variety of places — their parents, the court system, schools, physicians, ” Hubbard said. “ We do what we can to find a funding source. We try to help the parents as much as we can. The most important factor in all of this is the success of the child. ”
On average, students referred to OGC services spend one hour per week with a counselor and one hour per week with a case worker.
Students receive services during school hours and are removed from classes during the least intrusive times possible according to Hubbard.
With parental consent, OGC counselors consult with teachers and occasionally visit client homes after-hours for family sessions.
“It makes a huge difference for these kids if everyone is working together for them, ” Hubbard said. “ Both the parents and the kids feel much more supported when we’re all on the same page. ”
Within the next couple of months, OGC plans to open a therapeutic day treatment center in Siloam Springs.
Over the summer, OGC purchased the building located at Harvard and Carl streets that was formerly occupied by the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.
“We hope to have it up and running very soon, ” Hubbard said. “ We’ll be able to provide both therapy and education simultaneously. It will be a more intensified service. ”
The 8, 000-square foot building is currently undergoing renovations that include dividing the building into classroom space.
When the center opens, 15 to 20 OGC employees will work at the new site that will host students for eight hours per school day.
The day site will have the capability to serve more than 30 students.
“This will be really good for the community and kids who need it once it gets going, ” Hubbard said. “ We’ll help develop structure, discipline, learning, with the ultimate goal of getting them back into the schools. ”


Panel:  Heart patients should be screened for depression

Story Highlights

  • Heart patients are three times more likely than others to be depressed
  • Only half of heart doctors say they treat depression in their patients
  • Depression can result in poorer outcomes and a poorer quality of life
  • AHA panel recommends asking heart patients two questions to screen them

Read the full story on cnn.com:  http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/09/29/heart.patients.depression.ap/index.html


Reinert Cup Awarded at Annual Golf Tournament


The Ozark Guidance Foundation hosted their 13th annual golf tournament on Friday, August 15 at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club in Fayetteville. This year’s tournament raised more than $40,000 through cash & in-kind donations. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit children’s counseling services. Annually Ozark Guidance provides counseling services for over 4,000 children. 
The first place teams in both the morning & afternoon flights were presented with The Reinert Cup, named in honor & memory of the late Jerry Reinert, former president of First Security Bank Springdale. Mr. Reinert was a 12-year member of the Ozark Guidance Foundation Board of Trustees and chaired the inaugural golf tournament in 1995.
The morning flight Reinert Cup winners was the KNWA team, which posted a low gross score of 56. Team members included Dan Scoff, Travis Spieth, Patrick Guyton, and Norm DeBriyn.    An afternoon low gross score of 53 secured the Reinert Cup for the Democrat-Gazette team whose team members included   Hector Cueva, Matt Dura, Aaron Hargis and David Long. 
Major underwriters of the tournament were Tyson Foods and Packaging Specialties. Tournament sponsors included Arvest Bank of Springdale, AstraZeneca, Gerald Harp Properties, Prairie Grove Telephone Company, The Schmieding Foundation, First Security Bank, Catering Unlimited, Longer Investments, National Home Center, and Signature Bank of Arkansas. Media Sponsor were CitiScapes, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Morning News, KNWA and KIX-104. A Rolex watch was provided by Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry as the hole-in-one sponsor. Red Ball Productions supplied tents and tables for the BBQ lunch provided for all golfers & volunteers by Catering Unlimited. In all, 39 teams competed in the morning & afternoon flights.

CEO Tom Petrizzo & Democrat Gazette team

Vorsanger Honored by Mental Health Council

On Tuesday, August 12, at the annual Mental Health Council of Arkansas convention in Hot Springs, Fred Vorsanger was honored for his years of dedicated service to the needs of persons with mental illness in Northwest Arkansas. 

For many years, Vorsanger has been committed to the growth and continued financial success of Ozark Guidance. Under his leadership, the Ozark Guidance Foundation grew to a permanent endowment in excess of $3 million and there are partially restricted foundation funds in excess of $1 million. He was instrumental in the growth of these funds through his personal efforts and diligence in communicating and working with local donors and family foundations in Northwest Arkansas. 

During his tenure on the Ozark Guidance Foundation Board, Vorsanger contributed countless volunteer hours hosting Foundation fundraising events, such as golf tournaments, dinners, and most recently a successful butterfly release. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help the Foundation remain strong so that it furthers the mission of the Ozark Guidance. Under his leadership on the endowment fund committee, a portion of the endowment earnings are added to the Ozark Guidance operating budget each year in an effort to promote and retain the vital mental services needed for the clients and families served by Ozark Guidance. 

The Board of Directors and the staff of Ozark Guidance are extremely proud that the Mental Health Council of Arkansas awarded its 2008 Community Service Award to Fred Vorsanger for his dedication and unselfish commitment to the residents of our Northwest Arkansas.

Vorsanger is a Vice President Emeritus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and currently is the arena administrator for the Bud Walton Arena. He served on the Board of Directors of the Ozark Guidance from 1990 to 1994. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Ozark Guidance Foundation since 1994, and currently holds the position of Board Chair. He served as Vice Chair of the Foundation Board starting in 1995, and has served as Chair for the last six years.

Vorsanger has been a tireless supporter of the University of Arkansas, its students, and the broader community of Northwest Arkansas. He served as Mayor of Fayetteville and as President of the Fayetteville Rotary, as well as District Governor of the Rotary District, which encompasses Northwest Arkansas.  


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