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Posted March 23, 2005 

Aspen Education Group Announces
Enhancements at Local Youth Care
and Pine Ridge Residential
Treatment Centers

Lisa Freeman

March 23, 2005

(DRAPER, UT ) — Youth Care and Pine Ridge Academy, two local residential treatment centers for youths, are announcing enhancements to their programs, effective immediately. According to parent company Aspen Education Group, the nation’s leader in providing educational programs that improve the quality of life for under-achieving youths and their families, the Youth Care program has been expanded from two residential treatment homes to three, thus increasing capacity by 14 beds. As a result of this expansion, Aspen has appointed two new executives to key positions at Youth Care and its sister program, Pine Ridge Academy.

Youth Care’s expansion comes in response to growing demand for personalized, clinically intensive drug and behavior treatment programs for youths. Youth Care offers individualized therapeutic treatment in a home-like setting for students ages 11-18 who are experiencing academic, emotional, behavioral or substance abuse problems. As with its other homes, the new facility will employ its own treatment team, allowing the program to continue providing the kind of individualized, intensive treatment that has become the hallmark of the Youth Care reputation.

As a result of the expansion at Youth Care, Trina Packard, M. Ed., has been appointed to executive director at Youth Care and at Pine Ridge Academy, effective April 4. Packard previously was executive director at Aspen’s NorthStar Center in Bend, Oregon. Under her leadership, NorthStar Center implemented program improvements and fostered an environment in which students could succeed and flourish. No stranger to Youth Care, Packard had been the director of education there in 1998 and had served as the program director at Pine Ridge Academy for a year.

Packard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in special education and a Master of Educational Counseling degree. She has taught at-risk youth in public, private and residential settings and has counseled students with substance abuse, eating disorders, ADHD and other issues.

“Trina’s vision, passion and experience have culminated in a range of successes at Aspen,” said Aspen Education Group CEO Elliot Sainer. “We’re pleased that she will be leading our expanded program at Youth Care and taking the helm at Pine Ridge Academy.”

Aspen also announced the appointment of a full-time medical director, Dr. Richard Mickelsen, to Youth Care and Pine Ridge Academy. Dr. Mickelsen, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, has been consulting for these programs since August 2004. Prior to that, he worked with adolescents in the outpatient, day treatment and residential programs of Valley Mental Health, a not-for-profit agency in Salt Lake City. He was previously medical director at Four Winds-Saratoga, a private psychiatric hospital in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he headed an inpatient psychiatric team caring for youths. Dr. Mickelsen earned a Bachelor of Science degree and an M.D. from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and went on to complete his residency in general psychiatry at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont.

Both the Youth Care and Pine Ridge residential treatment programs provide individualized therapies for youths who suffer with depression, ADHD, thought disorders, defiance behaviors, and drug or alcohol abuse.

Aspen Education Group offers a diverse range of educational programs, settings and solutions that improve the quality of life for under-achieving children, teenagers, young adults and their families. Through Aspen’s 30 residential and outdoor programs in 11 states, parents can choose from a variety of therapeutic and academic environments. Students in Aspen’s schools and programs benefit from the experience and depth of understanding that comes from helping tens of thousands of youths over the past two decades.

Over the past few years, Aspen Education Group has been named among the top 100 education companies by Eduventures, a leading independent research firm dedicated to learning markets. For information, visit or call (888) 972-7736. To learn more about Youth Care or Pine Ridge, go to or or call (800) 786-4924.

Copyright © 2005, Woodbury Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(This article may not be reproduced without written approval of the publisher.)

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