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Eckerd Youth Alternatives
Clearwater, FL

Contact: Martha L. Chamberlain
Director, Marketing and Client Relations

August 11, 2005

Eckerd Youth Alternatives Expands Private Programming in TN and FL
Significant changes underway to meet needs of the private market

Clearwater, Fla. -Eckerd Youth Alternatives (EYA) today announced expanded offerings for families of troubled youth, including the transformation of two outdoor therapeutic programs, E-Sun-Alee in Deer Lodge, TN, and E-How-Kee in Brooksville, FL, to serve the needs of privately referred boys and girls, their families and referring professionals. The announcement reflects recent and ongoing rigorous operational, system and programming evaluation to meet the needs of referral sources, parents and youth.

Eckerd Youth Alternatives is among the nation's leading organizations serving thousands of at-risk and troubled youth, through a range of 40 community-based and residential programs in eight states. Since 1968, it has helped more than 60,000 youth.

Major Changes Made and More Underway
"Eckerd Youth Alternatives has long been recognized in our field for our commitment to helping all at-risk children, and we're always striving to continue to improve our highly effective model. We've listened and responded to suggestions families and referring professionals have made over the years, including streamlining our admissions process, separating adjudicated from non-adjudicated youth, adjusting therapeutic programming to meet the needs of families, and becoming more accommodating overall," said Robert B. McKeagney, Chief Operating Officer.

"Our outdoor therapeutic programs in Deer Lodge, TN, and Brooksville, FL, reflect those changes and will now provide dedicated services for families seeking help for their troubled teens in the private market, " he said. According to McKeagney, an EYA project underway will upgrade its admissions process even further for the private market. "We anticipate implementing those changes within the next few months," he said.

Both the E-Sun-Alee and E-How-Kee programs combine a fully accredited education program with group and individual counseling, adventure programs and relationship- and communication-building skills.

The Eckerd Model for therapeutic residential treatment features eight essentials: a strength-based focus, therapeutic environment, positive relationships with staff, group living, individual treatment, safety, education and family participation. Youth live with counselor-teachers in groups of up to 10 boys or girls for an average of six to 12 months. The program serves boys and girls experiencing emotional and behavioral problems at home, school or in the community.

In Tennessee: New Girls Group In September
Tennessee's E-Sun-Alee, founded in 1988, is nestled in the rolling hills of the Cumberland Mountain plateau between Knoxville and Nashville. E-Sun-Alee currently serves two groups of privately referred boys, ages 10-18, and will launch a new girls' group in September. Also opening by September will be the newly remodeled and upgraded computer lab, where students will be able to pursue individualized education programming to accelerate academic progress.

Nearly Four Decades of Helping Teens in Florida
Florida's E-How-Kee, which is set among 880 acres of woods north of Tampa, began outreach to privately referred boys and girls ages 10-17 last year. Founded in 1968 as EYA's first outdoor therapeutic program, E-How-Kee has helped generations of youth across nearly four decades. It also features full classroom and computer lab facilities, and a full ropes course.

Referrals are now being accepted for both programs. Call EYA Admissions at 1-800-914-3937, or visit our website and click on "Get Help for Your Teen."

About Eckerd Youth Alternatives
Eckerd Youth Alternatives (EYA) is one of the nation's leading providers of services for at-risk and troubled youth. As a private not-for-profit organization, EYA serves more than 9,000 youth each year. Since 1968, more than 69,000 young people have been helped through a range of 40 residential and community-based programs: outdoor therapeutic treatment, juvenile justice, ReEntry programs, youth foster care, and early intervention and prevention services. Headquartered in Clearwater, Fla., Eckerd Youth Alternatives has 1,400 caring employees and provides youth programs in eight states: Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. To learn more, call 727-461-2990 or visit our Web site

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