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Posted: Jul 10, 2013 20:15

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Aspen Education Group
Cerritos, CA

Aspen Education Group
Closes Five Programs

Susan Cambria

As a leading provider of behavioral health and therapeutic education services for adolescents, Aspen Education Group has a special responsibility to deliver the most current, evidence-based solutions for families. In fulfilling this duty, our organization has established a multi-decade legacy of success by providing the highest levels of clinical excellence in an ever-evolving health care marketplace. Throughout the years, we have maintained viability by making changes from time to time that strengthen our network to, first and foremost, meet the fluctuating treatment needs of our students and families.

The need for residential treatment for teens with behavioral or substance abuse issues may arguably be as big if not bigger than it ever was. However, changing market dynamics, including the inability of families to obtain credit, loans or home equity lines to help finance treatment, have made it difficult for parents to access treatment. It has become abundantly clear that the current market does not support us maintaining our entire network of therapeutic programs. Considering the legacy of these quality programs, this was not an easy decision. It comes after extensive financial investment in the clinical care, infrastructure and marketing of these programs, and following serious deliberation about the current therapeutic education market and how we can best continue to serve all of our valued families and professionals with an outstanding ongoing network.

This summer, we will be transitioning students out and ultimately ceasing operations at our three Eastern therapeutic boarding schools: Academy at Swift River (Cummington, MA), Talisman Academy (Hendersonville, NC), and Stone Mountain School (Black Mountain, NC), and two of our therapeutic wilderness programs: SUWS Adolescent & Youth Programs (Shoshone, Idaho) and Adirondack Leadership Expeditions (Saranac Lake, New York). Fortunately, the summer season makes the school transition much smoother, with each student able to easily transition to another placement or go home. Every student in our wilderness programs will complete the programs in their entirety.

The safety and wellbeing of our students are our highest priorities. We will work closely with parents, students, educational consultants, referring clinical professionals and staff to minimize the impact of these changes to the greatest extent possible, and to determine the best transition plan on an individual basis. Stay incentives for critical academic and therapeutic staff have been created to ensure the continuity of treatment services at each program during this transition. We will absorb the student relocation costs for those who transfer to another treatment program.

We recognize and regret that the decision to consolidate services affects our valued employees as well. We are sincerely appreciative of our employees' years of hard work and determination, and their dedication to young people whose lives they have forever positively affected. We hope to retain as many staff members as possible; while we cannot guarantee any of our employees a position, we are encouraging them to apply to any positions for which they are qualified at our other facilities.

We will continue to be a leader in the field of therapeutic options for youth and families, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to always provide the highest quality of care. When health care needs evolve, we may sometimes have to make difficult changes, but we are confident in our ongoing ability to meet the needs of students, families and professionals.

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