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Announcing Awakenings Academy

March 8, 2016

Hillcrest Family Services Announces the Opening of Awakenings Academy,

a Residential Treatment Facility Open to Youth Across the Country.

Dubuque, IA – March 8, 2016 – Years in development, supported by countless hours of research, with an unparalleled commitment to the most advanced and effective teaching, treatment and quality control methods, Hillcrest Family Services announced this week the opening of Awakenings Academy, the nation’s newest, and one of only a handful of holistic residential treatment facilities for behaviorally-challenged or at-risk boys. The facility, located on the campus of Hillcrest in a completely renovated home, is open to boys from across the country, and is a private-pay and private insurance initiative.

Hillcrest is a nationally accredited program, both by the prestigious Joint Commission, which serves as the independent accreditation agency for nearly 21,000 health care organizations nationwide, and by EAGLE Accreditation Commission (Educational Assessment Guidelines Leading toward Excellence). Parents and guardians should know that having this type of accreditation is paramount in the selection of any residential facility treating troubled kids. With more than 45 years of experience treating at-risk youth in residential treatment, including over 28 years educating the troubled youth of Dubuque and the surrounding area through Hillcrest’s Anna B. Lawther Academy, Awakenings is the next step in the 120 year history of Hillcrest. Last year alone, Hillcrest’s residential treatment programs and the Anna B. Lawther Academy have assisted more than 323 troubled youth in Dubuque.

However, this rich tradition of serving the public good won’t be the only differentiating aspect of Awakenings Academy. With many competitors across the country, few, if any, are offering the innovative, holistic approach to treatment that Awakenings is. John Bellini, Vice President of the Academy explained, “There are two overriding differences between Awakenings and the other residential facilities in the U.S. First, our holistic, whole body approach to treatment is truly integrated. Our residents, in addition to receiving top-level academic instruction from Dubuque Community Schools or the Holy Family School system, will experience health and fitness programs through weekly yoga, meditation, and physical activities in the Anna B. Lawther gymnasium; through our partnership with the Four Mounds Foundation, our residents will be growing their own produce and working their own beekeeping operation; through our partnership with Teambuilding Blocks, our certified staff will be teaching teamwork in low and high ropes classes as well as camping, fishing, canoeing and skiing related activities; because we are a faith-based enterprise, spirituality will play an important role in our treatment approach; and equally important is our approach to family involvement where inclusion in their child’s programming is the norm, not the exception. Second, we are certified and accredited practitioners of Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model, an evidence-based practice that focuses on the premise that ‘kids do well if they can’ rather than the premise that kids are unmotivated and ‘do well if they want to.’ We believe these differences will set us apart, and parents who have often times reached desperate levels with their child’s behavior, will view Awakenings Academy with fondness and relief.”

Gary Gansemer, President and CEO of Hillcrest Family Services, believes that Awakenings Academy is a great next step for the organization. “I’ll be candid. Educating and treating troubled youth is something we’re extremely good at. From the quality of our teachers to our mental health counselors, we have consistently, for more than four decades, provided uninterrupted services to Dubuque’s youth and their families.  So, why not provide these services to the rest of the country? We have the facilities to grow, we have the knowledge to succeed, and we have the audience that needs our help”, stated Gansemer.

Awakenings Academy is now accepting applications for male residents between the ages of 12-17. Awakenings began advertising in Midwest markets last week and recently attended a trade show in Wisconsin to promote the Academy.