LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The Coulee Council of Addictions celebrated one year in their new recovery center Thursday morning.
Coulee Council members held a short ceremony in front of the Coulee recovery Center Building. Some of the executive members gave short speeches on their emotions about reaching this day. President of the Coulee Council on Addiction Dr. Tom Thompson says time has flown by.
“How do you say, ‘Wow’? We spent so many years in preparation for opening day and then we look back and those years seemed like years. this year since we opened up, it seems more like a month,” Dr. Thompson said. “Time has moved so beautifully.”
Coulee Council Executive Director Cheryl Hancock also said a few words about the growth of the recovery center and their partnership with Mayo Clinic. Regional Vice President of Mayo Clinic Health System Dr. Paul Mueller was there as a representative of Mayo Clinic. During the ceremony, Dr. Thompson and Dr. Mueller unveiled a plaque dedicated to Mayo Clinic.
The relocation was to 933 Ferry St. The Coulee Recovery Center relocation process began in 2016 with ideas for potential sites. After a year of discussing places, planning, and gaining approval from the city, the construction of the recovery center began in November 2017. On July 9, 2018, the Coulee Council on Addictions was able to move into their new building and start giving help and resources to the community.
“You can look back behind me with the Coulee Recovery Center and realize that this came about because of a community effort. And I think that we need to realize that those that are in recovery, we have to reduce the stigma that’s associated with that,” Dr. Thompson said. ” By having a very welcoming center like this behind me, I think opens the doors for those that have been hesitant to seek recovery. Come on in and let’s share and get on the right pathway.”
Since the relocation and years of planning, the Coulee Council members recognize that there have not only been physical changes to the facility, but also changes within the staff and people that come to the recovery center.
“The feel is just different. People come in and there’s high energy. Like Saturday mornings are really busy and that’s just a really nice thing to see. You can tell that they appreciate the facility and that there’s a sense of hope,” Hancock said. ” If they are able to succeed in finding long term recovery then the community recognizes that they needed support to do that.”
Dr. Thompson says their goal in the recovery center is to make people feel comfortable. He says the Recovery Center is not just about recovery, it’s also about the change being lifelong.
“We broadened our clientele immensely and I think that so many members of the community that might not otherwise have utilized our other facility, look at this one here, look at the welcoming environment and attitude and say, ‘Yeah, I can be a part of this.’ I think it does enhance the opportunity for long term recovery.” Dr. Thompson said.