A few eyebrows were raised when Lakeview Center for Change’s headquarters on F Street put up a “For Sale” sign on its front lawn. Despite assumptions, the private counseling service will remain open, but will move locations and downsize its employee base.
The Center’s owner, Barbara Vandenberg, who has a Masters in addictions therapy and is state and nationally certified in both addictions and prevention, stresses that her private counseling practice will be downsizing to two therapists and will be restructuring to slow down the company’s schedule and to have additional time for other interests.
Vandenberg has a rich 29-year history of service in the counseling field in Oregon. She moved to Lake County in the early 1990’s to work in the County Mental Health department for eleven years and ended as the director of the Addiction Treatment and Prevention Department. She left in 2006 to form her own practice as she saw the need to have another counseling option that was private, which eventually employed up to five other practitioners.
Many recent national and local adjustments factored in to bring these downsizing changes about. The County decided several years ago not to open for public bid through an RFP process for State and Federal funds that come to the county for behavioral health and addiction treatment services, keeping all dollars within the county infrastructure passing through to only Lake County Mental Health. The new health care reform, which lowered reimbursement rates and restricted the number of visits, also made it more difficult for the Center for Change to continue to operate dependent on fee for service.
“Because I’m back to private practice…it’s just not practical to be (in this residence) anymore. It is larger than what I need,” Vandenberg said.
A personal factor for Vandenberg would be her living arrangements and other fiscal endeavors. Being located in Plush and renting out her own vacation cabin takes up part of her time.
It light of these recent events, Vandenberg decided to move out of the now oversized two-story home that she made into several offices and relocate to a more practical setting. As of now, she is looking into acquiring a space at the Marius building in downtown Lakeview.
These changes will help Vandenberg be more streamlined for her clients. Daryl Cooper LCSW is the other practitioner who will stay on board with Vandenberg.
Although the Center will be smaller, Vandenberg will still provide the same substance abuse and behavioral health services. These services also include treatment for co-occurring disorders, court ordered DUI and addiction treatment, marital and parenting counseling, eating disorders, depression, short-term counseling, among many others.
The Center provides a sliding fee scale for their clients with no insurance and is the preferred provider for multiple insurance companies including Cover Oregon, Oregon Health Plan for addiction treatment and employee assistance programs. Vandenberg also makes accommodations for patients’ clients upon request. Another positive aspect to their service is that there is no waiting list.
All around, Center for Change presents flexibility for those in need of their services and is bound to stick around the County to give residents one other choice for counseling outside of a County agency.
Center of Change can be reached at 541-947-4357.