Spokane Journal of Business

New drug-rehab center plans hiring

American Behavioral also believes it will serve about 200 more clients a year

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American Behavioral Health Systems Inc., a Spokane company that was formed last year to treat chemically dependent clients, has hired about 10 people within the last year and expects to hire another about 15 by a year from now.

The proposed rise in its work force can be attributed, in part, to an expected increase in the number of clients American Behavioral will serve this year. Company owner and CEO Craig Phillips says American Behaviorals planned move into larger quarters on the North Side next month should allow the company to treat more than 1,000 people a year, up about 25 percent from its current volume.

American Behavioral expects to spend $1.4 million buying and remodeling its new quarters, at 44 E. Cozza, Phillips says. A structure there formerly housed Regency Care Center of Spokane, a 122-bed nursing home that vacated the building last October when it moved to a new facility near Northpointe Plaza, called Regency at Northpointe.

American Behavioral bought the 33,000-square-foot building on Cozza earlier this year for about $1.2 million and is spending about $200,000 to remodel it into a 99-bed drug-rehab center, Phillips says. The beds are licensed by the Washington state Department of Health. Once the work is completed, American Behavioral will move into the Cozza facility from its current 14,000-square-foot, 72-bed center at 3400 W. Garland, which it leases from the Salvation Army.

The for-profit drug-rehabilitation center was started last July, when it acquired the drug-rehab operations of the Salvation Army here. At that time, American Behavioral employed about 25 people, Phillips says. It now employs 35 people and expects to add more than 15 employees by July 1999, he says.

As part of its acquisition of the Salvation Armys drug-treatment program, American Behavioral bought the provider contracts that the Salvation Army had with the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Division of the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services, Phillips says.

American Behavioral still gets the majority of its clients through that state agency and expects to continue working with those low-income clients. But Phillips says he also hopes the new North Side facility will enable the company to draw from a larger client base, giving it an opportunity to work with clients who are covered under conventional insurance plans or managed-care plans rather than just public-aid programs.

Separately, Phillips says that American Behavioral is working with some Native American tribes in Montana and Wyoming to develop a drug-rehab program that would be specifically targeted at treating chemically dependent Native Americans, while respecting their cultural needs. The company also hopes to work with tribes in Washington state, he says.

  • Lisa Harrell

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