Avalon Awarded Substance Abuse Contract in Missouri

Article excerpt

Avalon Community Services Inc. has inked a four-year contract with the Missouri Department of Corrections to provide substance abuse services at the "Show Me" state's 650-bed Ozark Correctional Center, a medium security prison in Fordland, Mo.

The contract, Avalon's initial step into Missouri, "represents the first of what we believe will be several new contract awards for Avalon," said Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Smith. "Our management team continues to focus on growing our corrections business on a regional basis and this contract is the first of several new programs we plan to begin during the next 12 months."

Avalon, which also operates what it hopes will grow into a chain of assisted living centers, provides substance abuse and treatment programs at six Nebraska medium and maximum security state-managed facilities. It expects the Missouri pact to increase its annual revenues by about $800,000. As a manager of correctional facilities under its subsidiary Southern Corrections Systems Inc., Avalon oversees a 250-bed minimum security center in Oklahoma City called the Carver Center, a 255- bed minimum security facility in Tulsa called the Avalon Correctional Center, and a medium security facility in El Paso, the 144-bed El Paso Intermediate Sanctioned Facility. Avalon opened two assisted living centers in the second half of 1996: the $2.5 million Emerald Square in northwest Oklahoma City and the $2.5 million Diamond Crest in Fort Collins, Colo. When Emerald Square opened in November, Avalon projected its revenues will reach $4 million for 1996 and $13 million this year. Business Columbia Surgicare-Midtown has won three-year certification from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc. In a similar vein, Metro Tech's Dental Assisting Program has received preliminary certification from the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Following an on- site evaluation within the next 18 months, the program may receive final accreditation for a three- to five-year period. Sonic, fondly self-titled America's Drive-In, is bagging support for the American Red Cross by driving home the charity's "Help Can't Wait" message on Sonic's food bags, cups and napkins. For the third straight year, Sonic will distribute the 60 million promotional items at its 1,600 restaurants across the U.S. Oklahoma City-based Sonic also has donated $25,000 to the Red Cross of Oklahoma. The Children's Hospital Carnival at NorthPark Mall garnered a record $22,500, besting last year's tally by $4,500. Since its origin in 1988, the carnival has raised more than $120,500 for programs backed by the Children's Hospital Auxiliary. People Mary Jane Hughes and Lori A. Webster have joined Deaconess Hospital as marketing and public relations associates. Hughes, a former assistant director of public relations at St. Anthony Hospital, came to Deaconess from Sonic Restaurants Inc., where she served as the manager of corporate communications. Webster, once a public relations specialist at St. Luke's Health System in Kansas City, Mo., came to Deaconess after serving as the supervisor of employee communications at OG&E Electric Services. The American College of Healthcare Executives has recertified Gary Watson a Fellow. The president and chief operating officer of Integris Mental Health Inc. first obtained that status in July 1986. Community Hospice of Norman has chosen a health care administrator from Lawton for its new program director. Lee Young brings more than 20 years of management experience to the post. Laura L. Cross, a director of the Oklahoma City law firm Miller, Dollarhide, Dawson & Shaw, will serve as a panelist for the March 28 teleconference "Hard Questions, Ethical Answers," sponsored by the Oklahoma City Community College. The 1-3 p.m. teleconference will air from the OU Health Sciences Center Robert Bird Library Auditorium. …