Connecting with lost and long distance alumni

Spring 2015 Collaborative Session Notes

Reconnecting with Past or Lost Alumni

Convener: Bill Kinloch, The Refuge [email protected]

Scribe: Kevin Haggarty, The Ranch [email protected]


Brown, Carver Pine Grove [email protected]
Hutts, David Benchmark [email protected]
Kelinpeter, Felicia St. Christophers [email protected]
Kimbrough, Shea The Refuge [email protected]
Kirschberg, Lauren Pine Grove [email protected]
O’Shea, Chris The Journey Home [email protected]
Placencia, Tammy Hazelden/Betty Ford [email protected]


List 3 (or more) important ideas offered by the convener.

  1. How do we repair relationships with alumni that are not on good terms with the center?
  2. We can send letters reaching out to alumni.
  3. Using Clinicians/someone alumni trust to contact them but this takes time

List 3 (or more) great ideas offered by the participants.

  1. Tammy: Take ownership of the problem that they are “lost alumni” make apologies
  2. Shea: It’s also up to them if they want to stay in touch
  3. Carver: printed a legal consent form on the back of his business cards in case he runs into lost alumni in the community and at meetings

List 3 or more questions or outstanding issues about the topic that everyone wants more information about.

  1. Issues concerning HIPPA and how to leave voicemail messages to alumni
  2. What if alumni are over a year out and their consent form is outdated?
  3. How to find alumni that have been gone for a long time (10 years or more)
  4. People from a long time ago don’t have consents signed, can we contact them? How? Write a letter? Send a consent form?


Other things discussed:

Have alumni you are in contact with reach out to their “lost” buddies from treatment. Encourage them to contact us or come to an event.

There is no “lost cause”.

Voicemail and HIPPA:

  1. Don’t say the center’s name
  2. Say, “This is (your name), from (city).”

Lauren: one way to get a ton of them to respond to me via email who are not involved directly with the program is to ask for sober dates for the newsletter (We call them Milestones at Pine Grove).  People who aren’t involved at all LOVE to tell you once a year how much time they have. And when these are posted in the newsletter (ie: Lauren K. 6 years in March) there is a request for the next three months sober dates to be email to me.  This is an indirect way to get feedback about the newsletter and confirmation that people are actually reading it.


  1. Carver: leave it up to clinical team on whether or not they can participate. Most of the time it depends on the circumstances in which they left and how they are doing now.
  2. Lauren: Returning is not just for the patients to see, it’s support for the alumni who are struggling too.
  3. Chris: if they stay at least 90 days they are considered alumni
  4. Bill: if they sign a consent to treat they are alumni

What if families are involved and alumni are not:

  1. Carver: families can come to events with or without alumni; they are considered alumni just as much as the patient
  2. Have families sign up for alumni program at family week; invite them to return

Open Space

  1. Bill uses Open Space at alumni weekends

Spring 2015 Collaborative Session Notes

Engaging Long Distance Alumni

Conveners: Neena Wilcox, The Bridge to Recovery, [email protected]

Karen Zaccour, Lakeview Health, [email protected]

Scribe: Neena Wilcox


McLeod, Tim Sierra Tucson [email protected]
Spollen, Shannon The Meadows [email protected]
Starbuck, Lisa The Farley Center [email protected]  

List 3 (or more) important ideas offered by the convener.

  1. How do you set up chapter groups?

List 3 (or more) great ideas offered by the participants.

  1. Alumni Support Groups
  2. Continuing Care Groups
  3. Breakfast Events
  4. Virtual Group Meetings

List 3 or more questions or outstanding issues about the topic that everyone wants more information about.

  1. Finding consultants (therapists) to contract for “continuing care” groups


Monthly or Bimonthly chapter meetings

  1. Any alumni can attend, sober or not
  2. Where: churches, other programs


Alumni Support Group: led by alumni

  1. Format follows program specific info and content
  2. Alumni leaders with good understanding and boundaries

Feedback indicates sometimes content can become stagnant

Contracted with therapist

  1. once a week to meet with alumni
  2. once a month to meet with families
  3. one time visit for individuals or prospective family members (if addict admits, families can begin immediately)

Chapter Groups: alumni led, sharing or speaker meeting

  1. “soft landing” for new graduates
  2. Get commitments from those who attend to do different things

Breakfast Events to find interest with Alumni Program

  1. “what are you grateful for because of you attended this program”
  2. Find commitments
  3. Where to meet?
  4. Who will do it?

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Contact Information

Treatment Professionals in Alumni Services
PO Box 1152
Salida, CO 81201
(757) 784-7550


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