Originally Published: June 12, 2005 5 a.m.
PRESCOTT As CEO of West Yavapai Guidance Clinic for more than 29 years, Don Ostendorf said he has seen Prescott grow up, and one of the most satisfying parts of his career has been growing right along with it.
"I'm from a very small town, so I think that's in my blood," he said. "Prescott is a great town and I've kind of grown with it."
He said that the size of the town and the partnerships he has helped create over the years have contributed to the clinic's success.
Ostendorf moved to Prescott from Illinois in 1976, and "when I came, there were about eight staff (at West Yavapai). Life seemed a lot simpler in those days. The whole community was a lot smaller and the problems were smaller."
Ostendorf has helped mold the clinic into what it has become, which is the reason he feels a little bittersweet about retiring after so many years.
"I'll miss the people a lot, but I think I'm ready for a change and I think the organization will benefit from a change," he said.
Larry Green, who currently lives in Yuma, is moving to Prescott to become the new CEO of the clinic in early July.
He is currently the executive director of Child and Adult Behavioral Health Services for the EXCEL Group in Yuma and has been in the behavioral health field for nearly 20 years.
His positions include senior vice president of programs for Home Base Youth Services in Phoenix, director of Campus Based Services for Devereux Arizona in Scottsdale, and director of the Boys Town National Crisis Hotline in Nebraska.
Green said he is excited to take the position at West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and "I feel very fortunate to have earned this opportunity. I am excited to lead an already excellent program into the future."
Ostendorf said that as Prescott has grown over the years, so have the number of people the clinic serves.
"It's been such an evolution of baby steps and giant steps and side steps along the way," he said.
When he first started, Ostendorf said the clinic offered only outpatient services, and now, with more than 250 employees, there are multiple sites with many services, including inpatient, outpatient, housing, educational and crisis services.
One of his biggest accomplishments at the clinic, he said, was moving into a new building on Cortez Street in 1984.
"That was a huge accomplishment because we were in very tight, crammed quarters before that," he said.
Another major accomplishment was establishing partnerships with organizations such as Yavapai Regional Medical Services, Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI), CPS, Catholic Social Services and Youth Count.
"We've been working with the other providers in the community to help develop the whole system of human services that now exists here," he said.
Ostendorf said building these types of relationships is not always easy, and he is proud of what he and other organizations have accomplished.
"What we've come through for the past 25 years will not likely happen again," he added.
Green said he plans to continue working with these and other organizations, as well as expand services and programs.
"To thrive, we have to continue providing quality and innovative programs for the people we serve," he said.
Ostendorf said he has accomplished a lot during his time at the clinic, and gives credit to always working with an excellent staff.
"It's all about getting good staff," he said. "I've always been really fortunate to have well qualified, motivated people to work with."
When he retires, Ostendorf said he plans to "reinvent myself because I'm not running from anything or to anything. I just want to do something different."
Ostendorf will help Green get adjusted to the new job, and said "it will be a smooth handoff. This will help benefit the clinic, as well as myself."
Green is excited to take over and said he is anxious to continue helping people.
"Recovery is possible," he said. "With the right tools and support, people can recover and lead healthy lives. We're keeping hope alive, and I'm very excited about the opportunity to become part of the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic team."