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Fountain Centers


Fountain CentersThe Basics

As part of the Mayo Clinic Health System, Fountain Centers have been committed to helping the chemically dependent and their families in Mower County, Minnesota, since 1974. With eight locations available for outpatient treatment, the Albert Lea facility offers residential treatment for men, women and adolescents and an extended care program for chronic relapsers. Fountain centers offers 12-step recovery augmented by evidence-based practices and the belief that all clients should be treated with dignity.

Accommodations and Food

Located on the Mayo Health Clinic campus in Albert Lea, Fountain Center’s residential facility houses men, women and adolescents. At first glance, the main building resembles an administrative structure on an Eastern college campus. The five story brick edifice houses the women and adolescents, while the structure just behind is home to the men and a small detox unit. Accommodations are dorm style; double occupancy rooms with twin beds, a shared half bathroom and communal showers. While men, women and adolescents are on separate units, each unit has a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is a cafeteria in each building and meals are served three times per day. A salad bar is provided at lunch and dinner. Special dietary requests may be accommodated and snacks consisting of yogurt, fruit and protein bars are provided in the evening. With the exception of the adolescent unit, caffeine is allowed.

Treatment and Staff

A seven-bed detox unit is on the first floor of the men’s building. This is light detox only, overseen by the staff physician and a registered nurse. Clients requiring more intense detox are referred to the Mayo Clinic next door.

Residential treatment at the Fountain Centers lasts for 28 days. Utilizing a CBT approach, the counselors at Fountain Centers promote education and open dialogue as tools to avoid relapse. A therapist facilitates all groups and the 12-steps are integrated into the treatment plan. Each resident is assigned a primary counselor who coordinates and directs all aspects of treatment, including treatment of co-occurring disorders. When appropriate, Fountain Centers uses medication to decrease craving, minimize withdrawal symptoms and manage mental health disorders.

The women’s program is housed on the second floor of the main building in a 13-bed unit and the men are in a 25-bed unit in the building behind. Both adult treatment programs are similar in structure; group therapy topics include spirituality, interpersonal relationships, sexuality and self-concept, relapse prevention, coping skills and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Individual sessions are based on need, but typically are scheduled weekly. Clients attend three 12-step meetings per week; two are outside meetings and one is onsite. Family education is on Saturday afternoons—families learn about addiction, communication and strategies for healthy living—and visiting hours are on Sundays.

The 13-bed adolescent unit is found on the first floor of the main building. Breakfast is at 7 am, after which clients receive on-site schooling to keep them current with classes. They are in class from 8 am until 1:30 pm with a 30-minute lunch break. Group therapy starts at 2 pm and topics include family dynamics, spirituality, peer pressure, process group and coping skills. A family session is scheduled once a week, at a time convenient for the parents or legal guardians. Clients may be included in the session, depending on the recommendation of the counselor. Residents attend two outside 12-step meetings per week and one night is reserved for a fun outing. Meditation classes are on Saturday and Sunday mornings and visiting is on Sunday from 1 to 3 pm. Every weeknight at 10:30 pm the kids do a written 10th step and lights out is at 11 pm.

The treatment team on each unit includes a clinical director, mental health professional, unit supervisor, medical director, nurse practitioner, nurse manager and nursing staff, LADCs and treatment technicians. The client-to-staff ratio is seven-to-one.


Recreational therapy is an important part of the treatment program at Fountain Centers; each of the residential units employs its own recreational therapist. Time is set aside one night a week and on the weekends for activities. This includes transportation to the Albert Lea YMCA, the community rock gym and bowling, walking trails, fishing, canoeing, rollerblading, ice-skating and swimming. Clients also receive memberships to Myre-Big Island State Park. Art therapy is another extra included in the treatment protocol.

Fountain Centers also has an extended care program for chronic relapsers and those at high risk of relapse. For 60 to 90 days, they live in a sober community residence in Albert Lea with a staff of five. The goal is a peer driven community with therapeutic support. Clients participate in group therapy, recreational activities, nutrition education and meal preparation and 12-step meetings. Group counseling specifically focusing on factors associated with relapse, avoiding circumstances that increase relapse risk and developing assertiveness and independent living skills.

As an aftercare option, Fountain Centers clients can continue their treatment in one of the outpatient clinics. This means extended treatment plans and a gradual step-down in services, two things that promote long term sobriety.

In Summary

The Fountain Centers offers scientific treatment steeped in 12-step principles. Programs are tailored to treatment populations; significant for people not comfortable getting sober with the opposite sex and for parents worried about school. They provide a full continuum of care, from detox to extended residential treatment and outpatient services as well, so clients know they are supported through their sobriety. In addition, their affiliation with the Mayo Clinic means they have access to cutting edge therapies and specialty services. This is significant for dual diagnosis clients, chronic relapsers and people struggling with other physical issues.

Fountain Centers Location

408 W Fountain St
Albert Lea, MN 56007

Fountain Centers Cost

$25,000 (28 days). Reach Fountain Centers by phone at (507) 377-6411 or by email. Find Fountain Centers on FacebookTwitter and Google+

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