PITTSBURGH – Pressley Ridge, a recognized international leader of therapeutic services for children and families announced that they are closing its Ohiopyle Therapeutic Wilderness Program on June 30, 2008.
“We are extremely saddened to make this difficult but necessary decision,” stated Dr. B. Scott Finnell, president and chief executive officer for Pressley Ridge. “However due to federal and state budget cuts in human services, capacity issues, and per diem rates we could no longer afford to operate an underfunded program.”
When Pressley Ridge Ohiopyle opened its doors in 1975, local, state and federal children service providers encouraged residential placement as an opportunity for youth to experience a fresh start in a structured environment where they could experience success. Today, the pendulum has shifted and the trend is to provide services to youth in their homes and communities whenever possible.
“As I stated during my testimony at the Health and Human Services Subcommittee of the Pennsylvania House Appropriation Committee meeting held in March 2008, most family and children service providers are facing tremendous economic pressures,” stated Finnell. “The disparity between the costs of services and the reimbursement rates for Ohiopyle were $20 – $40 per day less than our actual cost of providing services.”
This is not the first time Pressley Ridge had to make a difficult and courageous decision that would ultimately improve care for children and families. In past decades, Pressley Ridge transitioned from orphan care, began serving troubled children and adopted the Re-Education principles which continue to be the foundation of all of its services.
Pressley Ridge is implementing a plan to begin the transition of closing the program. Pressley Ridge is working closely with referral sources and other service providers to ensure children are placed and receive the appropriate care.