YBGR opens renovated medical clinic
June 22, 2018
- By SUSAN OLP
In 1957, around the time the Yellowstone Boys Ranch opened west of Billings, Dr. Don Harr, a psychiatrist new to the area, was tapped as a consultant.
He worked with the cottage couples who helped oversee the care of the boys on campus. He primarily focused on helping discern the underlying reasons for the youngsters’ behavior problems.
“So they could approach it in a more therapeutic way than just hard-nosed discipline,” Harr said Thursday afternoon.
It was only one small part of his medical practice in Billings. Now long retired, Harr, 94, returned to what’s now the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch for the grand re-opening of the nonprofit’s Tom & Joan Scott Medical Clinic.
Employees and supporters gathered for a barbecue and tours of the renovated clinic. Several foundations contributed about $180,000 to upgrade the clinic, said YBGR CEO Mike Chavers, in a few remarks to the group.
“It’s our 61st year here at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch,” he said. “It’s about making a difference in kids’ lives across Montana.”
YBGR works with about 700 children and youth a day in community based and residential treatment services, he said. About 73 live on campus and another 60 are bused in daily for school and treatment services.
Beyond that, community based services are offered in Billings, Lewistown, Livingston and Dillon.
In an interview, Chavers said YBGR started planning about a year ago to upgrade its medical clinic, which was located on the main campus west of 72nd Street West. At the time the red-brick building east of 72nd was not in use, and it made sense to remodel it and locate the medical services there.
“We knew that we needed an updated clinic space in order to provide better services for our kids,” Chavers said. “The types of kids we’re getting are changing and we needed more nursing services.”
Despite the fact that kids who come to YBGR now stay shorter periods, they’re coming with more complex medical or psychological issues than they have in the past.
“So we knew we had to support our medical staff, our psychiatric staff and nursing staff and give them the space they needed to provide good treatment, and this project allowed us to do that,” he said.
Remodeling on the one-story clinic began in April, with the work done by Henderson Construction of Billings. Individual sick rooms were added for kids who aren’t feeling well.
The nursing station was enlarged and private offices were added. Technology was upgraded because of the need for tele-psychiatry and tele-conferencing.
“Sometimes our families can’t come and visit and we like them to be able to see their child,” Chavers said.
Video teleconferencing is available across campus, but the clinic offers a more private setting, and there’s also a conference room for transmitting staff conferences that may involve the family.
The staff includes a part-time medical director, a full-time physician assistant, a full-time psychiatrist who works remotely from Dallas, a director of nursing, a dozen nurses and some part-time contract nurses.
That’s much different from what Harr was used to when he first started consulting at the newly opened ranch. The campus, with only a few buildings, sat west of 72nd Street West.
“Some of the buildings were left over from the ranch that had been here previously,” he said. “So I had the opportunity to witness many additions and changes.”
He stopped his consulting work after several years, but returned occasionally to fill in on a temporary basis when YBGR was short of medical help.
“I think it’s marvelous what’s been done and what they’re continuing to do,” Harr said.
Comparing the facilities to what was previously available, he is impressed. The clinic is laid out well and provides staff room to work one-on-one with the youth.
“It’s almost beyond comparison to what it was on the other side of the road,” he said.
We had some pretty special visitors today at YBGR!! Maverick’s Mini Ark came out today to the ranch with their mobile petting zoo. Our kids and staff loved having the chance to cuddle and pet mini goats, sheep, a horse and a cow. I couldn’t tell who was more excited the kids or the adults!! Our residential therapy dog Emmy Lou even was excited to meet the animals
Thank you so much to Bridget, Maverick, Wyatt and Dallas Roe for bring those incredibly adorable critters out for our kids and staff!!!!!! We are so blessed to have amazing folks like you in our community and the support you have for YBGR youth.
YBGR Community Based Services staff, Kim Chouinard and Susan Frew got to take a very special ride on a very special helicopter recently thanks to Crystal Hoffman.
Crystal is a YBGR Clinical Supervisor that also has served our country for over 20 years in the Air National Guard. She is the Sustainment Services Flight Superintendent and is also a Senior Master Sargent in the Air National Guard.
During the Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift, Kim and Susan learned about how the National Guard serves our country, along with getting to see a Black Hawk helicopter up close and got to take a 40 minute ride around Montana in a Chinook helicopter. What an amazing adventure!!
YBGR is so proud and honored to have active and retired military staff working for YBGR!!!!!!!!!!
Please join YBGR and other Billings community sponsors for the 21st annual March Against Drugs and Violence event on Saturday June 9th.
When: Saturday June 9th from 12pm-130pm
Where: Courthouse Lawn, Billings, MT (217 N. 27th Street)
It Sure Makes a Difference When You Know Someone Cares
(Billings, Mont.) May 17, 2018 – “It sure makes a difference when you know someone cares” has been Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch (YBGR) motto for over 60 years, devised by founder Franklin Robbie. Franklin used the motto to describe the work YBGR does for youth in need. Times have changed, but the need to help youth has not, and this motto still rings true today.
YBGR’s Community Based Services (CBS) provides many programs and services to help youth in communities around the state of Montana. I would like to introduce you to a charming and delightful young man named Benjaymn from Billings. Ben and his family are clients of CBS’s Case Management program. Ben who has autism and suffers from a medical condition that has caused a lot of stress and pain on his nine year old body. He has had six kidney surgeries already and the possibility of having more. Ben has poor circulation and is very apparent in his little feet, they are cold and purple. Due to his medical issues and surgeries it’s hard for Ben to get a good nights of sleep.
YBGR recently teamed up with two other local non-profits, Slumberland’s 40 Winks and Blankets & Bears to make a huge but simple difference in some YBGR children’s lives by providing new mattresses and bedding. Ben received a new Tempur-Pedic bed and special NFL bedding. The whole house was abuzz with excitement and joy that Ben was finally going to be able to rest peacefully and have a really cool comforter set with his favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings!
There were so many tears of gratitude from Ben’s family, but the most touching moment was Ben’s concern when his mom began to cry. Ben grabbed his mother’s hand and looked deep into her eyes and asked her “Momma why are you crying?” and “Momma what’s wrong?” he didn’t realize that her tears were not tears of pain but of happiness. His mother Heather, explained gently to him “These are tears of happiness, momma is alright” as she hugged him to ease his fears and comfort him. Benjaymn has the most emphatic soul you will ever meet. What an absolute joy he is.
If you would like to help children like Benjaymn, please contact YBGR Foundation at 406-656-8772 or visit www.yellowstonefoundation.org. Blankets & Bears can be reached at 406-696-4308, email@example.com, or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/BlanketsandBearsMt
There are over 13,000 children in the state of Montana that don’t live with either of their parents. In 2016 Montana saw a 45% rise in the number of children in foster care.
Are you interested in helping a child in need?
Anyone who is at least 18 years of age may apply to become a foster parent. Single people, couples, people with or without children, all may be eligible. What is most important is your willingness to open your heart and home to provide an environment that protects and promotes the well-being of a child or children in need.
Therapeutic foster care provides a protective service for children where their individual treatment plan combines TFC parents working alongside treatment managers, social workers, therapists/psychiatrists, and school officials to provide these children an opportunity to reach their full potential.
YBGR is hosting Therapeutic Foster Care two-day pre-service workshop for any adults interested in becoming a foster parent on Friday March 23rd & Saturday March 24th at our Billings Community Services Location. Please join us and become a superhero to a child in need.
This two-day workshop includes information, orientation, and the required Montana State 16 hours of pre-licensure training. This training is applied towards Montana States yearly required hours.
For more information on becoming a foster parent click on the tab “Become a Foster Parent” on the top menu.
To enroll in the free Therapeutic Foster Care workshop call Kristin Sherwood at 406-222-6490