Pine River Institute CEO, Vaughan Dowie, Sits Down with Accreditation Guru

Located near Shelburne, Ontario, Pine River Institute is a residential treatment center and outdoor leadership experience for youth 13 to 19 years old struggling with addictive behaviors and often other mental health issues. Shelburne is approximately 60 miles northwest of Toronto.

Pine River Institute’s decision to apply for and maintain national accreditation was based solely on internal drivers – commitment to quality and safety and to increase parents’ confidence.

Why did Pine River utilize a consulting service?

Eight or nine years ago, Pine River Institute was getting ready for its Council on Accreditation (COA) first re-accreditation on-site survey and the key staff involved in the original, initial accreditation process was no longer with Pine River Institute. Pine River Institute’s CEO, Vaughan Dowie, met Jennifer Flowers, Founder & CEO of Accreditation Guru, Inc. at a COA training event in New York City.

During a conversation with Jennifer that he learned that there were accreditation consulting services available for organizations like Pine River Institute.

Why did Pine River engage Accreditation Guru?

Knowing that the pre-work is most important and wanting good support, he engaged Jennifer. He selected Accreditation Guru, Inc because he found Jennifer to be very open to help; very knowledgeable; and, she had a good understanding of what was being asked of Pine River Institute by COA.

What was Pine River’s experience with Accreditation Guru like?

Vaughan’s experience with Accreditation Guru was very positive. With Accreditation Guru’s support, Pine River Institute was able to successfully navigate the accreditation process. Jennifer was always available; always able to answer questions; always came through! Her approach was down to earth with realistic answers. In fact, his initial experience led to “repeat business” and Pine River Institute has partnered with Accreditation Guru several times for COA re-accreditation. Each time, less support was needed as Jennifer helped PineRiver Institute to learn to “walk by itself.

Uniqueness of Pine River

Pine River Institute is unique in that it provides a “traditional” residential as well as an outdoor wilderness therapeutic program. Although both programs involve risk and exceptional risk management, the wilderness program has greater risk.

All programs are somewhat unique and special, but accreditation is as close as you are going to get to a third-party oversight/as close as you can get to a proxy for quality. Parents must have faith in an organization keeping their children safe. Other quality indicators (such as testimonials) can only go so far. When you are placing your child in a place where you know no one, you want some assurance of safety and quality.

Pine River Institute has 36 beds with a current waiting list of 200 children. If parents cannot wait for a Pine River Institute opening and ask Vaughan for advice on selecting another organization, he always advises the parents to only consider accredited programs. In order to be a “grown-up” you need to be nationally accredited.

To learn more on accreditation consultation, call us at 212.209.0240 or email Rocio@AccreditationGuru.com for assistance in setting up a commitment-free phone call with our CEO, Jennifer Flowers.

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