Community service is central to the mission at Amethyst Inc.

Virginia O'Keefe, co-founder and CEO, Amethyst Inc.

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award
for Community Service — Columbus
Executive Director of the Year

Amethyst Inc. has made it its mission to serve women and children in the Central Ohio community who are most in need of a helping hand.

In October 2009, Amethyst ― led by co-founder and CEO Virginia O’Keeffe ― became the first addiction treatment center in Ohio to implement a supported employment program. The vision of the program, supported by funding from The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and the Wohlgemuth-Herschede Foundation, is to enhance the educational and socioeconomic skill development of Amethyst women. Supported employment at Amethyst has a dual purpose: to provide economic independence through the attainment of competitive employment and to advocate for social change by working with local employers to reduce stigma and raise awareness of the employment barriers Amethyst clients sometimes face.

Amethyst also focuses its efforts on the challenges faced by single-parent families dealing with addiction. Its programs focus on treating both moms and children who have been affected by addiction. Amethyst families are strengthened through education, behavioral modification, increased communication skills, connection and healing.

Strengthening the family through skill building promotes meaningful family dialogue, enhancing the children’s sense of connection and safety and improving their chances of success through the program. In 2009, the treatment model effectively strengthened 37 families participating in the long-term program.

SummerQuest, Amethyst’s nationally acclaimed summer day camp, is an extension of the family-centered program. Operating from June to August, SummerQuest is a 12-week intensive intervention day camp for children ages 6 to 14, whose mothers are involved in the long-term recovery program. The camp fosters healing and emotional growth through individual counseling, animal-assisted therapy, social competency development, prevention education and good, old-fashioned summer camp activities. In 2009, SummerQuest provided more than 13,000 hours of service, serving 35 to 40 kids per day, and about 50 kids over the course of the entire summer.

How to reach: Amethyst Inc., (614) 242-1284 or www.amethyst-inc.org

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