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La Junta’s Regional Assessment Center

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

Southeast Health Group is passionate about serving the communities we live in through a variety of healthcare offerings. One of the newer additions to those services is the Regional Assessment Center, where people suffering from the addiction can come to withdraw (detox) in a clinically managed facility.

Manuel Soto has worked for SHG for seven years. After getting his start in a few other positions in the agency, Soto says he found his calling in the Regional Assessment Center.

“Every day I get the chance to help people, and give them another chance at success,” Soto said. “It is extremely rewarding to see them make huge steps in their recovery, and watching them go out in the community and make a difference.”

Currently, Soto is credentialed as a Certified Addictions Counselor I. He obtained this title while working for SHG, where his online courses at Seven Cedars Training were completely paid for through the agency. He will soon begin the coursework to achieve his CAC II credentialing through the same program.

“I have always felt like I have the opportunity to grow as an SHG employee. When I started working here I had no credentials, but I was interested in the healthcare field. I thought about nursing school, but that never worked out, and I ended up here. My supervisors here have always pushed me to grow and learn, and supported me through the certifications that I hold now.” Soto explained.

A day working in the Regional Assessment Center, according to Soto, can be very unpredictable. Sometimes, there is only one client to care for; other times every bed in the center is full. The building consists of 12 beds, 6 on each half, with a division down the center. One side is the Withdrawal Management Unit (WMU), designated for people detoxing, which is intended for shorter stays of 3-5 days. The other side of the building is the Transitional Residential Treatment (TRT), where clients are offered a homey environment to develop skills and resources, with the help from SHG staff members. Individuals wanting to be admitted to the TRT must meet specific criteria for the program. Soto says the most important thing to remember is that he and other team members at the RAC are there to support clients, and provide excellent care to everyone brave enough to seek treatment.

"Colorado is facing an opioid crisis; according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there was a significantly higher opioid-involved overdose death rate in the state of Colorado as compared to the national average in present years. The Regional Assessment Center is just one of the ways SHG is seeking to combat this statistic in Southeastern Colorado."

Anyone interested in employment at the Regional Assessment Center should visit under the “Employment” tab to fill out an application.

Crisis services are available 24/7/365 by calling Southeast Health Group at 800-511-5446. Withdrawal management services are available at 721 Barnes Avenue in La Junta for people who are intoxicated and suicidal.


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