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Northern Pines acquires Neighborhood

Photo by Brian Hansel Wadena Neighborhood Counseling Center opened Tuesday as Northern Pines Mental Health Center.

Northern Pines Mental Health Center is returning to Wadena.

The non-profit corporation has acquired Wadena's Neighborhood Counseling Center and will be continuing services with the same 10-person staff, which includes five therapists, rehabilatative services specialists and administrative support personnel.

Northern Pines was originally formed by five counties, including Wadena, and previously operated out of the Tri-County Health Center. It presently has offices in Wadena, Cass, Todd, Crow Wing, Morrison and Aitkin Counties.

The new executive officer will be Glenn Anderson.

"It's still early days," Anderson said. "As we get our feet on the ground there are a lot of additional services we plan to bring to the community."

Business hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening and weekend sessions will also be scheduled.

Northern Pines, which was incorporated in 1964, has 4,000 clients and approximately 200 employees.

The Neighborhood Counseling Center will operate its chemical dependency services until Northern Pines obtains a license from the state.

Jim Kraemer opened the Wadena Neighboring Counseling Center in 1987.

"I think that in all health care, whether it is physical or mental, bigger is better," Kraemer said. "I'm glad mental health services will continue in Wadena. I'm just happy to have been of service to the community."