Through a variety of positions with La Hacienda, Alan Ammentorp has observed the full circle of the treatment and recovery process.
“In Admissions, our goal was to get patients in the door. In Discharge Planning, we worked on getting them out the door with a plan for recovery. Now, as Alumni Follow-Up Coordinator, the focus is to support that recovery plan.”
And he has the viewpoint of a person in recovery.
“As an alcoholic, I love seeing the patients’ transformation. The day they get here they’re in the worst shape of their lives. Thirty or so days later, those that are ‘doing the deal’ are bright-eyed. They’re reborn. They’re brand new people. I love seeing that.”
Seeing the World
A West Texas native, Alan took degrees in petroleum geology and petroleum engineering from Oklahoma State University and followed his father’s footsteps into the oil industry. His first roles mirrored his college education; then he became an insurance adjuster serving the energy sector.
His work took him around the globe. For seven years he lived in Singapore while working with clients in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia,
“This boy from Texas got to see a lot of the world.”
Patient, Then Employee
Alcoholism halted that career track and led him to seek treatment at La Hacienda in 2008. Afterward, he lived in Kerrville and returned to the campus for Sunday alumni meetings in the Bodega.
“It just felt right to be here,” he recalls.
He liked it so much that after the required two years of sobriety Alan applied for work with La Hacienda. His first job was taking calls for Admissions. After a couple of years, he transferred to Discharge Planning.
With his son Andrew in his final years of high school in Houston, Alan next became a Business Development representative there.
“During my drinking career I was not a very present father,” he says. “I was a provider; we had the material things. But alcoholism took me away from my son.”
Father and Son Time
As Andrew’s senior year approached, Alan decided to resign and dedicate himself to being with his son. “We spent wonderful time together. We did a lot of traveling and had some good father-son experiences.”
Andrew entered Baylor University as a freshman last fall, and Alan returned to Kerrville. He knew that Pam was retiring as Alumni Follow-Up Coordinator—they worked together during his previous on-campus employment. He applied for the position and was hired in December.
Making the Connection
The coordinator’s primary focus is contacting former patients. Phone calls placed one week, 90 days and one year after discharge are the primary method.
To improve his chances of making contact, Alan alters his work schedule so that some days he works evenings and once a month he works on Saturday.
Alan’s style of working with alumni is personal. He intends to become involved with on-campus activities such as the community meetings where he can meet patients face-to-face.
“Previously, my challenge was knowing all the patient’s names. I intend to do the same now.”
A Good Match
Outpatient Services Administrator Sherri Layton appreciates having a person of Alan’s experience and knowledge on her staff.
“It’s great to have Alan back. It’s rare you can hire someone who already knows the organization well and has proven their commitment to our patients’ success.”
“We were able to do that with Alan, and his return has been seamless.