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Tia Burroughs Clayton, MSS

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Alyson Ferguson, MPH
Chief Operating Officer

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Samantha Matlin, PhD
Vice President of Learning & Community Impact

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Caitlin O'Brien, MPH
Director of Learning & Community Impact

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Tyrone Quarterman, BA, MPH Candidate
Graduate Student

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Georgia Kioukis, PhD

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Obsidian Ridge Ranch


Obsidian Ridge Ranch Logo

Program Website
Winner Status:
Program Type:
Target Population:
Individuals with Serious Mental Illness
Long-Term Residential Care Facility

Program Description

Visualize a safe haven – a place where people recovering from serious behavioral health conditions find hope and a sense of purpose. One example can be found at Obsidian Ridge Ranch, a working ranch where people recovering from serious behavioral health issues in frontier Oregon explore interests, challenge their abilities – creatively and constructively – and take the next step in their health and healing journey. Obsidian Ridge Ranch is a rehabilitation program implemented by Symmetry Care and Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI).It is located in Harney County Oregon on a 145-acre property with cattle, horses, a garden, greenhouse, chickens, and more. Clients learn how to work on a ranch which includes building fences, rounding up cattle, caring for horses, chickens, and gardening to name a few of the activities currently in place. They also learn how to work as a team which translates to other areas of their lives. Obsidian Ridge Ranch is one component of the System of Care for adults recovering from serious behavioral health concerns in Harney County. System of Care principles guide the service delivery and care management activities in Harney County, where Symmetry Care, Inc. serves as the local community mental health program.


Obsidian Ridge Ranch is designed to be consistent with the ranch culture of Harney County. Program developers draw upon strengths of the community, reinforcing skills development that help people engage in meaningful activities useful to living in the region. The program forges new partnerships with business – the garden provides vegetables for one of the restaurants in town. This year, vegetables were entered in the Harney County fair and won a number of 1st and 2nd place awards. Clients come from various backgrounds in terms of their behavioral health needs. Clients are successfully coached to work together as a team. This increases understanding among all for the various struggles and courage that it takes to live life on a daily basis with different behavioral health needs. They are also encouraged to participate in other therapeutic activities offered by Symmetry Care such as yoga and peer mentoring.


The program’s director is the current Board of Directors President for GOBHI which includes all of the Community Mental Health Program Directors in the GOBHI region among other professionals with a stake in the behavioral health system in rural/frontier Oregon. Video: A high quality video was recently made about the program. The video was revealed at the last BOD meeting and follow-up discussions will take place about how the model was developed along with ideas about how local culture can be used to develop skills training and rehabilitation programs for individuals with behavioral health needs. The video was also recently viewed by a group of community leaders in Harney County and will be shown at the February GOBHI all staff meeting. Written Material: A write up about the program has been developed and is included in the attachments for this nomination. Additional documentation will be forthcoming on operational and financial elements.


The program is supported financially through a blend of state, county, and federal funds including encounter billing. GOBHI, a managed behavioral healthcare organization, made an investment in the program by helping to purchase the property where it is located. Harney County, through Symmetry Care, Inc. also made an investment in the property. Symmetry Care’s former CFO remains involved in a supportive role speaking to community leaders about the need and success of the program. He is also a neighbor, living on the property next door to the ranch. As mentioned, a restaurant in town purchases vegetables from the ranch (seasonally). The ranch recently made it’s first cattle sale as well.


Community Mental Health Programs, and Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers, can work with partners from public and private sectors to identify opportunities to implement rehabilitation and skills training programs that are consistent with the culture of the community/region. Through exposure to models like this, inspiration and ideas are generated which is why GOBHI supported the creation of a high quality video highlighting the program. This program will be featured at the annual GOBHI conference in the coming years where staff and clients will have an opportunity to share more details about the model, how it was developed and how it is working for the clients at Symmetry Care and Obsidian Ridge Ranch.


The following outcomes are reported by clients at Obsidian Ridge Ranch. Clients report: – learning new and valuable work skills, including the development of new daily routines and effective communication with teams. – reduced behavioral health symptoms – improved coping skills that positively impact their lives in all areas – improved relationships with family – improved ability to meet their own daily needs and self care As a new, innovative program, there has not yet been a formal evaluation of this program. That said, Symmetry Care, Inc. participates in GOBHI’s data warehouse which extracts data from their Electronic Health Records. A solid foundation for data and qualitative program analysis is in place for this program.