During the last quarter of 2019, Burning Tree held its annual strategic planning meeting. This year, as every year before since 1999, The Burning Tree leadership team discussed how they could better serve their clients and the public at large. Burning Tree had greatly evolved in 2019. The launch of Renewal Lodge had been met with open arms by the community and began serving clients who had never been to treatment before or who struggled with traditional 12 step programs. Burning Tree West had undergone a massive expansion to both its facilities and services, and although still focused on collegiate age clients who need a long-term structured program, now offers traditional sober living and IOP to the Tucson community. As always, Burning Tree Ranch helped many suffering from chronic relapse find a new way to live through truly long-term residential treatment.
But something was missing. As discussions continued, the Burning Tree team quickly realized what that something was- a female-only substance use disorder program that was trauma-informed, trauma-focused, 12 step rooted, affordable yet still a shining example of clinical excellence. The team knew that if they leveraged their resources in a strategic way, they may be able to provide such a center to the community. Burning Tree’s founder, David Elliott, concluded the meeting by asking the team to take their goals into prayer and meditation and see what opportunities grew out of that faith.
While Burning Tree was planning for the year 2020, Josh and Jessica Slay were praying for guidance on how to best be of service. Josh was a successful CEO and Jessica owned and operated a thriving private practice. Josh had recently been given the news that his cancer was in remission. With this new lease on life, Josh felt God had kept him here to help serve as many people suffering from substance use disorder as he could. During these times of prayer, a thought kept coming to Jessica. She was seeing so many females in her private practice that had suffered immense trauma while also developing a substance dependence. When making referrals she struggled. Facilities either were unaffordable or did not provide the clinical services her clients needed. Jessica felt like she and her clients were always settling. She shared this with her husband, and it clicked for both of them. This was the mission laid at their feet.
Later that week, Awakenings Hill Country announced it was closing its doors- one less resource for females was available. Josh reached out to his friend and COO of Burning Tree, Peter Piraino. Josh was explaining to Peter the mission that he and Jessica had taken up and how they wanted to acquire Awakenings Hill Country, but felt overwhelmed by the task. Peter asked what they planned to do with the facility. Josh explained that they wanted to create a female-only program that was focused on trauma and the 12 steps, but that people could afford. Within the hour Josh, Jessica, Peter and David Elliott were on a conference call discussing a partnership. The four agreed to the serendipity of the situation and understood that a power greater than themselves was involved. Josh and Jessica moved quickly to become the new managing partners of Awakenings Hill Country. Burning Tree moved quickly to support the Slays and form a partnership between the two companies. God moved quickly to bring the people involved together. And so it is with great pride that we announce that Awakenings Hill Country will reopen on 2/5/2020 with new managing partners, Josh and Jessica Slay, and as a Burning Tree Programs partner company. We look forward to serving our community and continuing to create a life of excellence beyond sobriety.