Change coming to FD YWCA

A new executive director will lead the YWCA in Fort Dodge as the organization begins providing expanded addiction treatment services.

Ann Davidson, who has been the YWCA executive director since 2004, announced Friday that she will retire on May 3.

She will be replaced by Dave Chapin, who joined the group’s staff in November 2012 a clinical director.

As Chapin moves into the executive director’s post, the YWCA will be launching a new array of services for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. To reflect the additional services, the organization’s building at 826 First Ave. N. will be named the YWCA Center for Life Empowerment.

An outpatient treatment program, which will be open to men as well as women, will be offered through a YWCA Center for Outpatient Empowerment at 7 N. 12th St.

The outpatient center is scheduled to open Wednesday. The inpatient program is also expected to start as early as next week.

Ann Davidson

Davidson will be stepping down as executive director, but she will remain affiliated with the YWCA for at least the rest of this year. She said she will work mostly from home, preparing grant applications and working on page designs for the organization’s website.

”I don’t feel like I’m leaving,” she said.

She said she’s very proud of the transition the YWCA is making, and added she foresees lots of positive things for its future.

Davidson was the community relations director at Trinity Regional Medical Center before taking the YWCA job.

Dave Chapin

Davidson said that during the past year she looked for a qualified person who could become the YWCA director when she retired. She said that when Chapin was hired late last year, it was ”more or less the understanding” that he would be the next executive director.

Before joining the YWCA staff, Chapin was the clinical director at ClearView Recovery in Prairie City. He has previously worked in Fort Dodge at the Rabiner Treatment Center and Community & Family Resources. Chapin has also worked at United Community Services and MECCA, which are both in Des Moines.

A call seeking comment from Chapin Friday afternoon wasn’t returned.

Treatment services

Since it debuted in Fort Dodge in 1909, the YWCA has always provided housing for women. It has served as a homeless shelter for women and women with children.

In a statement announcing the upcoming changes, Davidson wrote that the YWCA has maintained its commitment to housing homeless women and children and will continue to provide that service in the future.

In 2007, the YWCA began moving to provide care for drug and alcohol addiction by becoming licensed as a halfway house treatment center for women and women with children.

The organization has now been awarded a state license to operate as a primary treatment facility for women. Davidson said it will have six primary care beds for providing those services.

She said the YWCA will provide a full spectrum of addiction treatment.

”Our program strives to be more holistic than many others,” she said. ”We know we are treating more than addiction. We want our clients to be able to experience success in all aspects of their lives as individuals, as parents, as employees and as citizens of the community. We advocate a longer length of stay with the client moving through each level of service and, ultimately, discharge at the same place where they began receiving help.”