Time to get Affiliated
50 employees at new facility

By AMANDA VOSS - Daily News

July 17, 2015

The exterior of the new location for Affiliated Clinical Services seen Thursday afternoon in West Bend.
Photo by John Ehlke

WEST BEND - Affiliated Clinical Services moved into its new building in West Bend last month and is offering more services, adding jobs and helping more residents.

Affiliated Clinical Services moved into its new building in West Bend last month and is now offering more services, adding jobs and helping more residents.

Construction on the $1.2 million, 7,500-square-foot office building at 111 E. Washington St. began in October. Affiliated Clinical Services opened for business June 1.

There is an open house for the community 3-6 p.m. Aug. 28 for tours of the facility, meeting providers and learning about services.

Jim Giese, a licensed psychologist and co-owner, said construction took about nine months.

Debra Pietsch, business manager, said they’ve been in business 30 years.

“We’ve been at different locations and we’ve had to adapt. (With) this one, we knew how many rooms we wanted, what sizes we wanted,” she said.

Figuring out how small or large to construct the building was a challenge, Giese said.

“We could have built it half as large, but we wanted to make sure we had a business model that made sense,” he said.

Chris Mueller works at the front desk at the new location for Affiliated Clinical Services.
Photo by John Ehlke

American Design and Build Inc. was the architect for the project.

“We moved in on the exact day we predicted,” Giese said.

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow, who owns American Design and Build Inc., was the construction manager. He said they worked with Affiliated Clinical Services for more than a year before breaking ground.

Giese said there is a stigma about receiving mental health treatment and 50 percent of families who need help are not receiving it.

“If you build a clinic that looks aesthetically pleasing in the center of town, I hope people might say, ‘It’s not so bad,’” Giese said.

There are 50 employees and Affiliated will add about three employees per year for the next five years, he said.

The service works with more than 100 people a day and 2,000 new families a year, Giese said.

He said Affiliated Clinical Services will help about 200 additional families per year for the next five years.

On Wednesday, Pietsch gave the Daily News a tour of the new building.

Suzanne Grimm works on her laptop with the view of Washington Street in front of her at the new locations for Affiliated Clinical Services.
Photo by John Ehlke

Pietsch said they strove for a calming feeling and picked out colors that reflected that.

“One thing we wanted it to be was cheery and inviting,” Pietsch said.

Sadownikow said Giese and Pietsch didn’t want the inside of the building to feel institutional and uncomfortable for clients.

“Both Jim and Deb were intimately involved in the design,” Sadownikow said.

There is an intensive outpatient program area for drug and alcohol programs. Pietsch said the program runs three hours a day, four days a week. In that same area are group rooms and offices.

There is a large break room. Pietsch said their last kitchen was about one-quarter of the size it is now.

“We have 28 providers,” Pietsch said. “That doesn’t include office staff. We couldn’t all get in. We had to go in shifts.”

Down a hallway there are several therapy offices and nurses’ offices. In the center of another area of offices is a big skylight that brightens the space.

Sadownikow said most of the facility is individual meeting rooms. There was a strong effort to make sure it didn’t feel like a bowling alley, which is why the skylight was added.

“We didn’t want a long skinny hallway,” Pietsch said. “We angled doors to make it open.”

Pietsch said patients’ response to the new building has been positive.

“They think it’s beautiful. They love the decor,” Pietsch said. “The parking lot is so much better than what we had.”

Sadownikow said a significant effort was made to keep the building close to the road.

“We made sure visitors saw a high-quality building and not a parking lot,” Sadownikow said.

Another advantage to the new building is everyone is on one level. The old building at 400 W. River Drive was three levels and Pietsch said staff had to switch offices if a patient couldn’t navigate the stairs.

Affiliated Clinical Services also leased a space across the street on River Drive, but now everything is under one roof.

“The one thing is, our services are well integrated,” Giese said.

Reach reporter Amanda Voss at .