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Early in 2011 a group of mental health professionals, all long-time colleagues working together in a rural community, began a process of collaboration for the purpose of pursuing a responsive and fiscally responsible model of service to the region.
Testimonials and Endorsements
Cooperative Collaboration Endorsements
Following are endorsements from individuals who heard Kevin Schmidt speak at the 2012 U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives Conference in Boston, Mass.
President, Union Cab of Madison Cooperative
I heard Kevin Schmidt speak at the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives conference in June 2012. His commitment to the cooperative principles had me laughing, crying, and applauding on my feet.
One set of remarks he made was especially striking. He described his initial difficulty subscribing to the 4th cooperative principle, “autonomy and independence.” He said that he could not operate as a therapist independent from his client…that the care he provides is deeply connected to the needs of the people he serves, rapport and cohesion with the client are central to his practice: ‘Our co-op is integrated with the community, not autonomous from it.’ Then they realized that this principle suggests autonomy from regressive or inefficient bureaucracy, that the therapists would provide care based on the client’s need. Providers making choices to provide – that is autonomy.
Isthmus Engineering & Manufacturing
Dear Center Point Counseling Cooperative,
Thank You for allowing Kevin Schmidt to participate in the Madison Cooperative Business Conference and the US Federation of Worker Cooperative Conference.
At both events Kevin’s presentations about your organization were a huge success and they generated an incredible amount of discussion both locally within Wisconsin and nationally (there was even some international attention).
We greatly admire what you are doing for; your membership, your community; your profession, and the Worker Cooperative movement.
Thanks again –
On behalf of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, MadWorC, and Isthmus Engineering
West Bridgewater Massachusetts
On June 23rd, 2012, I attended the US Federation for Worker Cooperatives national conference in Boston. The weekend was full of some of the headiest cooperators discussing their models, triumphs, challenges and stories. The conference’s opening session was an unexpected treat– Kevin Schmidt presented the founding story of Center Point Counseling Services, a newly incorporated worker co-op. I can’t think of a better way to have kicked off the conference.
Kevin Schmidt is one of the founders of Center Point Counseling Services Cooperative in Viroqua, Wisconsin. He has an amazing energy when it comes to the work of his co-op. To hear Kevin’s words about the strengths of his community and also its challenges were inspiring to say the least. Center Point provides mental health services to the members of Vernon County and nearby areas, and as he described the amazing work that his co-op is doing, there was not a pair of eyes in the auditorium that was not glued on him. The passion with which Kevin spoke about serving his community was intensely humanizing. Center Point’s passion and energy to serve their community in a way that is fiscally responsible and transparent is what all worker co-ops strive to do. Serve, survive and thrive!
Dirk Prindle, CPA
Partner, Carlson Highland CPA
Thank you for speaking not only to the Boston crowd but also at Madison. Your presentations gave everyone inspiration towards the growth of worker cooperatives.
It was also great to have the opportunity to talk with you one on one about how your cooperative came to be. I have been thinking quite a bit about the health care industry as a whole and what a cooperative network might be able to accomplish for health care. We need to think of these industries, and not see them as set in stone. Thank you for breaking the ice in your industry.
Watch Kevin Schmidt’s Guest Blog from coopcommonwealth.com:
Self Help & Collaboration results in a Mental Health Worker Cooperative
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