Why Memphis?


Standing Tall in a Historic Community

The Oaks is deeply committed to lifelong relationships for long-term recovery. We live in a community that has seen its share of ups and downs, but no matter how the landscape changes, people—and their wellness and livelihood—are our passion. Perseverence and grit are at the heart of Memphis, and they’re at the heart of what we do and who we are.

So you may be wondering, why should I go—or send my loved one—to treatment in Memphis? Not only are we a touchstone of our community, but we are rooted to its history.

The legacy of our building dates back to 1916, and it was even visited by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his day.

We have inherited a longstanding tradition of medical service and rehabilitation, and we have moved with the current of the times to emerge as a premier provider of integrated treatment for those with addiction and mental health conditions.

Not only that, but The Oaks has seen and endured the dramatic shifts in behavioral healthcare in the last two decades. The history of our parent company, Foundations Recovery Network, reveals that our work in research-proven, dual diagnosis treatment with compelling results has been groundbreaking. We were pioneers in integrating treatment for substance use and mental health disorders, and our system of care is second to none.

So why should you or a loved one come to Memphis? Because we’re here. We always will be. And we will meet you where you are with acceptance and without judgment. The Oaks can provide the tools you need to live a healthy, fulfilling life in recovery; the soul of what we do is in building a foundation for you to thrive. There’s magic in the heart of Memphis, and we encourage you to come discover it for yourself.

The History of Our Building

La Paloma Treatment CenterThe building at 2009 Lamar Avenue has a rich history. In 1916, a group of women in Memphis got together with the idea of answering the growing need for medical care and rehabilitation created by the polio outbreaks of the early to mid-twentieth century. These well-meaning women joined with Dr. Willis C. Campbell, a nationally known orthopedic surgeon, to found a facility that would provide both clinical treatment and education for children suffering from the effects of polio and similar ailments. They began raising money from a variety of sources and started construction on the building at 2009 Lamar Avenue. On April 15, 1919, the hospital-school began admitting patients.

The facility became a central part of the Glenview historical community of Memphis. It was said that Franklin D. Roosevelt, who contracted polio in 1921, once visited the campus. The hospital-school remained in business until it was purchased in the 1970s by Methodist Outreach, Inc., an affiliate of Methodist Health Systems. Methodist Outreach converted the facility into a 55-bed residential treatment center for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

The facility was bought again in 2005 by Foundations Associates, a non-profit organization that specialized in the treatment of co-occurring addiction and mental health issues. The facility was named Foundations Associates Memphis, and it retained the 55 beds, treating men and women with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) and providing outpatient services on campus.

In 2007, the founder of Foundations Associates formed a for-profit management company called Dual Diagnosis Management, which purchased Foundations Associates Memphis. Foundations Associates changed its name to the one it is known by today—Foundations Recovery Network—and Foundations Associates Memphis was renamed La Paloma Treatment Center. “La paloma” means “the dove,” in Spanish, and the dove also symbolizes the spirit of hope and peace that can be found in recovery. The outpatient services provided by La Paloma moved across town to become Foundations Memphis.

In 2015, the facility took on another name—The Oaks at La Paloma—in addition to gaining a nature trail (temporarily under renovation in 2018), a music program, a new envisioning of the grounds (emphasizing the natural aspects of the property) and other elements, ushering in a brand new phase for the facility and its programs. Jeremy Pitzer became the CEO of The Oaks at La Paloma in 2017, and he and his staff are focused on creating a healing environment that fosters transformation and recovery. Patients have been encouraged to learn, grow and rediscover their authentic selves as they find freedom from addiction and mental health conditions.

In 1916, a group of compassionate people got together with a plan to care for others in their community. The building at 2009 Lamar Avenue was constructed with the purpose of restoring lives and bringing people back to health. Today, the building at 2009 Lamar Avenue continues that legacy, and a group of compassionate people are still there—making a difference in the lives of their patients each and every day.

The Legacy of Memphis

When you think of Memphis, it may be Elvis and Graceland that come to mind. Or maybe it conjures up images of Beale Street and the blues. Others think of the powerful Mississippi River that flows through town or the city’s role in the history of issues like slavery and the fight for civil rights.

Today’s Memphis is the largest city in all of Tennessee, with a population of 653,450, making it the third largest city in the southeastern United States. 

The city’s prime central location is responsible for its business development. Situated on the Mississippi River and intersected by several freight railroads and two Interstates, Memphis is home to the Memphis International Airport, which serves as a hub for FedEx and Delta Airlines. It is also home to three Fortune 500 companies: FedEx Corporation, AutoZone Incorporated and International Paper.

Not just a business hub, Memphis has much to offer culturally, with annual events like Memphis in May, the Beale Street Music Festival, The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and festivals celebrating Greek and Italian heritage. Carnival Memphis also comes around each June, bringing with it a series of parties and festivities that salute various aspects of Memphis life and its industries.

TN_memphis_01An annual arts festival, the Cooper-Young Festival, is held annually in September and draws artists from all over North America. Memphis is also home to two film festivals, the Memphis International Film and Music Festival and the Indie Memphis Film Festival.

Much of American music has its roots in Memphis, from blues and rock ‘n’ roll to gospel and country. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes and B.B. King all got their start in Memphis, which is home to the famed Sun Studios. Justin Timberlake also grew up in the Memphis area before going on to succeed in the music and film industries. Well-known writers including novelist John Grisham and Civil War historian Shelby Foote are from the Memphis area, too, which also features prominently in their writing.

Its diverse culture and host of interesting characters makes Memphis a perfect setting for literature, film and song. In the writing of Faulkner and Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Taylor, in films like Walk the Line, The Blind Side and Cast Away, and in tunes by Paul Simon, Marc Cohn, Chuck Berry, U2 and Bob Dylan, Memphis shines.

Whether you’re visiting the historic Peabody Hotel and its famous ducks, gliding down the Mississippi River, strolling along Beale Street or touring Elvis’ beloved Graceland, Memphis has much to offer.