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Vitality Unlimited is Celebrating 50 Years!

Ester Quilici, CEO Vitality Unlimited

Ester Quilici, CEO of Vitality Unlimited

ELKO – From its humble beginnings in 1971 to its current multi-location service, Vitality Unlimited has come a long way.

“It was a community-based organization with public/private partnership,” said CEO Ester Quilici. “It was created by a group of citizens here in Elko as well as other groups around the state of Nevada.”

Quilici said when the federal government decided to promote community-based programs that would address alcohol and drug addiction, they reached out to communities.

“I saw the original document where nine people signed on the bottom that they wanted to be on the committee to create the Elko Area Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs of Abuse, ENCADA.”

She said the organization incorporated in 1972, then began to flounder.

Then, Dorothy North came on board in 1977.

Quilici wrote that North “… had vision, drive, talent and training as a substance use disorder counselor. She was also a good administrator and developed a good relationship with the state to apply for funding. In the early ‘80s she had an established outpatient practice, a transitional house and a detoxification program. In 1982 she established residential [care].

“When I came in 1984 she was underway in negotiating with a local developer to build Vitality Center, which was completed in 1985. We began our expansion into Winnemucca, Wendover, Ely, Caliente and Pioche. These were subsequently closed because of lack of funding.”
Quilici describes herself as an “Elko County girl.” She went to college in California and worked for some time in Las Vegas. When she took the job with Vitality she was returning to her hometown.

“I came back to take a job and the job took me,” she said. “It became a life career.”

“I’ve always said Vitality is a living organism,” Quilici said. “My job was to make sure it stayed alive because it cared for so many.”

Quilici said that in the ‘90s they developed a prison-based treatment program at Warm Springs in Carson City. There was an 82.25% success rate with this group. The program operated for almost nine years, treating over 1,500 inmates. But it, too, closed due to lack of funding.

Also in the ‘90s, Vitality opened an adolescent program in Washoe County along with a program for parolees. Lack of funding ended those operations as well.

During that time the institution started an affordable housing plan in Elko and Wells. They created Sage House Transitional Living for Men in the ‘90s.

“In the mid-2000s we operated a California state-approved DUI program, out-patient and residential program close to Lake Tahoe,” Quilici wrote. “We closed our program, sold our properties because of the difficulties operating in California, and moved our residential and detoxification program to Carson City.”

 “We are pretty broad-scoped as a company,” she said.

The operation is run as a nonprofit.

Gov. Brian Sandoval did the state a big favor during his term in office, according to Quilici. The state increased Medicaid opportunity, which allowed for more funding for the organization.

In 2017 the company took a giant leap, according to Quilici. It was one of the first to add the new behavioral health model and expand services to offer Vitality Integrated Programs. They are now a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic.

Now the center can treat co-occurring problems involving substance use disorders and mental health issues, Quilici said.

“We used to have substance abuse treatment and now most of them have a dual diagnosis,” she said.

The organization now has a psychiatrist and three advanced practitioners of nursing.


DR. Thompson Website Post

Elko Broadcast with Ester Quilici CEO Vitality Unlimited Part 1 Dec 2020

Elko Broadcast with Ester Quilici CEO Vitality Unlimited Part 2 Dec 2020

Elko Broadcast with Ester Quilici CEO Vitality Unlimited Part 3 Dec 2020

Elko Broadcast with Ester Quilici CeO Vitality Unlimited Part 4 Dec 2020

Wellbriety Flyer
Wellbriety Flyer
Mommy & Me 2
Mommy & Me 2

Vitality Unlimited hosts its first annual Leadership Summit

Over the weekend of November 23- 25th Vitality Unlimited invited appointed staff to a Leadership Summit at the prestigious and beautiful Ruby 360 Lodge, outside of Lamoille, Nevada.

Staff from both Carson City Facilities and Elko Facilities attended the event which included excellent food and drink, in a beautiful setting. The event was facilitated by Diane Hansen of What Works Consultants with the cooperation, input and participation by Vitality Unlimited’s CEO Ester Quilici and CFO Dottye Dexter.

The workshop identified staff strengths and emotional intelligence capabilities to enable consistency and policy and program Integration company wide in a fun and entertaining fashion.

Many staff had never met their counterparts on the other side of the State personally, so it was an important event to enhance interpersonal relationships with the focus on the positive advancement into the future of Vitality Unlimited.

As a highlight, the event ended with Helicopter rides over the Ruby Mountain area that was thrilling and beautiful!

According to staff feedback, they found the event a positive, enlightening and informative experience. The event’s success has prompted the CEO and CFO to make the Summit an annual event.

Vitality Way
Wellbriety Flyer
Job Seeker & Resume Writing help Group Flyer
Vitality Way
Peer to Peer Support Group

Vitality Veterans Housing Receives Generous Donation!

On behalf of Vitality Veterans Housing Program and Vitality Unlimited we wanted to thank Kika Kaululaau and Rusty Kawachi of Kika’s All Kine Grindz for their generous donation. On September 26, 2020 the first Kika’s Grindz on Da Green Golf tournament was held, and these amazing men donated part of the money raised to Vitality Veterans Housing Program.
Kika’s All Kine Grindz is a Hawaiian Barbeque Food Truck in the Reno/Sparks area. Their food and service is out of this world!!!
Kika and Rusty reached out to Heather Harzke, Vitality Veterans Housing Program Care Coordinator and expressed interest in Veterans programs in the Reno/Sparks area. In mid-August Kika and Rusty came on a tour of Vitality Veterans Housing Program. They learned about how Vitality Veterans Housing Program helps the homeless veteran population and their needs.
Giving back and helping veterans in the community is a passion of Kika and Rusty. They did just that by giving this donation. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude. It’s nice to see others in the community care about the veteran population as much as we do. Thanks again Kika and Rusty!

2020 CCBHC Annual Report


Vitality’s Heather DeAngli on How to Deal with Stress and Despair


Vitality Center gets $226,348 grant to address opioid crisis


Clinician joining Vitality Unlimited