Melinda’s Journey: From Addiction to Redemption at the Recovery Center

Melinda Melby

Melinda Melby’s life took an unexpected turn, one that led her through darkness but eventually to recovery and transformation. Today, as an administrative assistant and intake coordinator at the Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning, Iowa, Melinda is not only rebuilding her life but also extending a guiding hand to others on their own journeys to sobriety.

“I love what I do and the people I work with today, but if you were to ask me years ago what I would be doing today, I would not have thought I would be helping other addicts get the help that they deserve,” Melinda admitted.

Her story began in Dunlap, Iowa, where she grew up and graduated from Boyer Valley High School. She went on to receive a degree from Vatterott College and embarked on a career in clerical work while raising her two daughters, Mackenzie and Karly. However, in 1996, Melinda’s life took an unfortunate turn. For 23 years, she grappled with addiction, until 2019, when she took a pivotal step toward recovery.

“In March of 2019, I became sober and decided to get my life in order,” Melinda stated. “I received treatment at the Manning Recovery Center, and the skills I learned there helped me in my journey to sobriety. I changed my life for the better and promised myself and my kids I would do the best I could with my life and sobriety. That is the day that my new life began.”

Determined to make a positive change, Melinda embraced a new beginning. With unwavering commitment, she has remained sober for over four and a half years, achieving personal milestones, and setting her sights on further goals. In 2022, an opportunity arose at the Recovery Center for an administrative assistant role. Recognizing the chance to pay forward the support she received during her recovery, Melinda eagerly applied. Since joining the team in July 2022, her life has taken on new purpose.

“The Recovery Center is more than just a job for me,” Melinda expressed. “It is a chance to help other addicts get their lives back and show them that a different lifestyle is possible. The Recovery Center is more than just a treatment center for me and most clients, it is a safe place where patients can go to find themselves and work through past traumas. Something I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. The Recovery Center means more than anyone will ever know as it changed my life for the better, and that is why I love working here now. I get to help others in their journey to sobriety.”

As the administrative assistant and intake coordinator, Melinda plays a vital role in managing the 16-bed inpatient unit. Her responsibilities include handling referrals, conducting intake procedures, verifying insurance coverage, and offering empathetic support to patients by sharing aspects of her own recovery journey.

“Working at the Recovery Center is one of the best decisions I’ve made since becoming sober,” Melinda shared. “Working there is like having a second family. I know when I walk through those doors everyone in there has my back and is willing to help me out in any way that I need.”

Her dedication to her current role extends even further. Melinda is working towards obtaining her CADC certification as an alcohol and drug counselor as her ultimate aspiration is to evolve into a counselor so she can continue to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need.

“Melinda is such a great asset to our team,” said Recovery Center Director, Taya Vonnahme, MSN, RN, ARNP, CADC. “She cares for the patients in every aspect of their journey and works hard to help them get into treatment as soon possible. She is willing to jump in anywhere where help is needed and is a great team player. We have been very blessed to have her join us!”

Melinda’s story is one of resilience, redemption, and paying it forward. Her journey from addiction to redemption is not only a testament to her strength but also a beacon of hope for those still navigating their paths toward sobriety. Through her work at the Recovery Center, Melinda stands as a living testament that a brighter future is within reach for anyone committed to the journey of recovery. To learn more about the Recovery Center, visit

To join the MRHC team, visit or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.