Pine Rest launches national program for addictions, PTSD

March 26, 2010
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Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is launching its first addictions treatment program with a national marketing footprint.

Clearwood is a 90-day, private-pay program designed for people who are diagnosed with both substance use disorders and mental health disorders, said Al Jansen, Pine Rest’s corporate director for community and residential services. It has an emphasis on treating post-traumatic stress disorder, he said. It opened last week.

The 20-bed program is located 670 Burton St. SE in space leased on the Kingdom Square campus. When the complex was owned by the Diocese of Grand Rapids, it was a conference center with overnight facilities, and Jansen said the building required little alteration to host the Clearwood program.

Jansen said the PTSD specialty and, in particular, the three-month duration makes Clearwood unique in the national market.

“It’s not brand-new in the industry, but there are not very many programs that address the mental health side and the substance abuse side,” he said. “The national level programs for substance use tend to be short-term, 30-day programs, and what we’re finding is that a number of individuals either repeat the 30-day programs or are unsuccessful.”

Pine Rest hired a marketing consultant who helped the nonprofit organization find a national niche. Two more marketers are presenting the program to admissions and discharge planning staff at treatment centers across the nation.

Jansen said the program has been touted at about 10 conferences all over the country, and recently Pine Rest hosted 18 representatives of the major 30-day substance abuse programs in the U.S. from as far away as Arizona, Hawaii, Florida and Oklahoma. Referrals have already come in from those sources, Jansen said.

Also on board is psychologist Don Meichenbaum, a national expert in PTSD and cognitive behavioral modification. He was in Grand Rapids last week to train Pine Rest staff, which includes several members certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Norman Miller is Clearwood’s medical director.

The evidence-based program will use the traditional 12-step recovery program, as well as individual and group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, spiritual discovery, exercise and wellness activities, and smoking cessation. Clearwood will use a curriculum called “Seeking Safety.”

Once the beds are full, Jansen said the program will employ 15 or 16 staff members.

The cost is $40,000, which Jansen said is at the mid-point for programs in the national market.

“There’s just a national recognition of post traumatic stress disorder, especially in light of the military,” Jansen said.

National consultants, both clinical and marketing, give Clearwood a market path different from the other residential CARF-accredited substance abuse programs that Pine Rest runs, including Jellema House, Jellema Treatment Center, Women’s Lodge and Recovery Residence. Those programs are supported by a mix of public funds, commercial insurance and private pay. But financial support for residential treatment has become tougher to come by as the economy soured, Jansen said.

“In fact, I would say to survive, we have to be a national provider.”

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