November 25, 2015

Parent Child Centers are the Answer

Posted in Events, Parent Child Centers, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:25 am by Lund

“Being a parent is a lot of work.  At least there’s something out there for people,” said one parent at last week’s educational event for legislators about Parent Child Centers and the work that they do in the community.  Parents and staff members from each of Chittenden County’s three parent child centers gathered together at the VNA Family Room in downtown Burlington where legislators from Chittenden County were invited to join them and hear first hand the importance of these essential community resources.

Parent Child Centers are a network of non-profit organizations serving all of Vermont.  There are 15 in total and the focus of each is to provide support and education to families with young children.  The goal is to help all Vermont families get off to a healthy start, promote well being and build on family strengths.  This support and education helps to prevent problems such as school failure, poor health, welfare dependency, family violence and abuse.   A reduction in these problems helps to strengthen every community and to ultimately save the state money further on in the life of the child.  Families who are at risk for substance abuse, mental health conditions, trauma, domestic violence and poverty face significant barriers to accessing the help that they need.  Parent Child Centers offer help in ways that take these barriers into account and form trusting relationships with vulnerable families while engaging them in services.

Parents, staff members, legislators and members of the community had lively discussion about the crucial role of Parent Child Centers in the community.

Parents, staff members, legislators and members of the community had lively discussion about the crucial role of Parent Child Centers in the community.

The need for Parent Child Centers grows every year as the problems of opiate abuse, multi generational poverty and concerns for child welfare further permeate the community.  Yet state funding has remained level since 1995.  The goal of this meeting was to help legislators to understand the work of the Parent Child Centers to gain their support for the Parent Child Center Network’s legislative platform for the upcoming session which is to request additional funding – $135,000 for each center in Vermont for a total appropriation amount of $2,025,000.

Imagine that in one year that each Parent Child Center prevents one birth to a teenage mom, one woman entering the Correctional Facility, one child being placed in foster care, and one single mother receiving public assistance.  This would save the state $2,131,041 over that year which is less than the funds being asked for in the legislative session.  Of course each Parent Child Center does this critical prevention work with multiple families each year.

“I am so thankful we found Milton Community Center,” said one Mom at the meeting while her son played in the room nearby. “My son was born prematurely and has developmental delays.  I have learning difficulties too.  Without MCC he would never have come as far as he has.  Our children are the future of our world, how we raise them and the support team that we have is so important.  Milton Community Center is my second home.  I will never forget what they have done.”

Parent Child Centers are key in breaking multi-generational cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse because they work with the children and their caregivers at the same time.  “I know I’m going to be the total opposite of what I knew growing up,” said another Mom who had used multiple treatment and family support services here at Lund. “It’s hard to trust people if you grow up a certain way but Lund is like my second family and they are there for me when I need help.” The most important investment in the community needs to happen early and in a way that best supports the safe and healthy development of children.    As Vermont moves forward in developing innovative health care delivery systems, the Parent Child Centers must remain an integral home base for families.

One mom who came to participate in the meeting shared her struggles with post natal depression after the birth of her daughter and how she searched and searched to find something or someone who could help her in the way that she needed and in so doing asked the question that was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  “I needed someone to tell me that I was doing a good job.  I needed someone to watch and learn from.  I found that here at the Parent Child Center.  But how are they going to keep doing this without the money?”

 

October 16, 2015

I would never in a million years trade one day with her” – Chelsea’s Story

Posted in Awards, Employees, RPG, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Workforce Development Program at 2:47 pm by Lund

The windows are open in Chelsea’s upstairs apartment at Lund’s transitional housing facility, Independence Place, welcoming in the first warm day of the Spring. Chelsea’s three year old daughter, Serinna, is napping in her bed wrapped in a Minnie Mouse blanket. The breeze blows lazily through the apartment. “Where shall I start?” says Chelsea. “Shall I tell you the whole story?”

She takes a deep breath and begins. Her story rushes through periods of using drugs, homelessness in the cold of the Vermont winter, repeated stints in rehab, losing custody of her daughter, her boyfriend being sent to jail and periods of despair where she couldn’t do anything but sleep all day. The Department of Children and Families became involved with her when Serinna was just over one. She was connected with Lund Substance Abuse screener, Amie Baker and Lund clinician Alice Larned, both of whom work out of the Burlington DCF office as part of ongoing collaborations between DCF and Lund to provide early screening and assessment in families where substance abuse is a concern. It was Amie who helped get her into rehab for the first time, though her time there was very short and unsuccessful.   It was during this time that Serinna wen to live with Chelsea’s mother in law while Chelsea worked so hard to get her back.

Chelsea can’t pinpoint the exact moment that things changed for her but during yet another stint at rehab when there were only a few months left before her parental rights would be permanently terminated, she had a realization. “This is crazy. Serinna misses me so much. I can’t lose her.” So she stuck at it, left rehab successfully but she was homeless and unable to be with Serinna when she left.

That’s when she knew she had to come to Lund’s residential treatment facility. She knew of the program as a DCF worker had mentioned that coming to the program would be the quickest way to regain custody of Serinna. “I came to Lund in September of 2014 and within a month, Serinna was spending some time there with me. She was so happy to be there. she was ecstatic. When she left I would cry and cry and cry. Within another month she was living full time with me and everything changed. I worked all day in group treatment, worked on housing, got Serinna into daycare, got my driver’s license, had three front teeth replaced, joined peer council, started a workforce placement position. And I had stopped using drugs. I moved here into Independence Place after seven months. They had to pick who moved in and I was everyone’s top pick. Lund helped me get everything; this apartment, furniture, money for clothes, a place at a daycare where I don’t have to pay a co-pay. Even Christmas presents. It’s amazing but I’ve worked hard to get where I am.”

Serinna begins to stir, waking from her nap as Chelsea thinks about one last question. “What do I hope for her? I hope she never uses drugs, that she goes to college and we have a great life. I want to get a house and make it good for her, not mess up. I want to her to be happy in school and help her with her homework.   I want her to be a happy healthy girl.”

“I can’t believe I let it go on so long,” she says, pausing to reflect for a minute. “I would never in a million years trade one day with her.”

Chelsea with members of the New Horizons staff and Honoring Ceremony speaker, Ryan Esbjerg.

Chelsea with members of the New Horizons staff at the Honoring Ceremony where she was voted the Kit Stone Humanitarian Award Winner for 2015.

You can read more about Chelsea’s story and her experience with Lund’s Regional Partnership Program in an interview that she recently did with the Burlington Free Press:  Vt Program Guides Parents

September 3, 2015

Treatment at Lund: A Closer Look

Posted in Program Spotlight, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , , at 4:07 pm by Lund

When you ask about treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders at Lund, you might hear the following answer.  Lund’s treatment programs are family centered, strengths based, and trauma informed. Lund uses a variety of treatment techniques, approaches and models based on the needs of the client but all are informed by those three important tenets.   This sounds pretty logical and correlates with other things you might have heard about what sort of programs produce the best outcomes but what do these terms really mean?

Family Centered:

The focus of family centered treatment is creating and maintaining healthy connections to others, especially children and other family members.  Such treatment provides a full array of services to tackle the problems that women and their family members must overcome in order to reduce substance use and improve individual and family outcomes.   The goal of family centered treatment is to create a healthy family system with good structure, appropriate roles for each family member, and good communication that allows the family to function well as a unit while concurrently supporting the needs of each individual member.

Family-centered treatment includes both clinical treatment, and community support services addressing substance use, mental health, physical health, and developmental, social, economic, educational and environmental needs for women and their families.  This sort of treatment is highly individualized based on the needs of the family and changes as those needs change.  Participation and length of involvement can look different for each family member.

Women live with their child or children at Lund’s Glen Road facility while they receive treatment.  Not only do they work to address their substance abuse or mental health challenges but they learn parenting skills and are connected to Lund’s job training, education and other family support services.

Lund_outpatient

Relationships are key in Lund’s treatment approach

Strengths Based: 

The very simple definition of this approach is self evident in the phrase – emphasis and focus on a client’s strengths.  The idea is to identify what is going well, do more of it and then build on it.  The core belief of a strengths based approach is that everybody has strengths and has the capacity for growth and change. The focus is not on the deficits or perceived failures of the client but on positive future outcomes.

Trauma Informed:

Many women who come to Lund have suffered from trauma in their past due to substance use, domestic violence or other physical abuse, sexual abuse, childhood abuse or neglect, poverty, criminal activity or other complications of life as an addict.

A trauma informed treatment approach:

  • recognizes the widespread impact of trauma on every aspect of someone’s life
  • supports clinicians, social workers and others who work with the client to identify the signs and symptoms of trauma
  • integrates the knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures and practices at the organization
  • actively works to avoid re-traumatization

Safety, trust, transparency, peer support, empowerment and collaboration are key values at the forefront of trauma informed treatment.

Between July 1st, 2014 and June 30th, 2015, 67 women received treatment at our residential facility while living with their 74 children who also received developmentally appropriate services.  65 young parents, mostly mothers but 4 fathers were also treated, accessed our community based outpatient substance abuse treatment services.  81% of women discharging from our residential treatment and 75% of participants discharging from our community programs showed a decrease in frequency of use.  These percentages are higher than national averages.

Lund helps parents in recovery to change their lives and supports them as they seek to realize the hopes and dreams that they have for their children.  Our talented, compassionate and dedicated employees are constantly pursuing training and educational opportunities in their fields because they are committed to working towards the best possible outcomes for the women, children and families at Lund.

As one client says, “The reason I keep going is for my daughter. All my work is centered around her and giving her the life I didn’t have. The work that I do at here Lund is so I can continue to raise her. I learn and practice parenting skills so I can best meet her needs. I want to get back on my feet and have my own place with my daughter. I want to put my legal past behind me. I want to provide for her to the best of my abilities. Lund is helping me do all of that.”

June 25, 2015

‘Looking Toward Tomorrow’ – Kit Stone Award Winner 2015

Posted in 50 Joy Drive, Awards, Events, New Horizons Educational Program, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Workforce Development Program tagged , , , , , , , at 12:03 pm by Lund

Smiles and surprises all around as the winner of this year’s Kit Stone Award was announced.  The recipient was completely surprised and had even been lovingly misled by a staff member in order to keep this wonderful achievement a secret. “Deb told me all week it was someone else,” said Chelsea Mitchell, 2015 honoree after she had recovered from hearing her name read out. “Oh my God, I was thinking, no way, no way, are you guys serious? I can’t believe this is happening. I was convinced it was someone else and I was getting ready to clap for her. I heard my name and was like ‘WHAT???’ Everyone had been telling me what a big deal it was and how its hard to get it. It’s amazing.  I think there’s a lot of people that do what I do so I was totally surprised and psyched.”

The Kit Stone Award is named after a former long time board member and supporter of Lund.  It is presented each year to a woman who meets the following criteria:

  • The young woman will recognize the value in using what you’ve been given to blossom in life.
  • The young woman will take the opportunities presented to her and make them work for herself, her family, her peers and her community.
  • The young woman will demonstrate a commitment to her education and/or vocational training.
  • The young woman will demonstrate compassion, kindness and goodwill for others.

Chelsea was nominated by a record 5 different staff members – Greeta Soderholm, Dinah Larsen, Deb Mayville, Jenny Labelle, and Amanda Johnson.

Chelsea currently lives at Lund’s transitional housing facility, Independence Place, with her almost 3 year old daughter.  She works in the front office with Deb, Jenny and Amanda at Lund’s Glen Road building as part of the Workforce Development program.  “I answer phones, greet people, do a lot of paperwork, copying, faxing, scanning, mail, spreadsheets.  I help the girls out with stuff and take donations in.  Wherever they need me to be, I’m there. I love it. I love helping people. I greet people and they tell me I always have a smile on my face.”

Before moving to Independence Place, Chelsea lived at Lund’s Residential treatment program for substance abuse and mental health disorders.  “I just banged the program right out. They were surprised I had such a short stay but it was good for me. My daughter came to live with me a month after I got there and I was so happy.”

Chelsea with members of the New Horizons staff and Honoring Ceremony speaker, Ryan Esbjerg.

Chelsea with members of the New Horizons staff and Honoring Ceremony speaker, Ryan Esbjerg.

In her nomination she was praised for her hard work, determination and constant commitment to doing the best thing for her daughter.  “She talks about her future, going back to school, taking the steps she needs to make, knowing things take time,” said Deb in her nomination. “What I see now in Chelsea is a woman who is determined to make the most out of her life for her daughter and herself. She’s strong, determined and presents a can do attitude. Even when she has a day when life is not easy she maintains a positive attitude, looking toward tomorrow and not concentrating on the negatives.”

“Chelsea came to Lund with a  huge uphill battle and had not been parenting her daughter for a great deal of time,” said Greeta who was Chelsea’s clinician and helped her take the important steps she needed to take before being able to come to Lund.   “Her addiction had taken a full grip on her and she had lost everything because of it. She worked so hard to do what she needed to do to get into treatment, and there were a great number of barriers. Chelsea took advantage of all Lund offered and demonstrated wonderful parenting capacities once the barriers were removed. She is getting back out in the workforce while also balancing all the busy aspects of being a single parent. She is out in the world, independent, and the future looks so much more bright for her as a result of all her hard work and dedication.”

Chelsea plans to pursue Personal Care Assistant Training through the VNA this summer and hopefully then move into a job in that field. “I’ll go to peoples’ homes, cook them dinner, do whatever they need me to do. I think I’ll be good at that. If I like it I’ll go from there and proceed to be a nurse. Right now I want to make sure I like it. It’s hard work but I’m a hard worker so I’m pretty excited,”  she said.  Though so doing would mean that she would have to leave her work placement at Lund.  “I’m debating on that at the moment.  I don’t want to go,” she admits.  “But when I leave Independence Place, I can come and sub as a residential counselor there or at Glen. I would love to work here someday. This is my ideal job.  I can start as a sub and go from there. I am 100% going to do that, no doubt in my mind. I wish I could do it now.”

Dinah’s tribute perhaps describes most succinctly the key to Chelsea’s success, “She took the opportunity given to her to take a deep breath and try to create a life that could be different and better for herself and her family.  She woke up every day with a smile on her face and a strong focus in her head to forge ahead when she easily could have given up.  She is kind, thoughtful, and a good friend to other people as well as a loving and nurturing mother to her daughter.”

Congratulations Chelsea on being the 2015 Kit Stone Award Winner.

March 31, 2015

Creating an alliance of respect – Community Health Centers of Burlington at Lund

Posted in Employees, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:26 pm by Lund

Monday afternoon in the medical office at Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment Center is a busy time. Nurse Practitioner Diana Clayton and Nurse Kaitlin Reese, from the Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) come every week to set up a medical clinic for the women and children living at Lund.   Diana and Kaitlin provide routine preventative medical care for moms and children as well as treating acute issues that come up.   They meet every woman and child who move into the building and work with the Lund staff to begin a relationship of medical care.

This partnership was started by former CHCB Nurse Practitioner, Annika Hawkins, who was experienced in community outreach. She realized she was seeing so many patients from Lund that an onsite clinic would be beneficial and make things easier for everyone. “The women feel comfortable at Lund,” Kaitlin explains. “With a lot of mental health issues, there is difficulty trusting people. Lund is a safe haven for the women and so to have a provider come into that community helps them to feel that they can trust the provider too. They feel more comfortable coming into CHCB later on when they have met someone at Lund first. It takes time to establish a comfort level with someone and here we have time to do that.”

It is obviously more convenient for the women to receive medical care in the place where they live without having to pack up their children in the cold weather, negotiate public transport and work appointments around treatment groups and daycare schedules. The ultimate goal though is to encourage each family into going to appointment at CHCB’s Riverside Avenue location as they get closer to leaving Lund and preparing to live independently.

Medical care can be overwhelming and intimidating for women who have not had good experiences with medical providers in the past due to their struggles with substance abuse. “I find that now they are in treatment, many of these women have these chronic pain issues that they have never felt were taken seriously. It was seen as malingering or drug seeking before. This is the precedent we need to work from. We need to build up relationship of trust and an alliance of respect,” says Diana.

Kaitlin and Diana work closely with Jessilyn Dolan and Leslie Swayze, the medical team at Lund and Dr. Bill Grass, Lund’s Medical Director. Before each clinic they get an update from Jessilyn and Leslie about each client on the schedule that day and then before they leave they pass on the important items and updates from each visit that might need to be shared with the client’s larger team. “Jessilyn is the glue between us,” says Diana. “She doesn’t hesitate to get in touch with us to confirm the accuracy of what the clients are telling her or to find more information.”

Leslie Swayze, Diana Clayton and Kaitlin Reese onsite at Glen Road

Leslie Swayze, Diana Clayton and Kaitlin Reese onsite at Glen Road

This collaboration has already expanded since it began in June of 2014. . The first provider from CHCB came alone and now Diana and Kaitlin come together. Diana is a lactation consultant and has met with staff at Lund to see how she could be helpful in supporting breastfeeding. CHCB also brings in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Anna Leavey, twice a month to meet with clients and provide additional mental health support.   CHCB reports that in the last eight months, Diana has seen 87 women and children onsite at Lund and that there have been 340 patient visits since the program began.

The docket is full every Monday afternoon and the exchange of information between the medical and treatment teams at Lund and providers at CHCB is lively and comprehensive. This is a successful, practical partnership that is working now and that has real benefits for the women and children in the future. “I think this is a really important role to play as the women grow into motherhood,” says Diana. “There is a huge opportunity to change the dynamic of the relationship between these women and their providers. It’s such an important example to set for their children.”

February 12, 2015

Burlington Tedx Ed Brings Together Teachers, Parents, Advocates for Young People

Posted in Events, Lund Early Childhood Program (LECP), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:39 pm by Lund

“Because everyone knows that it’s not OK to take food from the fridge and use your  body to smear it all over the floor, right?” Asked Gail Rafferty during her recent TED talk at the Burlington TEDx Ed put on by Building Bright Futures and Let’s Grow Kids.  Gail, a Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Coordinator at Howard Center in Burlington, was recounting a moment from her children’s early years when her inattention and distraction led to an extremely joyful session of ‘yogurt skiing’ while her back was turned.  Her talk titled, “Parenting: A Completely Natural and Improbable Undertaking” spoke about the need for all parents to connect to each other, to support each other and to have help in parenting so that moments of inadvisable food use become happy memories and not triggers for anger and regretful snap decisions.

Gail’s was one of 8 TED talks from local educators, consultants, and medical professionals all themed around growing up. Hosted and emceed by Jane Lindholm, the talks took us from the power of play to basic brain development to parenting advice.  All were sprinkled with compassion, humor and genuine amazement at the power and limitless potential of children.  Some were more scientific and presented hard data about brain development and the current pattern of investment in educational systems and some used rubber chicken feet.  Lisa Guerrero of ‘Serious About Play’ waved them provocatively at the audience trying to find out who had lost their play instinct and who was ready to dive right in and allow themselves to remember and revel in the power of play.  And some of the talks called a little upon on the magic of childhood.  Tracey Girdich, an interventionist in the Early Childhood Program of the Child, Youth and Family Services division of Howard Center, described how she entices children into connection, social thinking, early literacy and therapeutic play by telling stories with fairies who come out of her sparkly story box.

The stage at Main Street Landing with a fleet of bikes, a sure symbol of growing up.

The stage at Main Street Landing with a fleet of bikes, a sure symbol of growing up.

All of these ideas, theory and scientific insight was translated into practical advice that anyone who spends time with children could take away and apply.  Read, tell stories often, model the behavior you want to see, listen, play without inhibition.  Mark Redmond, Director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services made this concrete in his talk entitled, “What Advice Would you Give a Room Full of Parents?”  There was a furious shuffle of note taking as Mark gave  insights from his own parenting journey and his work as Director of an Organization that works with young people battling homelessness and substance abuse.  His bulleted list of advice can be boiled down to this – be there, love unabashedly, and hold kids accountable.

With conversation and opinion sharing well facilitated by Jane, a welcome musical break from A2VT with their irrepressible hit ‘Winooski My Town’ and several videos of talks from the National TED stage, the day was filled with the vibrant exchange of information and inspiration.  The talks were filmed by RETN and will be added to the TED website in March so they can be shared widely and enjoyed by those who couldn’t get tickets to this sell out event.

Now since I have finished putting up a picture of Jackie Robinson (share stories of inspirational people with children) while enjoying yet another viewing of ‘Winooski My Town’ on Youtube (connect with people from different cultures and embrace community), I think I might go and see if the Preschoolers want to do some yogurt skiing…

Jackie loves yogurt

December 19, 2014

Spotlight on the Residential Counselors – Part 3

Posted in Employees, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , at 5:05 pm by Lund

The residential counselors at Lund are on the front lines of looking after the women and children living at Glen Road in so many meaningful and important ways.  But they also take time to bring the fun to holidays, activities, meetings and sometimes, just to the every day.  Thank you to a wonderful team who put the well being, success and happiness of the residents at the forefront of everything they do.

IMG_0749 20141030_191706 counselors2 IMG_5781  IMG_7411

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 18, 2014

Spotlight on the Residential Counselors – Part 2

Posted in Employees, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , at 1:54 pm by Lund

One afternoon last week the dining room at Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment Center was alive with activity as residential counselors and residents were making paper snowflakes together to celebrate the season and make their rooms and common spaces look festive.  The counselor leading the activity was in and out of the room looking for more scissors and tape to make sure everyone had what they needed.  The residents were quick to ask whether they could take their creations away to hang where they wanted.  Everyone was engaged in completing the activity until it was time for transports to leave to bring the moms to childcare to pick up their children and transition everyone into dinner time and evening activities.  Upstairs in one of the counselor’s offices, two counselors were chatting with a resident who had her baby in the office with her lying in a bassinet happily listening to the goings on and gumming on a teething toy.  Further down the hall another counselor, with a toddler balanced on her hip, was discussing a problem with the washing machine in one of the pods with another resident.  This normal afternoon scene demonstrates the diversity of the requirements of the counselor’s jobs.  There is always something that needs to be done and it could be arts and crafts, parenting support, driving, companionship or even washing machine repair.  This team stays on their toes and does what needs to be done to support the moms and children living at the facility, whatever that might be.

When asked what their favorite part of their job was, celebrating holidays came to forefront for many of the counselors.  “I loved spending time with the few residents who were here over Thanksgiving,” said Audrey Rose. “It felt so special to spend the family day with them and relax with the clients who were present.”  Lauren Ozzella, Residential Shift Supervisor, seconded this appreciation for spending holidays with the clients, “One of my favorite memories is working at Lund on Mother’s Day. Since it can be a bittersweet day for some of our clients we do lots of fun things to make them feel special and appreciated. Last Mother’s Day was great; clients and staff alike had a great time! One of the mom’s actually wished me a Happy Mother’s Day as well. She explained that she believes that counselors are sort of like mothers to them and their children, too, and that she thinks that we also deserve to be appreciated on Mother’s Day. That was so unexpected and touching; it’s something that I will always remember.”

Keep reading to meet some more of Lund’s wonderful residential counselors.

Thomas  Natasha is extremely dedicated to that work that she does as a counselor.  She is a great support to our clients and to her team members alike and is always finding ways to make everyone laugh.

 

 

 

 

Ozzella Lauren  is a fantastic and strong leader on the team.  She is understanding, empathic, positive and motivating. Lauren takes charge and is confident in her abilities. She promotes team morale and cohesiveness.

 

 

 

Manchester J  Jessica is a great asset to the evening and weekend team.  She is straightforward, consistent and reliable.  Jessica is positive, happy and a great person to be around.

 

 

 

 

 

Daugreilh  Ashley  ensures that all runs smoothly on her shift and she is a strong advocate for her staff. Ashley balances compassion with boundary setting and limits with our clients.   She has a witty sense of humor that keeps us all in good spirits!

 

 

 

 

 

Campbell  Sarah has worked for several years as a counselor in the residential program and at IP. Currently Sarah works part-time as a daytime counselor while she completes her BSW/MSW program. Sarah has a huge heart, which is evident through the work that she does with our clients and their children.

 

 

 

 

 

Michaud  Katy makes anyone around her smile! She is positive, calm and has a can do attitude about everything. Nothing rattles Katy she is able to handle most anything that is thrown at her during her shift.

 

 

 

Mumford After working as an overnight counselor and then as a full-time evening counselor, Anna has recently transitioned into a part-time shift while she completes her MSW program. She is fun and creative and is always the first to volunteer to play with the toddlers in the play lab during dinner chores.

 

 

RiversMichaela is part of our weekend evening and overnight team. She is a great team player and always takes the initiative to get things done with a smile on her face. Michaela is kind and compassionate; she is a great support to our clients and does not shy away from challenges.

 

 

Rose Audrey has been working at Lund for two and a half years. She is well known in the counseling department for planning and facilitating our weekend trips and activities. She is kind, caring, patient and is very dedicated to her work.

 

 

JoyceDanielle always goes the extra mile and can be counted on to get things done. Danielle is thorough in everything she does and we never have to worry that something won’t get completed. Danielle is also very very funny. She has a great sense of humor which is appreciated in her work with staff and clients.

 

 

Screen shot 2014-12-16 at 2.09.46 PM  Heidi is the newest member of the counseling team, working weekend mornings. Heidi has great knowledge and skills and jumped into her new position with two feet. Heidi has very quickly become comfortable in her position and is already working with our clients with confidence.

December 16, 2014

Spotlight on the Residential Counselors – Part 1

Posted in Employees, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , at 2:06 pm by Lund

Lund’s residential treatment program is the only place in Vermont where women can receive treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues while living with their children.  26 women pregnant or parenting women can live with one or two children up to age 5 at Lund’s Glen Road facility.  The program is staffed 24 hours a day to support these women and their families as they manage their own recovery, learn parenting and life skills and work towards self sufficiency.  The residential counselors who work daytime, evening, overnight and weekend shifts are an absolutely essential part of the program and provide all manner of support to the women and children from providing respite during the night, giving parenting support, planning family activities, doing chores, driving to appointments and helping moms deal with all the challenges that arise from parenting or pregnancy.    The counselors have been called the ‘glue that holds the program together.’

Last Friday the counselors held their holiday party sharing treats and exchanging ‘Secret Snowflake’ gifts.  It was unusual for so many of them to be in the same place at the same time as their shifts are often opposite and rarely can everyone be in a room at the same time as someone is usually needed on the residential floors or to accompany clients to appointments.   It was fun to see everyone celebrating and sharing the season together.  By necessity the  counselors work closely together and you can see it in the way they interact with each other.  It is clear that this is a passionate, dedicated and hard working team which of course is hugely beneficial to the families they work with.

Please read on for  ‘Meet the Counselors: Part 1’ and learn more about their work helping children and families to thrive.

JacksonJamie works the morning shift.  She is eager to be involved with resident’s treatment and is gracious in holding limits with them . Jamie is particularly enthusiastic for Saturday morning activities with clients.

 

 

Wood AAbi is hailed as having a perpetually positive attitude and has been commended for her calm and soothing presence during the morning rush.

 

 

 

 

PageKatelynn is a big fan of arts and crafts and she really enjoys engaging clients in art projects to make their time at Lund feel special. Katelynn in quietly determined with clients and supports consistently through challenging times.

 

 

 

ConroyKelsey is a fantastic team player and has worked all different shifts with consistency and reliability.  She is now working as a sub while she is in grad school. Kelsey presents herself with such a calm demeanor and radiates positivity throughout residents and staff member.

 

 

WhiteAlyse is happiest when playing with her toddler friends and always brings humor to any situation. Alyse is flexible and is able to handle any situation with ease that is thrown her way.

 

 

 

DeweyLaura is always helping out clients either one on one or in a group setting. Laura brings strength in play therapy to the evening team which is evident in her work with our kiddos! Laura is extremely patient and kind and is always willing to go the extra mile for any client.

 

 

 

 

WestBridgette’s passion for this job is evident in all the work she does. Team members describe Bridgette as committed and passionate and always able to make them laugh.

 

 

 

MbayuTeam members believe Francine has a solid “mom” presence for the women here and is always willing to lend a hand. Francine is appreciated for her hard work and her continual smile.

 

 

 

 

LeachDianne is always on the go doing something for other people. Dianne is always able to give great feedback to clients and really grow a bond with them.

 

 

 

Brot Liz is a team player and is often seen at L&D in her favorite spot overlooking Burlington. Liz brings strength in child development to the evening team and is able to help moms in any tricky situation. Liz often has a “can do” attitude that becomes contagious to other staff.

September 25, 2014

An Introduction to Medication Assisted Treatment and the Hub and Spoke System

Posted in Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , at 7:08 am by Lund

What is medication assisted treatment ?

Medication assisted treatment (MAT)is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of opiate addiction. Research shows that when treating substance use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful. Medication assisted treatment is clinically driven with a focus on individualized patient care.” SAMSHA, www.dpt.samsha.gov. MAT is most effective in those who have suffered from continual relapses.

What medications are commonly used in MAT?

The medications most commonly used by clients at Lund’s residential treatment facility are methadone and buprenorphine. According to the Vermont Department of Health, the majority of MAT patients receive buprenorphine prescribed by a physician in a medical office setting. methadone, unlike buprenorphine, is a highly regulated addiction treatment medication and is only provided in specialty clinics.

Methadone is a medication for people dependent on opiates, who have often battled addiction for a long time and are taking high doses every day to avoid withdrawal. Methadone can be very dangerous medication if used outside of medical monitoring and federal regulations are very strict to ensure safety when using methadone. More people die each year from illegal use of methadone than any other medication. Methadone is dispensed daily at a clinic and those pursuing this course of treatment must visit the Chittenden Clinic daily to receive their dose.

Buprenorphine is an alternative course of treatment for opiate addiction, appropriate for those who have enough maturity, discipline and stability to participate in an office based program. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist which makes it a safer medication with less chance of overdose.

What is the Hub and Spoke method of substance abuse treatment?

Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. Vermont is ranked the 34th worst of all the states in the non-medical use of pain relievers and for the first time ever, treatment admissions for opiate addiction surpassed that of alcohol addiction. In addition, drug diversion continues to be a problem for many reasons. In response to this problem, The Agency of Human Services (AHS) in collaboration with community providers proposed a coordinated, systemic response to the complex issues of opiate and other addictions in Vermont, now referred to the Hub and Spoke model, or “Care Alliance for Opioid Addiction.”

Although this initiative initially focused on creating capacity in the system for adequate medication assisted treatment for the increasing numbers of individuals with opiate addictions, it also created a framework for integrating treatment services for other substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders into a medical home model. In addition, this treatment approach is proposed to help reduce recidivism in people who have been incarcerated and enhance outcomes for families where addiction is an identified problem for child welfare.

Very large waiting lists for methadone indicated insufficient treatment capacity and fewer providers have been willing to prescribe buprenorphine for new patients. With more Vermonters seeking treatment for opiate addiction every year, this difficulty of access to MAT is a problem. The Hub and Spoke system reaches more people and provides more MAT options for patients. It also offers increased supports directly to physicians in medical office settings, assisting them in effectively managing and treating patients.

This helpful diagram from the Vermont Department of Health illustrates the Hub and Spoke system

This helpful diagram from the Vermont Department of Health illustrates the Hub and Spoke system

What is a Hub?

A Hub is defined by AHS as “a specialty treatment center responsible for coordinating the care of individuals with complex addictions and co-occurring substance abuse and mental health conditions across the health and substance abuse treatment systems of care.” www.healthvermont.gov/adap/treatment

A Hub is designed to do the following:

♦ Provide comprehensive assessments and treatment protocols.

♦ Provide methadone treatment and supports.

♦ For clinically complex clients, initiate buprenorphine treatment and provide care for initial stabilization period.

♦ Coordinate referral to ongoing care.

♦ Provide specialty addictions consultation and support to ongoing care.

♦ Provide ongoing coordination of care for clinically complex clients.

What is a Spoke?

A Spoke is defined by AHS as “the ongoing care system comprised of a prescribing physician and collaborating health and addictions professionals who monitor adherence to treatment, coordinate access to recovery supports, and provide counseling,

contingency management, and case management services” www.healthvermont.gov/adap/treatment

Spokes can be:

♦ Blueprint advanced practice medical homes

♦ Outpatient substance abuse treatment providers

♦ Primary care providers

♦ Federally qualified health centers

♦ Independent psychiatrists

What does this look like here in Chittenden County?

The HowardCenter’s Chittenden Center Clinic is the Hub for Northwestern Vermont including Chittenden, Franklin, Addison and Grand Isle Counties.  The Chittenden Clinic has two locations – one at the University Medical Center and the other on San Remo Drive in South Burlington. The Spokes consist of 200 prescribing physicians in a variety of medical and behavioral health outpatient settings. Lund recently became a Spoke.

How did Lund become a Spoke?

In order to become a Spoke, Lund needed to add a Medical Director to our existing substance abuse treatment program. Dr. William Grass is the current Medical Director. His responsibilities include tending to the general and mental health needs of clients, acting as a consultant to the nursing team and to the clinicians and monitoring and evaluating urine test results. A crucial part of his work is evaluating and managing medication assisted treatment for our residential and community clients Dr. Grass is at Lund one day a week and also runs his own private psychiatry practice where he has practiced as a spoke physician for several years. Dr. Grass sees the benefits of MAT in Lund’s treatment program but as one part of a wider approach , “Life skills and parenting education are also an important part of treatment. MAT expands access to this sort of treatment in a population of people where opioid use disorder may be more prevalent than in the general population. Through the Hub and Spoke system, we’re able to expand access in a specific population of people. Healthy families mean a healthy future and that is important.

Lund’s residential and community treatment leadership team began conversations with Vermont’s Blueprint staff, who oversee Spoke implementation for Chittenden County, early in 2014. As a formal Spoke provider, Lund now receives funding from Vermont Health Access to deliver the comprehensive health services to clients receiving Spoke services, which optimizes treatment and health outcomes.

Having Dr. Grass on staff expands the medical team. Lund’s nurse, Jessilyn Dolan, is glad to have him on board, “Our clients’ medical needs have increased and become more complex over the last few years and it is very useful to have him to consult with. It is also really helpful to have a prescribing physician on staff so that if there is a time crunch with a new resident coming in who needs medication or a medical emergency, we have him to call on.”

Is MAT for everyone?

Not all people who have struggled with opiate addiction use medication assisted treatment. Having Dr. Grass on staff allows for him to consult with treatment teams and assess each client’s treatment plan and help decide whether MAT might be beneficial. As of the writing of this article 42% of clients at our residential treatment center are participating in MAT.

Medication is just one part of Lund’s treatment approach and is not appropriate for everyone.  Lund offers a comprehensive approach that includes clinical and psychiatric services, health care, education and case management to pregnant and parenting young women, their children, and other key family members. Our therapists, teachers and caseworkers not only assist women in their recovery from substance abuse or mental health issues, they help them identify their strengths and maximize their potential by offering parenting education, as well as life skills and job training.

Next page