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  • Writer's pictureKevin Phillips

Expansion and Growth in Service to Our Community

Updated: 3 days ago

For the past decade, the community health needs assessments from our major healthcare providers in Solano County have consistently highlighted the significant impact of substance use disorders on our community. They make a case for the need for expanded treatment services in the region.

 

The most recent assessment (the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment by Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center) continued to identify substance use, including alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, as one of the prioritized significant health needs in its service area. This includes, of course Fairfield, Dixon, Rio Vista, and Vallejo. With the easy availability of cheap Fentanyl and Methamphetamines on the streets, this need has only grown.

 

The assessments reveal that substance use is a top health need among the low-income, medically underserved communities in Solano County. Participants in the study cite the lack of access to substance use treatment services, especially for the uninsured, as a major gap in Solano County.

 

ARS has stepped up to address this challenge.

 

Over the past three years, ARS has pursued an intentional strategy to fill the service gap in our region.

 

Today our treatment services include:

·       Detoxification and Withdrawal Management services.

·       Evidenced-based Substance Use Disorder Treatment in two residential settings.

·       Evidenced-based Substance Use Disorder Treatment in an outpatient setting.

·       Comprehensive Care Coordination.

·       Direct employment services for people who successfully complete treatment.

·       Direct housing services.

 

We provide a complete continuum of care. A person actively using substances today who is homeless and living on the streets, can admit to our treatment program and be housed that day and begin to heal. Once they graduate from residential treatment, they will step down to continue their recovery journey in our Outpatient program while being house in one of our transitional living homes where they will be supported as they move toward stable, secure, and permanent housing.

 

We are committed to addressing the substance use disorder problem identified by our region’s Community Health Needs Assessments.

  

Based on input from many stakeholders, the current phase of the ARS Strategic Plan involves several priorities:

 

1.     Open a new 50-bed residential facility to serve men and women of Solano County in a residential setting. Open a new 45-bed residential facility to serve men and women in Napa County. This goal will be accomplished by July 1, 2024. The Napa facility is now operational. We have applied for the relocation of our residential treatment license in Fairfield with the Department of Health Care Services. Once DHCS completes the paperwork, the new facility in Fairfield will be ready to open.

 

2.     We received $350,000 in funding from the Behavioral Health Recruitment and Retention Grant program, to expand ARS staff to support our continued growth. Our Recruitment and Retention and Community Relations specialist actively seeks out and recruits new staff to support our expansion. With the support of our Chief Training Officer, we are able to deploy new staff for on-the-job training two weeks after they have joined the ARS team. We pursue a continuous recruiting process to support our team.

 

3.     We are optimizing comprehensive treatment by deploying Care Coordinators to assure treatment addresses Social Determinants of Health. In addition to meeting with an AOD Counselor, patients also meet with a Care Coordinator who completes a SDH needs assessment. The SDH needs assessment informs an SDH treatment plan that assures ARS patients who receive treatment for Substance Use Disorder also have access to food, clean water, medical, dental, visual, mental health care, and a pathway to a safe and stable home and stable employment.

 

4.     We have received $210,000 in funding from the CITED PATH development grant to develop an Enhanced Care Management team of care coordinators to be deployed in the community to reach out to the homeless population and very low-income families who may also have a Substance Use Disorder. The ECM team also provides follow-up for all patients who discharge from treatment for whatever reason. The goal of the ECM team is to assure that ARS patients continue to receive the support they need.

 

5.     We have consolidated our two outpatient treatment facilities in Fairfield into one comprehensive Outpatient office. This change creates space for individual counseling, therapy groups, and care coordination. This improves our environment of care, our quality of services to patients, and improves both the patient experience as well as patient outcomes.

 

6.     We are expanding our Sober Living Environments for patients who step-down from residential treatment. ARS has developed contracts with Solano County Behavioral Health and Solano County Probation to fund this program. ARS also recently contracted with Partnership HealthPlan of California to provide services with “Community Supports” that provides funding for post-hospitalization housing as well as longer-term support to assure our patients can secure safe and stable housing.

 

Expansion and growth are challenging for any organization. Over the past six-months, ARS staff has doubled. With the support of our Recruitment and Retention Specialist, our HR Manager, and our Chief Training Officer, we are continuing to seek out, recruit, and train an expanding team of behavioral health staff.

 

Every member of our staff matters. Each one has a voice. Each one is making a difference in the lives of the people we serve.

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