Houston — Right Step, an addiction treatment organization with 20 locations throughout Texas and Louisiana, and Spirit Lodge, which offers personalized drug rehabilitation and alcohol treatment, are partnering with major universities to improve the quality of behavioral health education.
The partners include Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas Austin and Arlington, University of Georgia, St. Thomas University, Lee College and others.
Baylor College of Medicine’s third-year medical school students observe addiction therapy sessions—hands-on experience they can’t get in the classroom. “Right Step was our number-one, top-rated site last fall,” according to Anne Gill, associate professor at Baylor. “Right Step has always been in the top five. This time the score was 5.71 on a 6-point scale."
University of Texas at Austin has psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner students study at Right Step Hill Country (Wimberley, Texas) and Spirit Lodge, the company’s upscale, resort-like rehabilitation retreat north of Austin, Texas. The curriculum and hours of on-site programming are customized for each student, depending on each one’s intended career path (e.g. addictionology, social work, psychiatry).
Similarly, University of Texas at Arlington sends nurse practitioner students to Right Step DFW Central, which houses adult and adolescent inpatient programs, a men’s sober-living environment, and adult and adolescent outpatient programs. Students going into the psychiatric/mental health field spend an entire semester at the facility while those entering other areas of medicine (e.g. family medicine, acute care) complete an eight-hour clinical program.
“Partnering with these universities is important to us in our mission to educate the world on the negative effects of addiction, and the promise and possibilities of long-lasting sobriety,” said George Joseph, Right Step and Spirit Lodge CEO, and member of the Lone Star College Human Services Advisory Board.
Right Step and Spirit Lodge are also active participants in university research benefiting the recovery industry. Two current projects are:
- University of Georgia asked Right Step/Spirit Lodge to participate in the National Treatment Center Study. The results of this study, which will address industry trends and the evolution of treatment strategies, will be published in leading healthcare journals.
- University of Texas School of Public Health will incorporate Right Step/Spirit Lodge’s Primary Counselor-Lead Recovery Coaching into a study beginning later this year.
Whether as an incubator for knowledge or a research participant, top universities continue to choose Right Step and Spirit Lodge as partners in behavioral health education—a partnership that will, inevitably, help more people live life sober.