Leaders at renowned addiction treatment organization Caron Treatment Centers have long realized the need for enhanced medical care to address the complex conditions commonly seen in today's patients. Last week's opening of the Carole and Ray Neag Medical Center on Caron's main campus in eastern Pennsylvania represents a major step in the organization's effort to continue to bolster medical treatment capabilities.
In an interview with Behavioral Healthcare Executive, medical director Joseph Garbely, DO, FASAM, touched on several themes that reflect how a new medical hub will position Caron for the future, from enhanced interventions for chronic pain to more recovery-friendly surroundings for older-adult patients.
“Patients are coming in with higher-acuity medical comorbidities,” says Garbely. “We can deal with them more efficiently,” perhaps even being able to serve some patients that the organization could not in the past.
The new three-story, 47,000-square-foot center serves as both Caron's welcome/admission center and its medical hub. New patients will be able to meet the facility's doctors and nurses on site right away, and the added space available in the facility's detox and medical stabilization area will allow for a faster transition into therapeutic services, Garbely says.
“The space is also really important because it pools all of our nurses and doctors together,” Garbely says. This makes a collaborative approach to care easier to achieve, and it means that Caron patients from any program or unit on campus will be accessing medical support from one centralized location.
A total of $12 million of a more than $60 million Caron fundraising campaign called Open the Door was dedicated to the new medical center, a project that Garbely says was more than two decades in the making and has been a key component in president and CEO Doug Tieman's long-term vision for Caron.
“The opening of the Carole and Ray Neag Medical Center marks the evolution of addiction treatment at Caron,” Tieman says. “The complexity of addiction today requires state-of-the-art medical facilities and cutting-edge technology. It's also critical to make a significant investment in the highest quality of care for older adults, who are increasingly seeking addiction treatment and have extensive and specialized needs.”
New service opportunities
The Neag Medical Center also will house Caron's chronic pain program, with space that will allow for new services such as electrotherapy for localized pain syndromes, Garbely says. Two suites for neurocognitive interventions will be the location for services to ameliorate patient withdrawal. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, mentioned as a promising pain intervention by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) director Nora Volkow during a recent visit to Caron, is being contemplated as a new service, Garbely says.
“All of our chronic pain modalities will be kicked up to a degree,” he says.
The top floor of the new center houses Caron's older-adult unit, where there will be four additional beds from prior capacity, and where patients will enjoy single-occupancy rooms and other amenities. “Patients will be able to recover in comfort,” Garbely says, referring to both this area and the detox floor.