HFC Adapts to Fit Community Needs

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The grey area between inpatient and outpatient treatment presents a “gap” in services for many patients who are not a good fit for either level. For nearly 20 years, High Focus Centers (HFC) has provided partial hospital (PH) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for the “in-betweeners” – patients who need more than one session per week, but do not meet criteria for inpatient treatment. Not only must these services be clearly defined, highly structured, and offer impeccable clinical value, but they must also provide flexibility for patients who can still function in the community. The perfection of that balance is what makes HFC the best at what it does.

A program is only as good as its ability to fit the needs of the patient. HFC’s position in the continuum of care offers a unique vantage point. We are able to see major trends by observing the patients coming from higher levels of care, as well as those who may need only slightly more than what a private practitioner can offer. With 20 years of experience, we’ve established treatment protocols that are empirically validated and effective. But that still isn’t enough, because one size does not fit all. Last year, in response to the growing abuse of prescription opioids, we started a Young Adult Substance Abuse Program. Most recently, we established a new program structure for adolescents, one that is flexible but also challenges each adolescent to take an ascending journey toward a sober lifestyle.

The P.E.A.K. Program (Promoting Education, Awareness & Knowledge) is a weekly, educationally based, program for adolescents who do not have a diagnosis but who have experimented with drugs or alcohol, likely with negative consequences. We’ve tweaked our former “TAP” program slightly, but it still offers family involvement and drug screening.

Within our IOP, we started to see two distinct patient groups, and created separate programs to meet their specific needs. Our R.I.S.E. Program (Risk Intervention & Substance Education) is a two-day per week program for teens who meet the criteria for substance abuse, but would not be considered addicts. For those with severe drug and alcohol dependence, we offer the P.A.T.H. Program (Providing Addiction Treatment & Hope). Teens can come after school for three to four days per week, or if the school district deems it necessary, they can attend program for three or four full days with a schooling component included. Each adolescent is assessed and assigned to a program more closely aligned with his or her needs, and participates in groups with others who’ve had similar experiences.

In the behavioral health arena, we have observed a growing need for quality trauma treatment for individuals coming from a hospital setting. We are proud to announce the long awaited opening of HFC’s Trauma IOP. Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Seeking Safety protocols will be incorporated into a treatment regimen that eases the trauma patient into the community, with HFC serving as the bridge between the hospital setting and individual treatment with one of many skilled trauma practitioners.

Last year, emerging needs in the adult community were addressed with the addition of a daily DBT skills group for all adult psychiatric patients. Now, we are proud to announce that every adolescent psychiatric patient will also receive the same daily skills training. These concrete coping skills help patients to improve self-regulation and reduce impulsive behavior, and to increase interpersonal effectiveness.

High Focus Centers seeks to be the most valuable resource for substance abuse and psychiatric services within the community. The HFC patient is able to function in the community while simultaneously receiving intensive treatment. As such, our clinical teams have a responsibility to both patient AND community, as an acutely mentally ill or substance abusing patient can have a profound impact on everyone around him. To fulfill our responsibility, we constantly evolve as needs change. We solicit feedback from patients, families, and treatment providers to ensure that we are living up to our promises. And, we continue to pledge an unwavering commitment to be the Gold Standard in the treatment of patients and families in need.

By Daniel Gellman