April 19, 2019

 Nevada’s Unique Partnership Places Peer Recovery Coaches in Dignity Health’s Neighborhood Hospital Emergency Departments

Every single day 192 families throughout the United States lose a loved one to drug overdose. Foundation for Recovery (FFR) and Dignity Health are joining forces with ConnectED to help address the nation’s worst public health crisis of the 21st century.

Launching this month, Nevada’s first of its-kind pilot project places Certified Peer Recovery Coaches at Dignity Health’s four Neighborhood Hospital Emergency Departments (NHED) to help bridge a critical gap in Nevada’s response to the opioid crisis.

FFR, Nevada’s only Recovery Community Organization – RCO, has been helping people and their families achieve long-term recovery from the disease of addiction since 2005.  

As part of this effort, the nonprofit will now deploy Certified Recovery Coaches to assist Nevadans admitted to NHEDs as a result of an overdose, adverse drug reaction, or other alcohol/drug related medical crisis or incident.  The coaches will connect ER patients with community resources, including overdose prevention, education and harm reduction. This pilot initiative is generously funded the Dignity Health’s Community Grant Program and implements best practices from similar demonstration projects successfully by other RCOs across the country.

We have seen first-hand the value of authentic peer recovery support services in helping people achieve and sustain long term recovery,” said Dona Dmitrovic, Executive Director of FFR.  “The partnership synergistically leverages our resources and areas of strength, creating a new and much needed intersection for dialog at the time of need and vulnerability, planting the seeds of change and inspiring hope.”

Lived experience is the most important asset Recovery Coaches can offer.  It’s a powerful thing to be able to tell someone else who is still struggling with substance use, “Hey, me too, I’ve been there, I understand what you’re going through. Recovery is possible for you.”  Placing Recovery Coaches at the ER can be a real game changer. Upon leaving the ER, individuals are equipped with knowledge of community resources, but it is having their coach’s phone number that is likely to make the biggest difference at first.  No judgment but the beginning of a supportive conversation about what they want their recovery to look like and what support they need to get there.

The role of a Recovery Coach is to inspire hope that people can and do recover; walk with people on their journeys; dispel myths about what it means to have a mental health condition or substance use disorder; provide self-help education and link people to tools and resources; and support people in identifying their goals, hopes, and dreams, and creating a roadmap for getting there.  This help is available at FFR’s Recovery Community Center.

“We are proud to be able to provide funding for programs like Foundation for Recovery, which extend Dignity Health’s spirit of Humankindness even deeper into our community,” said Holly Lyman, Director of Community Health for Dignity Health Nevada. “The Dignity Health Community Grant program continues a more-than 20-year tradition of awarding funding to local programs and organizations working to address the greatest health needs of our community. Recovery Coaches funded by our grant and coordinated by the Foundation for Recovery will help medical staff at Neighborhood Hospitals connect with individuals in need and successfully direct them to peer recovery services and other community resources.”

For more information about this project and other services, please contact Will Allphin, Director of Programs, at wallphin@ForRecovery.org or 702-257-8199 x 957.

Magda Hirsch, Foundation for Recovery, Director of Strategic Partnerships