Build Me Up: Transforming Addiction Recovery with Monarch Health
Addiction is a prevalent issue in the U.S., and often one that gets swept under the rug. Those who are suffering from addiction can often slip through the cracks in the medical system. It becomes a cycle of emergency room visits, using methadone to treat overdoses and withdrawals, without any treatment plan to help the patient to recovery. Dr. Mike Repplinger and Dr. Howard Croft, two emergency medicine specialists, grew frustrated with the holes in the system that was failing those suffering from addiction. That is when the innovative treatment model for the Monarch Health Addiction Recovery Clinic, opening in Madison, Wisconsin, was born.
The clinic will serve as a “one stop shop” for the recovery process, with medical treatment, substance abuse counseling, pharmacy, lab testing, and case management all on one site. The clinic will tailor each patient’s treatment process to their individual needs, acknowledging that recovery is not a “one size fits all” endeavor. On the latest episode of the Build Me Up podcast, Dr. Mike Repplinger and Clinic Manager Sheri Rettew discuss Monarch Health’s innovative treatment model.
Addressing the Addiction Crisis
While Dr. Repplinger acknowledges the benefits to using methadone, he saw problems with how these programs were implemented. Many of his patients were single parents, had multiple jobs, and were unable to sustain going to a methadone clinic daily to get a dose of the medication. Rather than continuing that cycle, Dr. Repplinger wanted to develop a treatment model that would care for the whole person, rather than put a band-aid on their addiction. Sheri started her career in North Carolina, working in the non-profit world. She worked closely with substance abuse cases, and found that addiction often stemmed from some sort of trauma, abuse, or psychological pain. While stereotypes often cast addicts as bad people, Sheri knows that they are just trying to take away some sort of pain. Rather than sweeping those aspects under the rug, Monarch Health seeks to address every barrier keeping their patients from living an alcohol or drug free life.
Substance abuse doesn’t happen in isolation, and Monarch Health seeks to make the recovery process as easy as possible for patients. In a traditional care model, patients have to seek medical treatment, pick up medications, and go to counseling all in separate locations. All this driving across town can make the recovery process much more difficult. Monarch Health removes those barriers, with everything the patient needs all in one space. By making the process as convenient as possible for patients to access every piece of care they need, Monarch Health is maximizing their chances of success.
Inside the Monarch Health Addiction Recovery Clinic
An important part of the Monarch Health model is creating a welcoming space. The fluorescent lights and white walls in hospitals can feel very off-putting, and Dr. Repplinger and his team wanted to create a space that patients would want to come back to. Designed by GMK Architecture, Inc. and built by Kraus-Anderson, the 5,500-square-foot renovated space is full of natural light and color. The entrance has a wall of windows that maximizes daylight, and the flow of the building allows for easy transition from one area to another. The clinic is located right next to a bus stop so patients are able to get there conveniently. In addition to medical treatment, counseling, a pharmacy, and lab testing, Monarch Health will employ case managers to help patients access resources in the community, whether it be housing, work, transportation, childcare, or any other barrier. All this is put in place to ensure their patients that they care about the whole person, and recovery is much more complicated than quitting the substance they are addicted to.
To learn more about the Monarch Health Addiction Recovery Clinic and the opioid crisis, tune in to the latest episode of Build Me Up. You can subscribe to Build Me Up wherever you listen to podcasts.