2019 was a banner year for Maryland Addiction Recovery Center. As we continued our mission to bring comprehensive treatment services to those individuals, families, and communities impacted by addiction and co-occurring disorders, we made some tremendous strides in terms of expanding our services, expanding our collaborative professional and community partnerships, and expanding the scope of efforts to help educate and break the stigma of addiction and mental health.
Some of the biggest news came in innovative partnerships with other treatment providers. In a first of its kind partnership in the addiction treatment space, we entered into a joint venture with Caron Treatment Centers, the first initiative of the new joint venture being the acquisition of Encore Recovery Solutions of Arlington, Virginia. Encore offers intensive outpatient (IOP) and partial hospitalization (PHP) treatment services for those suffering from substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders through a trauma-informed lens. This partnership enables both MARC and Caron to further expand their organizational footprint and mission into the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia areas.
Another innovative initiative was our partnership with Ashley Addiction Treatment with our new “Recovery Ready Workforce Program.” This new initiative, piloted with the company American Design and Build, based in Harford County, Maryland, was created to equip small and mid-sized businesses with education and resources to identify substance use disorder and mental health concerns among employees and provide support for businesses without the HR or EAP resources to appropriately support their workforce.
Another partnership with Caron Treatment Centers enabled us to expand our clinical treatment and community reintegration support services. This was a partnership that created, with Caron’s help and support, the new Caron’s College Success™ Program at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center. This new program, led by new MARC Collegiate Recovery Specialist Sarah MacDonald, CSC-AD, focuses on addressing a patient’s education and academic goals and supporting them as they begin to enter or reenter the area of higher education. With support from Caron staff, Sarah works with each patient, the family, and the school, college, or university staff to appropriately transition the patient back to school while going through the MARC treatment continuum of care.
Additional exciting clinical programming growth came from the promotion of MARC Primary Therapist Arielle Seidler, LCSW-C, into her new role as Family Therapist and the creation of the new MARC Family Recovery Program (FRP.) In her role as Family Therapist, Arielle now cofacilitates the monthly Family Recovery Program and associated multifamily therapy sessions, as well as offers consultation to the MARC clinical team on family-related issues, supports ongoing family systems work, and directly participates in family phone calls and therapy sessions as needed. The new MARC Family Recovery Program (FRP) is comprised of two main components: web-based multifamily therapy sessions and a 2 ½ day in-person intensive therapeutic experience for the families of MARC patients.
We also began the process of having our recovery support staff become Certified Peer Recovery Specialists, in order to better support our patient population. Our Director of Support Services Brent Coleman and Evening TA Supervisor Jacqueline Neubauer also became Registered Peer Supervisors (RPS) and Brent also received his TOT, allowing him to train others looking to obtain their CPRS.
Outside of treatment and clinical additions, we were able to provide some much-needed support for the local community and clinical community. Through our ongoing partnership with Ashley Addiction Treatment, we offered six free continuing education events at our clinical campus in Towson for local clinicians. Some of the topics covered, and presented by outside clinical professionals, included eating disorders, self-care, trauma, EMDR, and supporting family members with an addicted loved one. We also offered additional continuing education events throughout the year in partnership with other treatment facilities such as Caron, Ashley, Tranquility Woods, Newport Academy, Sandstone Care, and Encore, including the LGTBQ-focused event in Silver Spring, Maryland “Belonging, the Opposite of Fitting In- Gender in Action”, presented by Beck Gee-Cohen.
On the community front, we were able to support The Daniel Carl Torsch Foundation, a local non-profit, and their initiative of getting Baltimore County to erect overdose awareness signs placed strategically throughout the county, a long and hard road paved by DCT Foundation founder Toni Torsch. We were able to give Tammy Lofink of Rising Above Addiction, based in Carroll County, Maryland, an Unsung Community Hero Award at the Tuerk Conference in Baltimore for the work she does supporting those impacted by addiction. We partnered with Ashley Addiction Treatment, Caron Treatment Centers, and Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers for an event in Chevy Chase, Maryland, featuring nationally recognized expert Ben Cort, titled “Weed Inc.” that drew over 250 attendees and also offered insight by Dr. Robert Dupont and Dr. Susan Weiss of NIH. We partnered with Ashley Addiction Treatment, Towson University, and the Towson University Counseling Center to offer a free showing of the movie “Beautiful Boy” during Recovery Month in September to support the Towson University collegiate recovery community. And in October, we hosted “Addiction Support for Families: A Free Community Event” for over 100 local community members that included important educational presentations by MARC Executive Director Sam Bierman, local family recovery coach Jill Prevas, interventionist Shelly Young, and Toni Torsch from the Daniel Carl Torsch Foundation, as well as a free Narcan training by Toni’s son John Torsch. Finally, we were also able to help support the Zachary T. Paff Foundation, a new local non-profit, at their first community event, and The Phoenix Foundation of Maryland, in their mission to develop and open the first recovery high school in the state of Maryland.
MARC Community Relations Specialist Mallorie Schwartzman continued our support of the local clinical community throughout Maryland with the continuation of the Maryland Healing Network, a collaborative effort that takes place regularly throughout the year by separate groups in Towson, Maryland (cohosted by Ashley Addiction Treatment and local therapists Rita Preller and Marian Childs), Howard County, Maryland (cohosted by therapy collective Century Mental Health), and Annapolis, Maryland (cohosted by Argo Counseling and Wellness.) The success of the Maryland Healing Network and the collaboration that it fosters and supports between local practitioners led at the end of 2019 to a new initiative: The Virginia Healing Network. The new Virginia Healing Network will be a similar collaborative effort by Mallorie and Maryland Addiction Recovery Center, to create professional collaboration and healing communities in the areas of Loudon County, Virginia (in partnership with Insight Into Action Therapy) and Fairfax County, Virginia (in partnership with Encore Recovery and New Paradigm Recovery.)
We were grateful for some of the opportunities given to us and our staff and accolades received throughout 2019. We were honored as a finalist by the Baltimore Business Journal as a “Best Places to Work” in Maryland. MARC Executive Director Sam Bierman was also honored by the Baltimore Business Journal as one of their “40 Under 40” Class of 2019, an award given to Baltimore’s emerging business leaders. Sam also was named to the membership committee of NAATP, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals, as well as had the opportunity to speak at several events this year on the topic of collaboration within the behavioral healthcare field, including at Recovery Awareness Day in Charlotte, North Carolina, alongside Caron Treatment Centers EVP and Chief Revenue Officer Brad Sorte at the Caron referents dinner during the Moments of Change conference in Florida, at a special Elks Club educational event in Carroll County, Maryland alongside Ashley Medical Director Dr. Greg Hobelmann and recovery coach Johanna Dolan, and for the national Family Recovery Conference online. In August, our Director of Business Development Zach Snitzer, alongside Ashley Addiction Treatment Chief Growth Officer Alex Denstman and Encore Recovery Executive Director Tom Walker, presented at the national NCAD-East Conference in Baltimore on the topic “Building a Treatment Organization through Ethical Business Development Standards and Practices.” Zach also moderated a special panel for the Howard County Chamber of Commerce at the event “Opioids, Business and Employment”, and was also named to the national advisory board of NCAD-East, as well as to the board of the local non-profit treatment organization Valley Bridge House. MARC Clinical Director Dr. Jennifer Richards became an adjunct faculty member at Howard Community College. MARC Corporate Director of Admissions and Development Molly Ashcroft presented on the topic “From Mentee to Mentor: Emerging into Business Development Leadership” for the DMV-PLA. MARC Family Therapist Arielle Seidler completed a three-year intensive course of study at The Gestalt Therapy Institute. MARC Primary Therapist Alison Merrifield completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of brainspotting training, and MARC Primary Therapist Corinne Burnett went to Onsite in Tennessee to engage in their experiential training institute. Primary Therapists Tyler Howard and Megan O’Shea completed and received their LCPC licensures.
Internally, we brought new Community Relations Specialist Ryan Burton onboard to help support Mallorie Schwartzman and our business development and community support initiatives. Brent Coleman was promoted to Director of Support Services. Erin Kelley was promoted to MARC Compliance Specialist to support Director of HR and Compliance Dustielynn White. Medical Director Dr. Alfred Forrester added new full-time nurse practitioner LaShanda Roberts, MSN, BSN, RN, FNP-BC, to the medical department. Primary therapists Amber Berkhart, LGPC, and Kimberly Bonsiero, LCSW-C, joined the MARC clinical team. Our admissions team added intake specialists Amanda Winfield, ADT, and Tim Holt, MSW. Terri Williams joined MARC as Executive Assistant. Kim Letke joined MARC as our new office manager. And Brent Coleman’s support staff team of therapy assistants added Kendall Arnold, Greg Buchser, Clare Cardoni, Doug Cooper, Tony Easter, Chris Fox, Krystal Grudinsky, Jessica Jackson, Maggie Kelley, Cheyenne Spear, and DJ DiPetrillo, and was recently strengthened by the promotion of Corey Long to the role of Support Services Specialist.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, were some of the patient-centered community-building activities we were able to offer our patients, with the support of our entire Community Living TA staff and spearheaded by Laura Kendall. Some of these activities revolved around volunteering and giving back to the local community, like when the patients volunteered with Moveable Feast in January and May, helping to package over 2000 meals for individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses, or when they were able to volunteer at the Happy Helpers Distribution Volunteer Event and the Maryland Food Bank (both in February) to help bring food to those in need. Other activities revolved around the patients becoming part of and supporting the local recovery community. These included “MARC Madness” in March, a 5-on-5 basketball tournament involving current MARC patients, staff, and alumni, the Rising Above Addiction “Say No to Dope” walk in May, the Rising Above Addiction 5k Race for Recovery as well as the Rise Against Addition 4th Annual Softball Tournament (both held in June), the Strength and Sobriety fundraising event for The Phoenix Foundation of Maryland in June, the Nicole Conway Volleyball Tournament in August, and the Howard County Recovery Walk during Recovery Month in September. Other community-building events for the patients themselves included a kickball tournament, BBQs, cornhole tournaments, rope courses, visiting the Baltimore Museum of Art, hiking at select areas around the state, basketball tournaments, and Iron Chef cooking competitions, as well as social outings such as movies, laser tag, and bowling, which teach patients valuable tools and experience about learning to have fun while living in recovery.
All-in-all, we believe we did much this year at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center to further our mission of providing a safe, therapeutic environment that offers the latest in evidence-based clinical care for individuals and families impacted by addiction and co-occurring disorders while being a valuable resource for the community. We believe that it truly takes a village to aid individuals, families, and communities to face addiction, recover, heal, and move forward with purpose, and we are eternally grateful for those that help and support us, as we treat, help, and support out patients. We are proud of the work we have done and the things we have accomplished in 2019, and we look forward to 2020 with the hope that we can continue aiding those in need to heal, to recover, and to find a life renewed.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.