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An innovative approach to recovery

Last Modified: December 26, 2018

Healthy Mind, Family Medicine

Recently, Parkview Health was recognized by the American Hospital Association as the national winner in Innovation. The award recognizes our work to address the disease of addiction. We are currently in the process of developing an innovative app to support those who are working to recover from substance use. Our research, behavioral health and innovation teams are all working closely together to make the disease of addiction management more patient-friendly and to support our community to the healing needed to restore the lives of individuals and families.

The Peer Recovery Program

One of the tools we are currently utilizing, is the Peer Recovery Program.  The goal is to serve as these three personas:


Personal guide and mentor for individuals seeking to achieve or sustain long-term recovery from addiction, regardless of pathway to recovery.


Connector to instrumental recovery supportive resources, including housing, employment and other professional and nonprofessional services.


Liaison to formal and informal community supports, resources and recovery-supporting activities.

The Peer Recovery Program was developed to meet the needs of individuals and families who are dealing with the disease of addiction. In the past several years, the State of Indiana has witnessed a tremendous increase in opioid overdoses; Parkview Health has treated over 1,100 non-fatal overdose patients in our Emergency Departments (ED) since January 2016.

In an effort to combat these tragedies, Parkview sought funding from the Indiana Division of Mental Health Addiction through the CURES grant. This grant allows the hiring of a peer recovery manager and 5 peer recovery coaches. This team continues to educate themselves on opiate addictions; along with the co-morbidities that accompany drug addiction. Each team member has training in peer recovery, QPR, CPR, HIV-HEP A and naloxone.

How it works

A peer recovery coach monitors each of the eight Parkview EDs, and responds to all individuals seeking care for opioid misuse. Through a one-on-one conversation, support and encouragement of future recovery is immediately established. The coach offers a variety of support, including but not limited to emotional support, insurance resources, information on halfway houses, and medication assistance treatment. All with the goal to offer hope for recovery.

Once a patient agrees to Peer Recovery, the real work begins. The coaches begin the process of identifying real life issues, barriers and triggers that an individual is struggling with. Together, the coach and patient decide on a meeting place, and the coach follows up with the patient. A wellness plan is initiated; assuring individuals have the tools needed to successfully navigate their recovery process. Family members, along with identified key relationships are encouraged to be a part of this healing process, as we understand that addiction effects everyone! Sponsors may be sought, support groups located, and medication assistance therapy established. Every individual has their own unique recovery process; it’s the responsibility of the coach to advocate for a safe recovery.

Their network

The team recognizes that to build a robust and sustainable model, it is imperative that they generate a vast network of quality community providers and support systems. The team works alongside those at the Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Hope House and Park Center, to name a few. The team works to diligently address any and all barriers to a successful recovery and share best practices across all entities. They attempt to educate and provide information around addiction as a disease and the various options for treatment in order to reduce stigma and increase overall support for addiction recovery and treatment.

The peer manager, records and tracks data to better understand the population that we are treating. The team works closely with other programs such as the Community Nurse Program, Community Health workers, Healthier Moms and Babies, the Allen County Health Department, Park Center and the Bowen Center. Close connections with the recovery houses and other private treatment providers are also a key to success. It is important for the team to secure as many healthy support systems as possible for our patients.

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