Health Care

Neil Kennedy Opens Detox Clinic at St. E’s Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A collaborative effort between the Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers and Mercy Health – Youngstown seeks to improve access to addiction recovery services in 12 counties.

The new detox clinic at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital is the result of a partnership between Neil Kennedy and the Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley. An open house was held Nov. 16 for the clinic, which will offer detox and rehabilitation services to patients from Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, Stark, Carroll, Tuscarawas, Medina, Wayne, Holmes, Ashland and Richland counties.

“It’s called the regional detox. We partnered with 12 different counties and their 10 different boards,” said Jennifer Mackovick, manager of evaluation services at Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers. “People who are struggling with drugs or alcohol can come in here for detox, and if they have nowhere else in their area to go for rehab we accept them at our main location on Rush Boulevard. But if not, we try and get them back into their community where they can get further treatment.”

The detox clinic has 16 available beds — eight for men and eight for women, Mackovick said. Neil Kennedy’s main inpatient location on Rush Boulevard has 16 beds as well with plans to add more. The growing need to help more people in the surrounding communities struggling with addiction necessitated the new location at St. Elizabeth, she said.

Neil Kennedy also operates four recovery houses at its Rush Boulevard location — two for men and two for women. The detox clinic at St. Elizabeth allows Neil Kennedy to serve 76 people between the two locations, up from 60.

“By working together, we provide better, more efficient care for the residents of our community,” said Paul Homick, president of Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley. “That goes directly to the heart of our mission.”

One of the goals is to reduce or eliminate the time patients must wait to receive treatment for chemical dependency, said Dr. M. Frank Beck, chief regional opiate officer for Mercy Health -Youngstown.

“The sooner a patient seeking treatment receives it, the more likely they are to follow through with it,” Beck said. “Patients on waiting lists often change their minds and no longer want help by the time a bed becomes available.”

Mackovick said the most important part of the detox and rehab programs is figuring out what the next step is for the patients.

“As soon as they come in, we look at what they will be doing next. If they want to stay for rehab, which the majority of them do, we have the whole continuum of care, such as outpatient programs and after-care programs,” she said. “If you look at it, it’s just a step down each level toward being on their own.”

Neil Kennedy programs follow a 12-step practice, and patients can stay for as long to three to six months, said Mackovick.

“We get a lot of people with other issues like mental health, so we help them with that as well, either with a nurse practitioner or psychiatrist to get them stabilized and then we refer them out to more therapy,” Mackovick said.

“We just want to get more help out there, because it’s badly needed.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.