At Concerted Care Group, a recovery services organization in Frederick, the focus is on the whole person.
Concerted Care Group, on Scholl's Lane, took over the medication-assisted treatment program from the Frederick County Health Department over a year ago. In that year, the group has expanded its services to include integrated care, while also looking to rebuild its patient base.
“We’re sort of a one-stop shop,” said Margie Foster, center director for the Frederick location of Concerted Care Group.
The group won the bid for the county’s methadone clinic in 2017, The Frederick News-Post previously reported. During the transition, some patients left, as did some staff. Since then, its been settling, rebuilding and bringing in its integrated care model, Foster said.
“So everybody who comes in has multiple health care needs, multiple social, socioeconomic needs,” she said. “Lets see if we can address the whole person so we get better outcomes for everything and the recovery really has something to hold onto.”
The group now offers Vivitrol, methadone and suboxone, said chief operating officer Barbara Wahl.
While the group won the bid to take over the county methadone facility, the services offered by Concerted Care Group extend far past medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders.
Concerted Care Group focuses on integrated care, meaning they use a team to address the needs of each patient. That could be solely recovery services. Or it might involve mental health treatment and life skills. The group offers medical care, psychiatric telehealth, mental health therapy, psychiatric rehab and substance use treatment.
Integrated care is somewhat new to substance use disorder treatment. Before everything was treated chronologically. So a physical medical condition needed to be treated before mental health could be, or mental health before substance use disorder.
“We find that in this population, people have so many co-morbid issues going on at once and they’re all impacting and feeding each other,” Foster said. “So if you really just do one at a time, you’re never going to be able to help the person because each issue is impacting each other issue.”
A person does not need to seek substance use recovery services to come to Concerted Care Group, Foster said. People can come just for the mental health treatment. The clinic has no wait, she said.
That is partly because the group is still in its first year, but also because they are able to be nimble with hours and resources, she said.
The clinic serves approximately 180 people, although walk-ins are also treated.
Ultimately, the group’s goal is to have longer periods of recovery and sobriety with shorter periods of relapse, Wahl said. And each person has a different goal. Maybe it is getting more connected with family again or getting and sustaining a new job.
“Recovery means different things for different people,” she said.
The integrated care model offered by Concerted Care Group is something that the Frederick County Health Department’s Andrea Walker likes about the organization.
“I really like that they have a broad understanding, a deep understanding of public health,” said Walker, director of Behavioral Health Services.
Concerted Care Group is a partner in the community, and it is important there is a facility that offers medication-assisted treatment, Walker said. But it is the convenience factor that makes the organization stand out because it offers many services in one place.
For people who are working or come from a distance, having everything in one place makes it easier to get the help or services a person might need, Walker said.
“I’m just happy that they’re here,” she said.
Another partner for Concerted Care Group is Frederick Memorial Hospital. Jason Barth, coordinator of Crisis Management Services at the hospital, will refer people from FMH to Concerted Care Group.
He recently toured the facility and said he was happy to see the services the organization offers. Like Walker, he said that there is a “tremendous need” for medication-assisted treatment in Frederick County.
By offering medication-assisted treatment and its services, Concerted Care Group helps to fill in the gaps the county has when it comes to substance use disorder treatment, Barth said.
“We all have our piece to play in the continuum,” he said.