Happy New Year to all of you – our dedicated
stakeholders and supporters. We start the new calendar year with
excitement and gratitude for recent grant and contract awards,
which are expanding our reach across several of our programs in
Last quarter we were awarded additional federal funds to increase
program services in Illinois, Missouri and Delaware. In Illinois,
our evidence-based “warm hand-off” model has been implemented in
select hospitals since September 2017, thanks to the funding
support of the Illinois
Department of Health Services. Through this program,
we have seen close to 900 patients to date and have referred 93
percent of them to treatment programs throughout Chicagoland. Our
success has resulted in awards that are allowing us to integrate
even more hospitals in the Chicagoland area as well as central
Illinois. These new resources will also enable us to expand
transitional support services to individuals in re-entry programs
in central and southern Illinois counties using Medication-Assisted Treatment
and other evidence-based treatments. We
expect to continue this success as we reach even more people in
need. You will see our impact highlighted in the “In the News”
section of this newsletter and can read
more about the larger impact of our work in our 2018 Annual Report.
In Missouri, we are proud to share that a contract award has
positioned Gateway Foundation as a leader in the St. Louis
Engaging Patients in Care Coordination (EPICC) program, with the
additional responsibility of providing clinical supervision for
the entire team of engagement specialists working with targeted
hospitals to address the opioid epidemic. And on the East Coast,
we were recently awarded a grant to provide cognitive behavioral
therapy throughout Delaware, which will give us a chance to
expand into new areas in the state.
In this issue we hope you will learn more about life-saving
Addiction Medicine from our outcomes and one of our experts, Dr.
Roueen Rafeyan, our chief medical officer. We are looking forward
to the new opportunities 2019 will bring to help us save as many
lives as possible.
"For me, when I undertake care of a patient who is
at the lowest point in their lives – physically, mentally, financially,
socially – and I work with them and their families to gradually bring
them back to living a meaningful, productive life, that’s the biggest
reward anyone can get."
Dr. Roueen Rafeyan has worked as chief medical officer of Gateway
Foundation for more than two years and has been a trailblazer in the
field of Addiction Medicine for over 20, having served as a medical
director for psychiatric and substance use programs at leading Illinois
healthcare institutions including Rush,
and Presence Behavioral Health.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR JOB AT
GATEWAY AND YOUR WORK OVERALL?
There are a number of challenges… Fighting the public stigma against
addiction. Getting fellow colleagues and physicians to understand
addiction as a disease rather than a lifestyle choice. Providing
treatment to everyone who is in need of it is a challenge because there
are so many patients out there who are in need of treatment but, for
various reasons, there are barriers preventing them from getting into
A 30 pack of
beer and a bottle of Bacardi every day was Cheryl’s norm for 22 years.
After experiencing emotional and physical pain at a young age, Cheryl
found solace in alcohol, which helped her escape her family reality and
fit in with those around her. Cheryl’s alcohol addiction had taken hold
by age 17.
Cheryl went on to receive 19 DUIs and eventually was sent to jail. Yet
the binges continued. She was in and out of the system for years,
moving to nine different states, until she spent 30 days in jail. It
was during this time that she learned about Gateway Foundation and
finally admitted she could no longer outrun herself.
The only way to continue improving our model is to understand
which aspects are most significantly influencing the lives of our
patients. For this reason, we requested an independent research
evaluation by the OMNI Institute research group.
Not only were our abstinence rates for certain substances, like opioids,
greater than industry norms, key indicators of health and
well-being also increased significantly following 12 months –
when rates of relapse are the highest
– after admission to a Gateway Foundation program. Read
more about our new outcomes research.