Recovery Coaches Provide Guidance for Substance Abuse Patients at MidState

Substance abuse patients treated at the emergency department at MidState Medical Center are given the opportunity to meet with a recovery coach who specializes in guiding patients on their way to recovery.

From providing support to driving patients to their appointments, recovery coaches connect with patients every step of the way, which might include detox and treatment programs. Following detox, the coach might reach out to the patient to help find recovery and support services.

  • The onus is now on us to get them in the door and keep them engaged.

    - Pat Rehmer, Senior Vice President, Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network

Many recovery coaches have “lived experience” with substance abuse, which not only helps them build trust with patients, but also gives them the ability to provide hope and support to the patient’s family members, who often aren’t able to understand the dynamics of addiction.

“If a person isn’t interested in getting into treatment at that time, the recovery coach will give them their business card and will call the next day if the person is willing. And, they’ll call for days to try to get them into treatment,” said Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Behavioral Health Network Senior Vice President Pat Rehmer. “We realize that people don’t have to be jumping for joy to come into a treatment program; sometimes they’re still ambivalent. The onus is now on us to get them in the door and keep them engaged.”

The Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR), which was founded in Windham as a non-profit in 1998, began a peer support recovery coach training program in 2008 and began training coaches in different hospitals across the state in 2016. Recovery coaches were first placed in Backus Hospital in Norwich and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington through grants from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Through additional state funding, MidState joined the program. All recovery coaches working with HHC are trained and employed by CCAR.