Voices of Hope has partnered with the Cecil County Health Department to make Peer Recovery Specialists available at the hospital 7 days a week to talk with patients about behavioral health care navigation, access to treatment and referrals to harm-reduction and recovery-support resources.
Patients can be connected with a certified Peer Recovery Specialist if they are brought to the Emergency Department because of a drug overdose, or if they screen positive for substance use while they are a patient in the hospital.
“This wasn’t available to me when I was trying to get better. I want to make it more accessible to others,” – Catharine Murray, certified Peer Recovery Specialist at Voices of Hope.
“Substance use disorder continues to be a serious health problem that affects people of all ages and walks of life,” said Lanre Akinkunmi, M.D., interim chief medical officer and medical director for population health at ChristianaCare Cecil County Campus.
“The good news is that it is treatable, and when people are in the hospital or the emergency department, they are often most receptive to discussions about treatment. Through this expanded use of peer recovery specialists at Union Hospital, we are making a positive impact on the health of our patients and our community.”
Jennifer Tuerke, executive director, Voices of Hope; Erin Wright, COO, Voices of Hope; Lisa Fields, community engagement manager, Union Hospital; Ken Collins, division director, CCHD; Katie Hunter, program coordinator, Union Hospital; Mike Massuli, deputy director, CCHD; and Lauren Levy, health officer for CCHD.
“Allowing peer recovery specialists to engage bedside with patients who may be struggling with substance use disorders will not only enhance access to behavioral health treatment but will also help reduce stigma surrounding substance use disorders and foster a more compassionate and supportive community,” Lauren Levy, Health Officer for the Cecil County Health Department said.
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Catharine Murray hopes her role as a certified peer recovery specialist can help someone struggling with addiction see recovery as a viable option for themselves. “This wasn’t available to me when I was trying to get better. I want to make it more accessible to others,” she said.
To speak with a Peer at Voices of Hope, call 443-993-7055 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To connect substance use recovery services at ChristianaCare, call 800-693-CARE (2273).