Community Care of West Virginia (CCWV), a federally qualified health center, recently held a virtual meeting of regional stakeholders and Robert Neri, WestCare chief clinical officer, on substance use disorder during the coronavirus pandemic.
Neri informed stakeholders on how WestCare is serving patients with substance use disorder and the steps the organization is taking to protect both patients and staff during the pandemic.
Safety measures include communication via video with families to replace normal visitations and using dedicated medical professionals at facilities to quarantine patients.
Patient care also has gone virtual, a method Neri calls “tele-behavioral health.” Counseling services and resources are being conducted via video and telephone calls. This method still provides support and care but maintains social distancing.
Community Care also has made changes during the pandemic. Services are provided via telemedicine or parking lot visits, prescriptions are sent via mail, and patients who may be showing COVID symptoms are sent to separate sites for quarantine.
Neri has held a leadership role with WestCare since 2001. He is responsible for the organization’s three substance-abuse treatment facilities in Florida.
WestCare has programs in 18 states and territories for patients with substance use and mental health disorders.