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New center in New York emphasizes flexibility in hours, services

October 19, 2018

A new outpatient behavioral health practice in the heart of midtown Manhattan is so far attracting a diverse patient base because it is designed to meet the lifestyle needs of busy individuals who struggle with conventional program scheduling.

Elevate360, which has had a soft launch and will commemorate its grand opening on Nov. 8, is offering therapy before and after work hours, at lunchtime and even on weekends for patients who want to maintain their work schedules as they receive help for substance use problems and co-occurring conditions. Executive director Sarah Church, PhD, tells Behavioral Healthcare Executive that funding from Concord, Mass.-based private investment firm Coppermine Capital was instrumental in the establishment of Elevate360.

Church says the new center's core services are being delivered by a team of six psychologists in a group practice setting, with psychiatry support coming in to administer medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine and injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol). Elevate360 is in the proceess of seeking formal state licensing to become an office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) site.

“We're trying to make it really accessible for people, so that they can go home and try out what they're learning here, with their loved ones or their boss, and if things aren't working out they can then try something else with us,” says Church.

Maintaining connection

Church says she entered the behavioral health field through the research sector, and is now excited about the opportunity to have a direct impact on translating evidence from research into everyday clinical practice. One of the central components of Elevate360's services will be use of the A-CHESS “Connections” mobile app for relapse prevention and individualized content. Supported by research out of the University of Wisconsin, Connections includes features such as motivational content that is triggered when an individual in recovery encounters a high-risk setting once associated with substance use.

The patient mix during the soft opening has featured adults in a number of age groups, ranging from professionals in a variety of fields to stay-at-home parents. The center's services are presently out of network for insurance coverage, and there are no publicly insured patients at this time, Church says.

The president of the Coalition of Medication-Assisted Treatment Providers and Advocates of New York State (COMPA) believes Elevate360 will fill an important role in the continuum of care for New Yorkers. Allegra Schorr tells Behavioral Healthcare Executive that it is important to offer treatment in settings that combine psychotherapy and medication, “because we know that's what's effective.” The extremes of a completely abstinence-based approach to treatment or simply medication without therapy and support should be avoided, Schorr suggests.

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