Q&A with Peter Van Druff
Peter van Druff is the new Manager of Extended Care, overseeing the various Sovereign programs that help patients stay connected and healthy as they leave, and long after they’ve left Sovereign’s primary programs.
1. What brought you to Sovereign Health?
To put it simply, I really feel that God had an important hand in bringing me to Sovereign. Let me explain: since 2004, when I finished my path towards recovery, I was looking for an innovative recovery environment.
During this time I left Spencer Recovery, where I had been working for some time, and came up with a model of clarity through contrast. By this I mean that a better program can be achieved by looking at what doesn’t work, discarding that and then focusing on what can be improved and what is successful.
I was also looking for a place that was sincerely looking to help patients and not just make money. It happened through a series of events that I was directed towards Sovereign Health and quickly discovered that it exactly fit my goals and ideals.
2. Could you tell us about the projects that you’re involved with here at Soveriegn?
Well, I have a number of different projects that I oversee as the Manager of Extended Care all designed to help patient transition out of our care and continue their recovery. The first, and biggest, project is discharge planning. Within discharge planning we help all of our patients leave our care and make sure, to the best of our ability, that they have a positive environment after their stay with us. One of the other big projects that I oversee is the TEAM program. TEAM, or Technology Enhanced Aftercare Monitoring, is an online program designed to assist in the recovery and aftercare process.
It integrates a variety of concepts including case management, psycho-education, community resources and more to help clients succeed in managing their own aftercare and recovery experiences. We are also looking to re-energize Sovereign Academy, provides a solution to those in recovery who need to finish a High School Diploma or GED as well as an alternative to starting higher education or a career path in drug and alcohol counseling. We’re also looking to expand Extended Care with programs focused on our alumni and families.
3. What are your goals as the Manager of Extended Care?
The most important goal for me is being a service to those in recovery. Basically I sit in a position where I can be a clinical staff member, by providing assistance in discharge and aftercare, without actually being a clinician or therapist. In this manner I’m able to help patients in a special way that clinical staff can’t always do.
What’s also really important to me is changing the face of treatment in general, through my work here at Sovereign. Throughout the field of behavioral health we’ve become used to a sad fact – only about 20% of those who graduate stay sober and successful. I’ve always found this a terribly statistic to be alright with, and therefore one of my most important goals is to improve the success rate of our patients in an ethical framework.
4. What are some challenges that you’ve found at Sovereign, and how to plan to overcome them?
The biggest challenges here at Sovereign are; communication, training and involvement. Communication, especially between departments is something we really need to work on here at Sovereign and something that I intend to try to improve while I’m here. In terms of training, I’ve seen it lacking, especially with some of the newer hires.
However I know that it’s something the entire company is working on and it has certainly been improving. Finally it’s always a challenge to get patients involved, especially in some of our aftercare products, like TEAM. I believe that the key to getting patients involved really stems from the family. If you can get the family on board, the ones who care the most about the patients, the individuals themselves will slowly turn around.
5. Anything else you’d like to add before we end?
There is something I’d like to end off with. I really believe that the industry has to change its way of thinking. There’s a disconnect between people who are innovating in the field of behavioral health, like researchers, and those who are actually practicing it, the treatment professionals. We need to look to new and innovative ideas to freshen the field and make sure that we move from a 20% success rate to a 100% success rate.