On Thursday, March 5th we held our Open House for Innovo Detox in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania in preparation for opening our doors to accept patients on Monday, March 16th. It was a lovely day. The facility was spotless. The rain stayed away. The sunshine beamed through the windows of the beautiful new facility. Chef Liam Surry and cook Ted Armacost created a spectacular spread for all to enjoy. And over 250 friends, colleagues, addiction treatment and mental health professionals, and community members joined us for tours, refreshments, and remarks. Excitement and hope were in the air. We were going to be opening our doors to offer vital services for the local community impacted by addiction. We waited with anticipation for Monday, March 16th.

And then Monday, March 16th arrived, hand-in-hand with the coronavirus public health pandemic. It is not hyperbole to say this was, to say the least, completely concerning and entirely overwhelming. Opening a new organization during any time is stressful, but opening the doors to a new healthcare facility the same day as society shut down due to the worst global health pandemic in the last century is something that few people can say they have good, learned experience with. We had just onboarded almost 40 staff members. We had everything in place to accept patients. We stood at the ready to help those suffering from addiction. And in the blink of an eye, everything changed.

Now we needed to not only implement the policies, procedures, and operational efficiencies that had taken months to prepare but now we needed to add necessary CDC pandemic protocols. No longer was all the equipment we had enough, but we needed to source and acquire additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and we needed it yesterday. We needed to learn how to appropriately implement social distancing within a detox, the keep our patients and staff healthy and safe. We pivoted. We swiveled. We adapted. We procured necessary PPE. We implemented the recommended CDC guidelines. And our team at Innovo Detox performed leaps and bounds better than we could ever have anticipated. They stepped up to the challenge and passed with flying colors.

So, what happened?

COVID-19 certainly impacted our opening. We have been unable to reach out and connect with many community partners and organizations like we had planned. We have been unable to bring people in to visit our incredible facility and have them sit down to spend quality time with our staff. But addiction, the opioid epidemic, and overdoses were not slowing down during the coronavirus wave, so our doors were opened as planned. And we have been able to help patients. And we have been able to help families in crisis. We have been able to partner with some incredible facilities, dealing with their own social distancing and COVID-19 needs, to offer detox when they didn’t have available beds. We have been able to offer detox beds to community members in dire need of help but without access or finances to receive quality care. We have begun to form relationships within the community and help those in need. We have ensured that patients received necessary detox, withdrawal management, and medical stabilization and moved on with enthusiasm to the next step in the treatment continuum and their personal journey of recovery.

Over 90 days we have helped 115 patients. Some of them have been referred to us by providers in all levels of care. Inpatient rehabs and residential treatment centers, extended care facilities, PHP and IOP programs, individual therapists and psychiatrists, interventionists, and recovery houses and sober homes. Others have self-referred, finding us on the internet, by word of mouth, alumni, or simply driven by the facility. We are proud to say that 85% of all patients have accepted recommended aftercare referrals (even if there was no plan in place when they admitted, or they were initially resistant to further treatment.) Some patients refused all aftercare recommendations, discharged, but upon a relapse called Innovo back to readmit and then discharged to a recommended level of care to further their treatment. We have humbly received wonderful feedback from patients, their families, and referral organizations about the experience they had while at or working with Innovo Detox and the interaction and communication with our staff.

We have faced COVID-19 head on and will continue to do so as long as this pandemic lasts. We’ve implemented numerous health and safety protocols to ensure the protection, the health, and the safety of our staff and our patients. We have implemented operational guidelines to best guard against issues and mitigate risk, while also working with local community partners, vendors, and healthcare organizations to have plans in place and manage ongoing potential issues that may arise. Our staff has come together to work as a team collaboratively, to make sure that our patients receive the highest quality of patient care and that their vital treatment isn’t negatively impacted. Delivering the best possible detox experience, while ensuring the highest level of health and safety for our patients and staff, is our number one priority.

To say that we are proud of our team would be an understatement. To say that we are humbled by and grateful for the feedback we have received thus far from patients, families, and other professionals would be an understatement. And to say that we are excited to be able to continue growing and perfecting our services for future patients and families so that they may overcome addiction and find an incredible life of recovery, regardless of how long COVID-19 continues, would be the biggest understatement of all.

If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at info@innovodetox.com. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.