HARRISBURG, Pa. (June 29, 2021) – Gaudenzia, Inc. will enhance its use of telehealth technology to enable greater access to care for its clients under an $85,000 grant from The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation.
Like many health care providers, Gaudenzia successfully pivoted to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite initial questions about how telehealth could be adapted to the treatment of substance use disorder, client approval rates averaged 88%, according to a Gaudenzia client satisfaction survey.
“If there is a silver lining from the pandemic, Gaudenzia was able to discover new avenues to provide services to our clients, such as telehealth,” said Andrew Schmitt, LCSW, Corporate Outpatient Director for Gaudenzia. “We are grateful for The Stabler Foundation’s grant, which will help us not only further enhance our telehealth services which have been received very well by our clients, but also provide a communication system for clients in our Harrisburg Outpatient program and beyond that ensures more open and available access to care.”
Telehealth has been especially tricky for the people Gaudenzia serves because many are homeless or do not have the means to typical methods of electronic communication. Yet, the needs are great. Overdose rates across Pennsylvania have soared during the pandemic.
Over the past six months, Gaudenzia has implemented MeU CARE as its telehealth provider for a dozen of its outpatient programs, including Gaudenzia Harrisburg Outpatient. With the help of The Stabler Foundation’s grant, the treatment provider plans to eventually implement MeU CARE as its singular platform across all programs – outpatient and residential.
The platform provides clients the ability to more effectively communicate with their care providers via its email and text messaging function, allowing for improved sharing of appointment links, engagement efforts and/or appoint reminders or programming updates.
“The text messaging capability is especially crucial, as many of our programs’ clients do not have active email accounts or are reluctant to engage in email communication,” said Schmitt.
While the pandemic may soon be a thing of the past, telehealth will be here to stay for Gaudenzia, considering the satisfaction it has provided clients thus far. Indicated in Gaudenzia’s 2020 Satisfaction Survey, 93% of residential and outpatient clients agreed that Gaudenzia’s telehealth services were convenient to use, and 85% were satisfied with the services. Ninety-three percent said they would like to see telehealth services continue.
“The future for Gaudenzia lies in ripping doors and obstacles away and pushing ourselves to be more available to our clients as possible. This grant provides the perfect starting point,” said Schmitt.
The Stabler Foundation, founded in 1966, provides grants to a wide range of organizations and institutions that are not government-run, including post-secondary educational institutions and church-related schools, nonprofit hospitals or medical facilities, and institutions that provide services to individuals with disabilities, seniors, those suffering from poverty, along with individuals with substance use disorder.
More information on Gaudenzia’s residential and outpatient programs can be found on www.gaudenzia.org. Those who are in need of treatment can call Gaudenzia’s 24/7 Treatment and Recovery Hotline at 833-976-HELP (4357).
ABOUT GAUDENZIA, INC.
Gaudenzia, Inc. is one of the largest nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment and recovery centers in the United States, with 51 facilities operating in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. The agency serves about 19,000 individuals annually and operates 117 drug and alcohol treatment programs for men and women. Since 1968, Gaudenzia has provided specialized services and programs to users of all demographics, including pregnant and parenting mothers, adolescents, people with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders, and more. Those seeking help can call Gaudenzia’s 24/7 Treatment and Recovery Hotline at 833-976-HELP (4357). For more information, visit www.Gaudenzia.org.