The Smithers Evaluation Unit

                         [What it was (circa 3/2000), and how it worked.]        
   Spotlight On!

 Smither's EU Medical Team circa 1/2000:

 
Rebecca Rosen, Dan Meirlak, Carolyn Hooker, and David Lehman.

Who to Call in the Evaluation Unit:    

John Taylor, MA, CASAC (523-8285) is the Director of Evaluation Services. John not only knows how everything works (or should work) at Smithers, he also has an impressive fund of knowledge regarding other addiction and related services. John can help you decide how best to access Smithers for a particular patient, or help you find another more appropriate resource.
Carrie Wilkins, Ph.D. (523-8943) is Clinical Coordinator of the EU. Like John, Carrie keeps in contact with the clinicians and agencies who have referred patients to Smithers for evaluation and/or treatment, keeping them apprised of the patientís progress through the system and keeping them in the treatment-planning loop. She is also available to discuss cases with prospective patients and referral sources to help them decide how they want to proceed.
Annette Dawes (523-8373), our Intake Supervisor, runs the front desk with the help of Stacy Bertram, Intake Assistant. The front desk is the EUís central nervous system. They can help with insurance questions, make or change appointments, explain the registration process, etc. In other words, they help people through the administrative matters that make the clinical work we do possible, and they do it with kindness, gentleness, and efficiency.

The E.U. - What it [was], how it [used to] work
(before being decimated by the
Department of Psychiatry and St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center)

The Evaluation Unit (EU) was first opened in 1994 and, after several moves, has found a permanent home on the tenth floor of Roosevelt Hospital, 10th Ave @ 59th St. The unit was opened in response to several forces which had come together over the past decade. Advancements in the science of assessment, detoxification, and patient engagement, on the one hand, demanded that the nature and intensity of treatment be rationally related to the severity and diversity of the patientís problems. On the other hand, managed care and a cost-conscious society demanded that costs be logically related to severity as well. 

The EU is where all patients are seen when they come to Smithers. They see medical personnel first; the Medical Office Assistant orients the patient to the unit and takes vital signs. Next the nurse completes a medical, psychiatric, and substance use history designed to determine if the patient needs an acute hospital inpatient detox (ASAM Level 4). 

If the patient needs a detox but not an acute care medical bed, the physician assesses the patient and decides if a rehab level or day hosp level detox is needed (one floor down) or whether the patient can be treated in the doctorís office on the Evaluation Unit itself.

If no detox was needed, or when the patient had been stabilized, the counselor began the complete biopsychosocial work up which included the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Brief Symptom Index. Family therapists and other clinicians became involved if necessary. Finally, the case was discussed with the referral source, and the patient, and an initial treatment plan was put into action.

Some patients know they wanted treatment at Smithers when they came for the evaluation, some knew they were going on to another treatment center after evaluation and detoxification at Smithers, and others were sent for our evaluation services and recommendations alone.


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