Innovating and staying at the forefront of treatment have always been core values at Cumberland Heights. Doing so is part science, part creativity, and all heart. Today, we explore the different ways that Cumberland Heights is helping patients address their challenges but also build meaningful connections in unique ways in unprecedented times.
The Impact of Co-Occurring Conditions on the Future of Treatment
A significant change in treatment at Cumberland Heights – and an important part of how we treat current and future patients – is the need to address not only the substance use but the co-occurring disorders that present in many patients.
Chief Clinical Officer Cinde Stewart discusses how many patients have co-occurring conditions and why treating the patients, not the disease, is fundamental to Cumberland Heights’ success.
A Story of Redemption
“Who rescued who?” It’s a phrase you hear a lot in the animal adoption world, and those three words couldn’t hold a deeper meaning for the patients in our Men’s and Women’s programs.
Both are fostering puppies from local rescue group, Snooty Giggles, and one of the pups is now a permanent resident! (More on that later)
Women’s Program Director Melissa Hudgens says fostering the puppies has been on the best decisions Cumberland Heights could have made for the program, not because it’s smooches and snuggles all the time– that’s a part of it, sure. But it’s also cleaning up messes, practicing patience, and an opportunity to provide a second chance.
“They love to cuddle so the women get lots of affection, but they also get to see the crazy moments too, like when we’re having to chase them around because we forgot the leashes and they take off. It’s a grounding moment that gets us back in reality because life gets crazy trying to maneuver and juggle all that we have to do. The puppies really have been a blessing, “said Melissa.
Together, the all- female staff and their patients are mothering the once fragile pups, and it reminds them to also nurture themselves.
“Their future is in our hands and guiding them reminds me that my own future also needs my love and attention. Just like the puppies are worthy of a better tomorrow, so am I,” said resident Jennifer.
Jennifer also says if she had the ability to bottle puppy breath, she’d never have to work another day in her life.
“It’s the best smell!” said Jennifer.
Because the puppies made such a positive impact on the Women’s Program, the Men’s Program decided to foster a couple of their own!
Lucy and Ethel are being cared for by our male patients until they can find a forever home.
“It’s been a breath (puppy of course) of fresh air in a year full of challenges. Joking aside, these two beautiful, cuddly souls have put smiles on faces and warmth in the hearts of everyone who crosses their path. We just love them,” said Men’s Program Director Vivian Sypolt.
The puppies have brought so much joy to our campus, we couldn’t imagine not at least adopting one of them. Teague is now a permanent member of the Cumberland Heights family. The dog was named after an employee and dear friend to many, Brad Teague, who passed away earlier this year. Brady was a light on campus, just like the puppies have been.
This isn’t the first dog CH has had since it opened its doors 54 years ago. The facility actually has a long history with pups.
“Very early on there was a black Labrador Retriever named Sam. And then there was Dice, a Doberman that once lived along a golf course and liked to retrieve golf balls, much to the dismay of the players. Once he arrived at CH, he found his purpose, ensuring patients got safely to and from the gate. Alki, a resident dog counselor lived on campus for 10 years before passing away in 1976. I remember Sot. He was a dog here when I came to treatment in the 80s. There was also Max, Rehab, Relapse, Low Rider and Yogi to name a few. These dogs proved to be great companions in recovery, and I am proud we are keeping the tradition alive,” said CEO Jay Crosson.
How Cumberland Heights Is Managing Through Pandemic
Treating addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges and forced us to make some changes. Chief Clinical Officer Cinde Stewart Freeman talks about the adjustments we’ve made so far, and what changes are likely on the horizon as we deal with the aftermath of the Corona Virus.
Hope Hall Living Up to Its Name During Pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Nashville, Cumberland Heights was forced to do what many other treatment centers across the country had to do, and that’s reduce medical beds.
Unfortunately, that created a backlog because more people were needing treatment than what CDC guidelines were allowing. At the same time, isolation caused by the pandemic triggered others in recovery to relapse. The leadership team at Cumberland Heights has been working hard to develop a plan that will allow us to admit new patients while keeping our current residents safe and healthy.
We are in the process of transforming Hope Hall so that instead of sending a patient home to isolate while COVID-19 test results are pending, they will a separate space to sleep and shower while beginning their recovery work. Isolation can be deadly.
Hope Hall is living up to its name and giving hope to those fighting a battle made worse by the pandemic.