VA St. Louis Health Care System
Opioid Addiction Treatment Program Opens in New Location
The Opioid Addiction Treatment Program officially opened the doors to their new building. The opening of this new building provides the OATP staff the necessary space to take their program to the next level of excellence, offering an increased array of treatment groups. It also creates a treatment environment that is respectful of the privacy of Veterans served by this program.
Dr. Stephen Gaioni, Chief, Mental Health Service, reflected “the occasion of this opening reminds me of all the work OATP staff has done over the past decade to move from a program that focused almost exclusively on the dispensing of methadone to a program that:
Embraces a harm reduction model of addiction treatment
- Developed and implemented objective measures of treatment outcome
- Added more than 15 psycho-educational and psychotherapy groups,
- Focused on management of co-occurring medical and psychiatric problems,
- Added new treatment options,
- Moved to a 7-days a week treatment program,
- And greatly increased Veteran satisfaction."
The staff consist of two psychiatrists, a psychologist, a registered nurse, one licensed practical nurse, three Addiction Therapist and a clerk . Ann Lovell, Substance Use disorder Program Manager proudly boasts “the teams sees an average 100 Veterans per day for medication, groups and clinical support and assessment. And the number of Veterans served continues to grow!” The OATP is accredited and overseen by multiple external review groups including; Drug Enforcement Agency and the Joint Commission. Lovell added “The St. Louis VAMC Opioid Addiction Treatment Program (OATP) completed three very successful Joint Commission Surveys, including two surveys without a single requirement for improvement."
The team is very happy that rooms are now available for drug screens to be performed in a dignified and private area. The new private offices and group room provide the staff with areas where they can meet with Veterans and/or their families privately.
Director, Rima Nelson, stated the St. Louis VA Medical Center is very proud of the work performed by the OATP and is happy to provide this enhanced treatment space. And we greatly appreciate the excellent care that this team provides for our veterans.