NaloxBox at WIN Recovery Providing Needed Resource

WIN Recovery, a certified opioid treatment facility operated by Hamilton Center Inc., saw evidence of a community need being met in the first month with the self-service “NaloxBox” added to the outside of its Terre Haute location (located at 86 Wabash Court, just west of the Vigo County Courthouse).  This box distributes naloxone (also known as Narcan) for free to consumers, family members, or anyone from the public on a no questions asked basis. During April, dosages were distributed at a rate of more than one per day – with 31 in all.

Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration that is effective in preventing death by rapidly reversing the effects of an overdose from opioids, and doses distributed through the WIN Recovery NaloxBox are administered via nasal spray.

Mark Collins, Chief Clinical Officer for Hamilton Center, admits he and his staff had no idea how much usage the NaloxBox would get in its first month.

“What we do know is that we want to give as many individuals the capability of having Naloxone at their disposal as humanly possible because Naloxone prevents overdose deaths,” he said. “What we’re trying to promote is harm reduction. Most importantly, we want to keep individuals alive, and Naloxone keeps individuals alive.”

Collins termed the volume of dosages distributed as “incredibly beneficial to our community” with hopes of that number increasing as more people are aware of the program.

“Having 31 doses in the first month shows that there’s a need within the community, and hopefully this will continue to decrease the overdose deaths in our communities, which is the ultimate goal” Collins said. “We will continue to advocate for the use of Naloxone within our communities.”

The box was provided by Overdose Lifeline, a non-profit organization which has fought the opioid addiction problem since 2014. Designated HCI/WIN Recovery staff will monitor the box, track its usage, and order free replacement kits as needed from Overdose Lifeline’s Indianapolis office.

State and federal funding has been utilized to cover the cost of the program, with support also coming from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

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Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center increasing salaries, enhancing benefits to attract and retain Nurse Practitioners

Like all businesses, Hamilton Center, Inc. is committed to recruiting and retaining top talent, and the organization is building on this commitment by increasing salaries and boosting benefits for Nurse Practitioners — including a $5,000 sign on bonus and two weeks of PTO on the first day of employment.

A 2020 survey by flexjobs.com indicated that salary was the top factor considered by its job applicants in deciding which offer to accept (67 percent of applicants). HCI will be making aggressive changes to its salary schedule for nurse practitioners to help satisfy this desire. Hamilton Center’s revised starting full-time salaries for Nurse Practitioners:

  • $145,000
  • $150,000 – with five years of experience

Melvin L. Burks, President and CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc., said the changes are necessary in order for the facility to continue to serve the 12 communities in which HCI has offices.

“If we cannot serve our consumers, then our consumers may lose hope,” he said. “It’s important that we get these positions filled. In addition to starting salary, we have an ‘a la carte’ menu of benefits from which candidates can draw.”

The “a la carte” benefits menu will allow candidates to choose the benefit options that are most appealing to them. Among the items on the list are:

  • Student loan reimbursement upon hire
  • Telehealth work from home options available
  • Monthly stipend in lieu of selecting HCI insurance coverage
  • Flexible schedules (potential of four 10-hour days or three 12-hour days per week)
  • Monthly stipends to assist childcare costs

Applicants will be able to choose “two or three” additional benefits to add to their compensation.

“Hamilton Center is committed to reinventing the way we see employment,” Burks said. “Stop on by. Let’s find a way.”

To learn more about employment opportunities at Hamilton Center, visit https://www.hamiltoncenter.org/employment/ or call 812-231-8532. The organization also holds open interviews every Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its corporate office at 620 Eighth Avenue in Terre Haute, Ind.

To apply online, visit www.hamiltoncenter.org/employment.

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Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Check out our other related content:

WIN Recovery Installs NaloxBox to Help Treat Opioid Overdose

According to overdoselifeline.org, opioid overdose is the leading cause of death in the United States among adults 50 years old and younger.

WIN Recovery, a certified opioid treatment facility operated by Hamilton Center, Inc., has added another tool in its fight to battle this growing problem by establishing a “NaloxBox” at its Terre Haute location (located at 86 Wabash Court, just west of the Vigo County Courthouse). This box will distribute naloxone (also known as Narcan) for free to consumers, family members, or anyone from the public on a no questions asked basis.

Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration that is effective in preventing death by rapidly reversing the effects of an overdose from opioids, and doses distributed through the WIN Recovery NaloxBox will be administered via nasal spray.

The box was provided by Overdose Lifeline, a non-profit organization which has fought the opioid addiction problem since 2014. Designated HCI/WIN Recovery staff will monitor the box, track its usage, and order free replacement kits as needed from Overdose Lifeline’s Indianapolis office. State and federal funding has been utilized to cover the cost of the program, with support also coming from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

“The NaloxBox mission is to improve the capacity of bystander rescuers to save the lives of victims of opioid overdose with overdose response tools, including naloxone,” Overdose Lifeline states on its website.

Natasha Newcomb, WIN Recovery’s deputy chief of addiction and substance abuse services, is pleased to add this naloxone distribution method to its many ways of assisting those in need.

“We know and understand that when somebody has addiction problems, they can’t always just quit,” Newcomb said. “They may want to quit, they may have tried, and they may have struggled – but sometimes they just can’t stop. Narcan is a way for them to help save their life or the life of somebody they love.”

Newcomb emphasized that the person getting the Narcan from the Naloxbox may not be the person experiencing addiction.

“It may be for their brother, their sister, their girlfriend, or their child,” she said. “It’s important to recognize that that while the box is there for people who are using substances, it is also there for people who have a loved one they are trying to save.”

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Vigo County had 179 patients admitted into emergency departments for treatment for overdoses, while 24 fatal cases were recorded.

Newcomb acknowledged someone using drugs might not to want to seek help from law enforcement or a hospital due to potential legal repercussions.

“Historically in our society, and even today, if somebody called the police because they were overdosing there’s a chance that after they were taken care of at the hospital they’d be taken to jail,” she said. “If somebody is overdosing, then they obviously have paraphernalia there, or they have substances on them because they’ve been using. People are hesitant to contact the police or go to the emergency room for the same reason. The Naloxbox removes that step.”

Newcomb noted that if someone is at a point where they think they’re going to overdose, they need to seek medical attention whether they have access to Narcan or not.

One particularly vulnerable segment of society who could benefit from the Naloxbox consists of people who have been released from incarceration.

“Individuals who return to the community after being incarcerated are 129 times more likely to suffer an overdose than the general population,” according to Overdose Lifeline. “The NaloxBox provides easy, stigma-free access to lifesaving medication – completely free of charge.”

Newcomb added that there is no limit to the number of dosages someone can receive from the Naloxbox, although hoarding is unlikely since the product has no street value. She said in some circumstances people may need to get multiple applications.

“You can’t abuse Narcan or get high from it,” she said. “People can take as many as they need. It may be that that one person takes four doses, but that person may live in a household with three other people who abuse opioids, and they may need one for each person in their household. Maybe they’re going to keep them handy because three of their friends have overdosed in the past week.”

“That’s the reality of what some of these people are seeing and living with.”

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Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center Implements Starting Salary Increases

Increasing salaries, enhancing benefits to attract and retain nurses and therapists

Like all businesses, Hamilton Center, Inc. is committed to recruiting and retaining top talent, and the organization is building on this commitment by increasing salaries and boosting benefits for nurses and therapists — including a $5,000 sign on bonus and two weeks of PTO on the first day of employment.

A 2020 survey by flexjobs.com indicated that salary was the top factor considered by its job applicants in deciding which offer to accept (67 percent of applicants). HCI will be making aggressive changes to its salary schedule for nurses and therapists to help satisfy this desire. Hamilton Center’s revised starting full-time salaries for nursing and therapist positions are:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse – $60,320
  • Registered Nurse – $72,800
  • Unlicensed Therapist – $55-63,000
  • LMHC-LMFT – $63-68,000
  • LCSW – $68-73,000

Melvin L. Burks, President and CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc., said the changes are necessary in order for the facility to continue to serve the 12 communities in which HCI has offices.

“If we cannot serve our consumers, then our consumers may lose hope,” he said. “It’s important that we get these positions filled. In addition to starting salary, we have an ‘a la carte’ menu of benefits from which candidates can draw.”

The “a la carte” benefits menu will allow candidates to choose the benefit options that are most appealing to them. Among the items on the list are:

  • Student loan reimbursement upon hire
  • Student tuition reimbursement upon hire
  • Overtime and on-call shifts available
  • Telehealth work from home options available
  • Monthly stipend in lieu of selecting HCI insurance coverage
  • Flexible schedules (potential of four 10-hour days or three 12-hour days per week)
  • Monthly stipends to assist childcare costs

The exact “a la carte” program specifics are not finalized, but applicants may be able to choose “three or four” additional benefits to add to their compensation.

“Hamilton Center is committed to reinventing the way we see employment,” Burks said. “Stop on by. Let’s find a way.”

To learn more about employment opportunities at Hamilton Center, visit https://www.hamiltoncenter.org/employment// or call 812-231-8532. The organization also holds open interviews every Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its corporate office at 620 Eighth Avenue in Terre Haute, Ind.

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Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center Access Services Providing Valuable Service 24/7

While Hamilton Center’s (HCI) normal business hours are on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the needs of the communities it serves do not arise only during that time.  Hamilton Center’s Access Services works 24/7, 365 days a year to help bridge this gap and either provide help to those in need or steer them toward the correct location.

Amber Sebastian is a manager of Access Services at HCI and likes how her office has a huge role in getting people the help they need.

“When people present themselves to us, they let us know what their concern is,” she said. “Then we connect them with a nurse or a therapist who completes a crisis assessment. From that crisis assessment, we’ll contact the doctor that’s on call to see what the best treatment plan is for that patient.”

The Access Services center is located in Terre Haute but is not limited to just potential clients in that location.  Hamilton Center also has offices in Bloomfield, Clinton, Indianapolis, Plainfield, Spencer, Brazil, Greencastle, Linton, Rockville, Sullivan and West Terre Haute. Anyone in those locations needing help can also contact the Access Center at (800) 742-0787 or go to www.hamiltoncenter.org.

Sebastian related a story from a recent encounter with a man who was reaching out for assistance. 

“A man called in who was contemplating suicide,” she recalls. “And then once we talked to him and he understood that we were there to listen and assist, he was very thankful and felt much better.  He said usually he felt like nobody’s there for him.”

Sebastian noted that her department has a goal of getting help to someone in the community within 30 minutes of receiving a call.

“We were able to get him here for an assessment that really changed his entire day and his outlook on mental health facilities in general,” she said.

Sebastian recalled another recent situation involving a man contemplating suicide who was visiting from California.

“He ended up here but needed residential substance abuse treatment. We were able to connect with the most appropriate level of treatment. He received an assessment with them that same day and was admitted.” 

Sebastian noted the man has stayed around Terre Haute and still stops by the access center when he’s in the HCI building.

“Whenever he stops by our pharmacy to pick up his medicine, he stops in and basically just says, ‘thank you’,” Sebastian said. “He said, ‘You know, I feel like I was never being heard. I ended up in this random state where I knew no one and you guys were the only ones who helped me.’ That’s one that always sticks with me. He still sounds fine and just says, ‘Hey, I’m doing good.’ I love that.”

Sebastian noted that the two possible options for those seeking help are inpatient or outpatient treatment.

“If it’s inpatient, we go ahead and facilitate that to get them in our [IPU],” she said. “If it’s outpatient, we also get the follow up in place to ensure timely treatment. We don’t ever turn anyone away. Something that’s really big to someone else may be small to me and you.”

If people are unable to make it to any Hamilton Center office location to get their situations resolved, Access Services can send out its mobile crisis unit to provide the same assistance.

“Our goal is to intervene before it gets to the point of hospitalization,” Sebastian said. “If you feel like you’re suicidal in the community or depressed and you don’t have a ride to come into the Access Center, it’s an amazing alternative to dialing 911 and having law enforcement involved. I feel like it’s more therapeutic for our patients for us to be able to go out and intervene.”

Such a service also allows law enforcement to better focus on that intended topic instead of trying to diffuse issues of mental health.

 “If a 911 caller is voluntary, the police have been picking them up and just dropping them off here,” she said. “They’ll call us ahead of time and say, ‘Hey, so-and-so’s on the way’, so we’ve got a really good relationship with the police department.”

Jordon Miller had worked in the Inpatient Unit at Hamilton Center for nearly four years before moving into a management position in Access Services. 

Miller considers his new department as kind of the backbone of the entire HCI operation.

“I would describe it as a central hub for everything that goes on with Hamilton Center,” he said. “I like how vital and integral the Access Center is. My manager position is a bit different than my job on the IPU – it’s a lot more fast paced with a lot more department collaboration

Before the Access Center became a 24-hour operation, Miller handled many of the same kinds of crisis calls as a night shift mental health technician on the IPU.

“I was pretty well-versed in crisis intervention over the phone and facilitating referrals coming in from other hospitals and dealing with people who may be in a suicidal crisis or doing wellness checks,” Miller said. “We do a lot of really important work in there, and we have the right team put together. It just makes everything go really smoothly and kind of fall together.”

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Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center, Inc. Celebrates International Women’s Day

Employees get afternoon off to celebrate Women in their lives.

Hamilton Center Inc. employees, throughout the region, will participate in an International Women’s Day program from 8am to 10am March 8, 2022, with the theme of #BreakTheBias.  After the virtual program, they will enjoy the remainder of the day off to celebrate with women in their lives or celebrate Women’s Day in their own way.   

The event was created last year by the organization’s President/CEO, Melvin L. Burks, who felt the day should be recognized by all.  “Women have played a critical role in my life,” he stated.  “Particularly my mother and grandmother who laid the foundation for my life.” 

Hamilton Center’s program will include some short videos and presentations from three accomplished women, from three different generations, with unique perspectives and journeys as women.   

Christine Pace is a first-generation college student from Chicago, Illinois. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development & Family Studies from Indiana State University, and she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at ISU in Student Affairs and Higher Education. While attending Indiana State, she has been highly involved with many student organizations and held a variety of leadership roles. In addition, she has also worked with the ISU mentoring center, ISU counseling center, Residential Life, and, currently, The African American Cultural Center.  

LaSandra Edwards is a Civil Engineer with 20 years of engineering experience in wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and water resources. She has provided civil design, GIS coordination, and drawing production for some of the more complex projects in the Sacramento, CA region. She was a first-generation college graduate in the fourth graduating class (2002) of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology that included women. She was 1 of 5 woman in the civil engineering graduating class.  

Dororthy Jerse  is a native of Des Plaines, Illinois, but has lived in her adopted city of Terre Haute for close to 60 years. At age 49, she graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a Bachelor’s degree in American history and communication.  Dorothy was the former curator of the Vigo County Historical Society and executive director of the former Terre Haute YWCA.  The author or coauthor of seven local history publications and formerly a freelance writer for the Tribune-Star and Terre Haute Living magazine, she has conducted almost 2,000 interviews and claims “working people are my heroes.”  Dorothy is a mother of four accomplished children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild. 

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Hamilton Center Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in central and west central Indiana. The organization employs over 630 staff regionally and serves over 13,000 consumers annually. The full continuum of mental health and addiction services is provided birth through older adulthood.  The organization recently added primary care to its service array. Grace Clinic Health Professional is located in Vigo and Putnam counties and provides primary care services to children and adults. For additional information on Hamilton Center services call 800-742-0787.

Early Head Start Seeks to Improve Early Detection of Hearing and Vision Deficits

EHS Purchases hearing and vision equipment through the Terre Haute Day Nursery Fund of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation

Hamilton Center, Inc. has been awarded the Terre Haute Day Nursery Fund of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, Inc. grant, which provides $13,175 to purchase hearing and vision screening machines for the Early Head Start program. Early Head Start, now in its 26th year of operations, serves approximately 120 children ages 1 to 2 years through both in-home and center-based care.

“These hearing and vision machines will be used to screen children as they enter the program and at any time after, if a concern arises,” said Tiffany Cherry, Executive Director of Child & Adolescent Services at Hamilton Center. “Hearing and vision problems can have a negative impact on language and speech development, which might lead to struggles with academic performance or even overall well-being as the child gets older,” she added.

Research shows that identifying and treating hearing impairments early can help prevent these outcomes. Over 95 percent of all newborns receive a hospital-based hearing screening shortly after birth, though many impairments go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. In fact, two to three out of every 1,000 children are born with hearing impairments, ranging from mild to profound, and for some children, hearing problems develop after infancy. By implementing this equipment, Hamilton Center will be able to provide regular hearing and vision screenings to children in the Early Head Start program.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center Awarded Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation from The Joint Commission

Terre Haute, IN, January 13, 2022 – Hamilton Center, Inc. has once again been accredited by The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services, demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a healthcare organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

Hamilton Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced review in September 2021. During the survey, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services, which contains the set of standards designed to evaluate a variety of behavioral health care settings including mental health services, addiction treatment, and services for children, youth, and families.

The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with healthcare experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help healthcare organizations measure, assess, and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys healthcare organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission.

“We commend Hamilton Center for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care,” he stated.

“Hamilton Center is committed to excellence in healthcare,” said Melvin L Burks, President and CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc.. “Our staff are committed every day to high standards of care, safety, and service for our consumers, and this accreditation is a validation of their efforts.”

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center, Inc. provides individuals a second chance through “New Citizen Program”

On December 17, 2021, Hamilton Center graduated another “new citizen” from a program that offers the opportunity to acquire job skills, employment, and a new way of life.

“The enormity and the complexity of skills I have developed are only comparable to the 4 years of college I completed while serving my sentence.” – Jason Wentz, Hamilton Center New Citizen Program graduate.

Hamilton Center’s New Citizen Program, first established in 2013, gives individuals who have been incarcerated the tools needed for a second chance at life.  Throughout a one-year probationary period, participants train in different areas of the Corporation to gain skills and experience to secure a permanent career at Hamilton Center.  In addition to job skills, participants gain life skills as they work through challenges of reintegration into their communities with a team of mentors that meet with them weekly.

“Once an individual has paid their debt to society, they should be imparted the opportunity to restore and build upon their lives.” – Melvin L. Burks, President/CEO, Hamilton Center, Inc.

The opportunity is life changing for someone who has been involved in the criminal justice system and is willing to turn his or her life around.  The program offers support from Hamilton Center staff and community leaders to bring confidence and motivation to someone who is willing to become a new citizen.

“The New Citizen Program has made a lasting impression on my life, having provided me with the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of working both in IT and mental health.  I have expanded my knowledge of computers and technology and received hands-on experience and training in the IT Department.  I have not only earned a permanent position as an IT Support Representative, but I am continuing my training and working towards additional certifications in the field,” Wentz stated.

The New Citizen Program is about supporting those who have made decisions that could negatively affect the rest of their lives.  Hamilton Center has made it possible for these individuals to have a second chance, to start a new life, and to travel down a supported path to success.

“I feel a sense of accomplishment, having set a goal, working diligently towards achieving it, and ultimately attaining it,” said Wentz.  “I am humbled by the blessing I was given just getting a chance to prove myself, and I am beyond joyed to find myself in a position where I am helping people each and every day.”

Hamilton Center welcomes additional host sites and participants for the New Citizen Program. To learn more, visit www.hamiltoncenter.org/programs/new-citizen/, or call (812) 231-8323.