July 2017 ASAC Action Newsletter

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Message from Barb Gay, Executive Director

July is a busy month for ASAC, as it is the start of our new fiscal year.  This means we are wrapping up the prior year, and getting the new year started.  For this new year, fiscal year 2018, there are only a few new initiatives, with many continuing for the agency.  One of the primary projects is Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT).  ASAC began the exploration of FIT in August of 2015, and then shortly after began planning to implement it agency-wide.  We have one office, our South Outpatient office, which began implementing FIT as of July 1. We will eventually be using this model throughout the agency for all levels of care, supervision and prevention services. We are very much looking forward to seeing how FIT works for ASAC and our service recipients.

We selected FIT to help us ensure we were meeting our own intention to treat the whole person, and being focused on the goals of the person who was seeking care with us.  A key aspect of FIT is to routinely and formally solicit feedback from the patient, and then use it to guide their treatment.  Research shows that using this feedback leads to fewer patients dropping out of care, and often reduces the length of care.

To implement FIT, ASAC has improved our technology, and is very appreciative of the support we have received from The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.  ASAC has also invested in staff training to ensure successful implementation of FIT, and we are so appreciative of our staff who has been working for the past year to prepare for this new initiative.

City of Ely Passes Nicotine Free Grounds Policy

Around Iowa, some cities have been closing holes in the law that allows the use of Electronic Smoking Devices (ESD) indoors, while others have chosen to set a standard that prohibits any tobacco, nicotine or ESD use.  Studies are revealing the potential health concerns to bystanders, not to mention negative influence on youth and increased costs to cities.  Cities like Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty and Ames have already taken stands.  Recently, Ely became the first Linn County city to make all their city buildings and grounds Nicotine Free, prohibiting the use of tobacco, alternative nicotine and ESD’s in these areas.  This decision reflects Ely’s desire to decrease any health and safety issues, while supporting efforts of others to improve their health.

Patient Succeeds with Halfway House Support

Kelly Reitzler, Recovery Center Director, shares the following story of recovery: “We have a 27 year old woman that transferred from another residential program to ASAC’s Recovery Center Halfway House in October 2016 for ongoing support related to her opioid use disorder.  She was able to gain employment while living in our halfway house, and was admitted into the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) grant and is still receiving monthly vivitrol injections. She moved into the Catherine McAuley program a couple months ago and is loving life.  She purchased her first car and we were able to enroll her in Access To Recovery to assist with gas cards.  Today, she is almost 10 months clean and sober! She has her family and her young son back in her life, and she glows when we see her!”

Strategic Plan Update

We are happy to report great progress on our strategic plan, with several key changes already implemented. July 1, ASAC went live with a new cloud based human resources system that will improve efficiencies across the agency in time tracking, payroll, employee data management, and reporting. July 10, our fully updated personnel handbook went into effect. Key changes in this handbook included paid volunteer time as an employee benefit and the implementation of employee drug testing. We have also launched the Feedback Informed Treatment model in the first office, and have begun our application for CARF accreditation. We will continue to share our key accomplishments related to our strategic plan in future communications! To view our full strategic plan, visit www.asac.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ASAC-Strat-plan_print_2.pdf.

FY18 Community Training Calendar Released

ASAC will continue to offer training to our community on several topics related to our mission throughout the next year. Training details, including full training descriptions and registration links, will be posted at www.asac.us/training as they become available. Any changes will be posted on our website. Trainings will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cost are generally $10 per CEU (50% discount for ASAC staff). All trainings will be submitted to IBC for CEU approval.


To be added to our training announcement email distribution list, please email us at info@asac.us.

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