With the opening of the new community-based office in the Bridgeview Building in Camden, the Cooper Center for Healing further expanded the availability of comprehensive, compassionate treatment to South Jersey residents who have addiction disorders.
“We have a fully integrated medical program that includes physicians, nurses, counselors, social workers, and patient navigators,” says Kaitlan Baston, MD, MSc, DFASAM, Division Head of Addiction Medicine at Cooper. “This interdisciplinary team works together to care for patients with substance use disorders, complex pain, chemical or substance dependence, and co-occurring mental health issues in the most destigmatizing and compassionate way we can.”
“We think it’s essential that addiction is treated just like any other medical condition or struggle that people have in their lives,” she says.
“We are evidence based,” says Rachel Haroz, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician and Division Head of Toxicology and Addiction Medicine. “We provide excellent wraparound services, but as physicians, we also use the evidence, which is very clear. Using medication is the only factor that impacts mortality.”
With that focus, Cooper has taken steps to ensure that patients with addiction disorders can receive lifesaving treatment 24/7 with little waiting.
“Several years ago, we took steps to ensure that our Emergency Department knew how to treat people with opioid use disorder—not just stabilize them and let them go, but start treatment and engagement right there,” says Dr. Baston.
“We have a 24-hour consult service,” says Dr. Haroz. “But if a patient comes to the ED and is admitted, the hospitalist can initiate methadone or buprenorphine treatment, even without having to call the service in the middle of the night.”
During the day, the Center for Healing offers walk-in appointments for patients seeking immediate help.
“We have a provider who is dedicated to treating walk-in patients only, five days a week,” said Dr. Baston. “And they are often the busiest provider in the building.”
Once they walk through the doors, patients can access a vast array of inpatient and outpatient services at the Center for Healing and elsewhere in the Cooper system. The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper provides medical detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient rehab, intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, medication-assisted treatment, dual-diagnosis treatment, and more.
“We also provide wraparound services for women who are struggling with addiction, since the impact of their illness can be much more complicated,” says Dr. Baston. “When we treat a woman, we also seek to treat their family, whether they have a partner who also needs treatment or whether they are struggling with addiction during pregnancy. We help them to break down barriers to housing, transportation, medical coverage, and everything that is necessary to become stable.”
The center also has integrated programs for members of the community who are considered high risk, such as the formerly incarcerated, those with HIV, and individuals with infections related to substance use disorders, such as endocarditis.
In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Baston serves as Cooper’s Medical Director of Government Relations.
“I work with Anthony Welch, who is Vice President and Chief of Government Relations Officer, at the state level on policy that helps to improve access to treatment, whether it is availability, programming, or payment,” says Dr. Baston. “It’s imperative that people throughout the state get the lifesaving treatment they need with the dignity they deserve, which is what we provide here at Cooper.”
For more information on the Cooper Center for Healing, or to make an appointment with one of our addiction specialists, please call 800.8.COOPER (800.826.6737).