Founded in 1967 in Norton, Kansas, Valley Hope operates 16 treatment centers in seven states across the Midwest and has helped thousands of people find recovery from addiction to alcohol or drugs. Valley Hope’s Tele-Behavioral Health Program has almost 200 patients currently treated online and has serviced thousands of others since its creation in 2007. Valley Hope also offers intensive treatment for family members who need education on addiction and support. 

Valley Hope Association is an addiction recovery organization with a mission “to provide a quality continuum of comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment and related services, in a caring atmosphere and at a reasonable price, for all people experiencing problems with alcohol or other drug use.” 

They offer a variety of services to meet the varying needs that different people have. Their care is based on individual needs rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. These services are detoxification, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and family care. 

Valley Hope Association started its Accessible Care/Effective Support Services (AC/ESS) program in 2007 to address decreasing sobriety data and barriers experienced by patients. The AC/ESS option provides patients and families with the ability to connect 24/7 with counselors, peers, and recovery resources. This includes a counselor-monitored virtual, interactive, therapy room and videoconferencing for live group sessions.

This was geared toward specific patients: 

  • Who are self-employed or cannot miss work
  • Employees who must frequently travel or work second and third shifts
  • Employees or military personnel stationed outside the US
  • Individuals lacing transportation
  • Individuals living in small towns and rural settings without access to local treatment facilities
  • Parents or legal guardians who cannot obtain childcare
  • Individuals with limited mobility or physical disabilities
  • Individuals with co-occuring mental health disorders

To solve these access barriers, AC/ESS offers online programs. One of these is the Intensive Outpatient program (IOP). This is six weeks long at nine or 10 hours per week of group sessions, modules, group discussions, and one synchronous individual session each week. Another is Family Intensive Treatment. This program is four weeks long at five hours each week. It includes daily, guided group discussions, a synchronous group session each week, and a synchronous individual session each week. The last program is Continuing Care. It lasts six to 12+ months with a minimum time commitment of one hour each week. It includes asynchronous relapse prevention modules and can only be used after completion of ground programs, such as residential, outpatient, or IOP programs. 

The AC/ESS outcomes data show that the IOP online participants were sober 80% of their six-week treatment time while on ground participants were sober 58% of that six weeks. For one year of continuing care, online participants were sober 74% of treatment and on ground participants were sober for 62% of that time. Patient time spent in treatment was greater for online patients for both IOP and continuing care. 

The AC/ESS program utilizes a Chess Mobile Health platform. This allows users to view personal recovery strength; access surveys to assess recovery; create journal entries; compile goals; be connected to a community; discover content to help them through recovery and locate locale NA/AA meetings; non-emergency support; high-risk location notifications. 

In February 2016, Valley Hope was rewarded a $50,000 Daniels Fund grant, partially to support the AC/ESS program. It was estimated that this funding would benefit about 32 patients through scholarships for continuing care treatment through the AC/ESS program. 

View presentation slides hereHolly Kresbach, Clinical Director of Tele-Health services, discussed Valley Hope Association with KC Digital Drive’s Health Innovation Team on September 28, 2016.

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