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Expanding Services Beyond Massachusetts: McLean Launches Substance Abuse Program in Maine

January 26, 2015 Print

Borden Cottage, scheduled to open in early 2015 in Camden, Maine, is the hospital’s newest residential treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction and the first McLean program to open outside of Massachusetts.

Set on nearly 14 acres of lawns and gardens and overlooking Penobscot Bay, Borden Cottage is modeled clinically after McLean’s other programs and will be “fully integrated into McLean’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse,” says Philip Levendusky, PhD, ABPP, senior vice president for Business Development and Communications and director of the Psychology Department.

Borden Cottage viewAs with all of McLean’s programs, Borden Cottage provides evidence- based treatment modalities for alcohol and drug addiction. Led by clinicians who are experts in the use of pioneering medications and behavioral treatments, the goal is for patients to achieve and maintain abstinence and learn how to manage the stresses of an active life without returning to alcohol or drugs. The seven-day-a-week program focuses on recovery and relapse prevention, and a 30-day minimum stay assures full benefit from the program. Also provided is hands-on support and education for family members and significant others about drug and alcohol addiction and close collaboration with referrers and community providers.

“McLean recognizes the tremendous need for high-quality mental health and substance abuse care and we are continuing to explore opportunities for expanding our programs to different areas of the country,” says Levendusky. “We want to broaden our access to people nationally and internationally."

Hilary Connery, MD, PhD, clinical director of McLean’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program and an assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says the opening of Borden Cottage is an exciting opportunity for extending McLean’s model of care to other populations.

“Part of the mission of the hospital is to provide the highest quality of evidence-based clinical care for substance use disorders and co- occurring mental health conditions,” says Connery. “We have a model of integrated care that’s very effective.”

Roger Weiss, MD, chief of McLean Hospital’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and a professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that Borden Cottage will follow the lead of other successful McLean programs.

“The division has experienced great success in running programs throughout Massachusetts, including the Fernside program in Princeton and the Naukeag program in Ashburnham. Each has been open for a number of years and are thoroughly integrated with the rest of the programs within the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. They offer the same level of care, treatment philosophy, and evidenced-based treatment approaches.”

Frederick Goggans, MD, who was selected to serve as medical director for Borden Cottage, says the new program will have a positive impact on the Camden area.

“The presence of this facility will lead to a greater emphasis on the importance of treating addiction and will improve professional education and general understanding in the community regarding recovery from these disorders.”

Recently named a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Goggans is also chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Pen Bay Medical Center and a lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

As medical director of Borden Cottage, Goggans is responsible for not only oversight of all medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse treatment, but also the quality of care and supervision of all licensed personnel and the development of a consulting medical staff.

“Borden Cottage hopes to inspire the creation of other programs in the mid-coast Maine region to help serve the local population,” says Goggans. “McLean could provide a source of ongoing education and support for the healthcare community.”

Nancy Merrill, PMHCNS, BC, program director, oversees the management of the programs at Fernside and Naukeag and was instrumental in their development as well as the development of Borden Cottage. “This is a great opportunity to be able to bring our services to another location. As a team, we’re excited about replicating McLean’s knowledge and expertise outside of Massachusetts,” says Merrill.

Merrill is currently working with her department to hire clinicians, nurses, community resident counselors, case managers, therapists, and a program director. Most of the staff hired so far is from the Camden area, she says.

“We want to hire as much local talent as we can,” says Levendusky, adding that Borden Cottage will have a “significant and positive economic influence in the mid-coast Maine region, with McLean being a year-round employer as well as an active contributing member of the community.”