Helping Patients and Families Navigate Addiction Treatment Services

February 22, 2021

When she is not working as the admissions coordinator at Fernside, Quinn Tremblay stays very busy.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending country concerts and sports events, and “making folks laugh.” She said that her Catahoula leopard dog Annie “always puts a smile on my face,” and she can often be found at the local animal shelter “keeping some puppies company while resisting the urge to adopt them.”

Tremblay also spends a lot of time with a camera in hand attempting to catch glimpses of natural beauty through wildlife, landscapes, and an occasional train riding on a local track.

Another thing Tremblay likes to do is hop on the back of her Indian Scout motorcycle and “coddiwomple.” If you haven’t heard of “coddiwompling,” it means “to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.”

Touring on her motorcycle might be the only time Tremblay travels toward a vague destination. That’s because, every day, she helps people navigate the complex system of nationwide substance addiction programs to get them the help they need.

As admissions coordinator, Tremblay serves as the initial contact for patients and families who come for treatment at Fernside and at Borden Cottage, McLean’s other Signature Addiction Recovery Program. “Each day, I am helping potential patients, their families, and their treatment teams navigate the addiction services available through the McLean system and outside of McLean,” she explained.

Woman sitting with coffee cup

Quinn Tremblay is the admission coordinator for Fernside, one of McLean’s Signature Addiction Recovery Programs

Her role also involves teaching patients and families about treatment services and working with them on determining insurance-based and private-pay options, managing admission days and planned bed availability, and working with nursing and psychiatry staff on detoxification and medical clearance. In addition, Tremblay conducts medical chart reviews, serves as the onsite contact for marketing, tours, and outreach, and maintains data on inquiries coming into the programs.

Tremblay is committed to steering patients and families in the right direction. “To me, the important thing is that everyone that calls has a next step,” she explained. “No person that calls into our programs should hang up the phone without a recommendation or the knowledge of how to navigate an admission through our programs.”

She says that the most rewarding part of her job is having the opportunity to assist families who want to know how and where to get mental health help for their loved ones.

Tremblay brings a broad range of experience to the job. Before coming to McLean more than 13 years ago, she managed a Department of Mental Health group home in Gardner, Massachusetts, working with adults primarily diagnosed with thought disorders. She also spent time coaching high school softball and field hockey.

She came to Fernside as a community residence counselor just after the program opened. Tremblay said that her background helped her in her new role. “While being both a student athlete and a coach, I had seen how substance misuse can ruin the lives of many and their trajectory into both college and professional athletics,” she said. “I thought, ‘what way to better try to assist in the problem as a whole than to get involved in an up-and-coming program?’”

After four years as a community residence counselor, Tremblay transitioned to her current role of admissions coordinator. “This is where I feel my calling really is,” she said.

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