Bringing the Heroes Program to Lompoc
Lompoc Valley Medical Center, in its quest to provide new and innovative medical services to the Healthcare District, has contracted with Addiction Medicine Services, Inc. (AMS Inc.) to open a hospital based voluntary chemical treatment center. A unique element of the new center will be the “Heroes Program”. It will focus on the “care and restoration” of military, law enforcement and fire department professionals who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and chemical dependency issues. Steven Collier is the CEO of AMS, Inc. and is looking forward to bringing this new service to the Lompoc Valley.
“It’s really ground breaking and very timely to focus care on first responders,” says Mr. Collier. “We are aware of significant numbers of veterans returning from combat who are experiencing PTSD symptoms as they attempt to reintegrate into civilian life. Law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders have similar exposure to work-related trauma that triggers PTSD.” "Symptoms often include flashbacks, nightmares and difficulty sleeping, anxiety, as well as anger and hyper-vigilance. Alcohol and drug abuse is a common maladaptive way of trying to survive and be normal in the face of these symptoms. The problem is that it does not work, and in fact makes things much worse, Mr. Collier says. "The Heroes Program will uniquely treat both the chemical dependency and PTSD problems at the same time. Being in treatment with their peers, patients can process traumatic and terrifying events that would be difficult to bring up in a lay group setting, Mr. Collier said."" “A trained professional staff will help patients avoid negative coping strategies and begin effective treatment for PTSD and concurrently engage a personal and family recovery program for the treatment of chemical dependency,” Mr. Collier explains.
The Champion Center will provide chemical dependency treatment for those 18 years of age and older. In addition, a special service for older adults is also planned. Mr. Collier says 15 to 20 percent of older adults misuse alcohol and prescription drugs. AMS’s Older Adult services are “age-specific, non-confrontational and aim to build self-esteem and new hope for the future,” the CEO says. “Coping with depression, loneliness and loss, as well as efforts to rebuild a social support network are among the treatment goals of this service.” "Other services being considered include a chronic pain, or pain medication abuse, component.
This new service will allow the LVMC to re-open, after extensive construction and remodeling, our existing facility at 508 E Hickory Avenue. Plans recently approved by the Lompoc Planning Commission call for the demolition of a portion of the old medical / surgical wing of the old hospital and a complete remodel of the remaining portions. Part of the remodel will be to provide a new roof line on the exiting two story portion of the facility to allow for more functional use of the property. This will not only allow for a better patient flow but provide space for a new driveway and gardens. The entire exterior will be updated to reflect a craftsman style architecture and new landscaping will be installed that will be more compatible with the residential neighborhood that the facility is located in.
As an additional benefit to the community, the new facility will provide an additional 60 to 70 well-paying professional employment opportunities. These will be opportunities to bring new employees into our community as well as provide opportunities for individuals that already live in our community and can upgrade their positions or eliminate a commute.
Watch for our groundbreaking and as always you can get the latest information and a pictorial history on our web site at www.lompocvmc.com. We have the opportunity to make the Champion Center and Heroes Program a model for addiction and PTSD treatment in the country.