New recovery layer: Fairbanks renovates residential unit 


Fairbanks Inpatient Manager Mindy Miller, left, and Fairbanks Director of Marketing Jan Stanich look at creating a brochure for the residential unit. (Photos by Anna Skinner)

With renovated space, Fairbanks Addiction Treatment Center, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center, has added a beneficial recovery layer for inpatients who transition into the outpatient program.

The recently renovated residential unit provides a space for patients to establish sober habits before transitioning to an outpatient program.

The residential unit opened in October 2019. Prior to the renovation, patients who no longer required medical care were housed with new patients who may have needed medical care or who were detoxing. Fairbanks is at 8102 Clearvista Pkwy. in Indianapolis.

“It was all the same program, and now that we are separate, there’s more specific programs for the residential level of care,” Fairbanks Inpatient Manager Mindy Miller said. “So, there’s not as much of a medical component. (In residential), they have more educational groups really focused on environmental factors, therapeutic factors, and they dive a little deeper into that.”

In the residential unit, groups learn about the disease of addiction, establish coping skills and work through trauma and grief and other challenges. Patients can attend 12-step meetings at Fairbanks’ recovery center.

“It gives them a chance to start building a sober network because they are at a point where they can go do that medically, because they are completely stable medically,” Miller said. “It offers them that opportunity to get some things in place before they leave and are in outpatient or in a supportive living program or something like that.”

Patients typically spend a week in inpatient services. When they are tapered off the substance and have no medical issues, they are able to transition to the residential unit. Patients spend two to three weeks in the residential unit.”

After patients have spent the allotted time in the residential unit, they work with counselors and case managers on the next level of care, which is usually an outpatient program, such as the supportive living program, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient.

The residential unit can accommodate a combined male and female 18 patients who are 18 or older. As of press time, the unit was at capacity, and Miller said it has mostly been at capacity since opening.

Prior to becoming the residential unit, the wing was for adolescents and young adults. The renovation took approximately a month and included new flooring and new furniture. The unit includes a lounge, residential rooms, group therapy areas and a recreation area. Patients also have access to the gym and cafeteria.

“They can wander. We are really trying to transition them into having less structure so they are successful when they go to outpatient,” Miller said. “I think the big difference is, here they are just getting further into their recovery and their treatment process, so they are working on different priorities when they are in residential compared to when they are in detox.

“We always had those priorities, but now they have their own community they can create. They kind of work together and support each other as they are building those skills, and the counselors can really be individualized and focused.”

Fairbanks Director of Marketing Jan Stanich said the residential unit offers more opportunities for Fairbanks to provide a full scope of care.

“(The residential unit) is part of the whole continuum of care, which is something Fairbanks can do from the medication down through outpatient,” Stanich said.

The continuum of care is inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and recovery management.

“It’s been a great success,” Stanich said. “Obviously, the need is really great in the community, which we can see since opening, and we take people from all over central Indiana.”

Stanich said a majority of patients come from northern Marion County, Hamilton County and Tipton County.

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The newly renovated Fairbanks recreation room for inpatients. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Accepting Medicaid for residential patients

The new residential unit at Fairbanks has been at virtual capacity since opening in October 2019. Fairbanks spokesperson Mindy Miller said part of the reason the unit is seeing more patients is because Fairbanks accepts Medicaid for residential patients.

“Using the residential benefit of insurance with Medicaid, we weren’t able to offer that before, but now with opening this, we are,” Miller said. “There are more opportunities for people to use it. We actually thought we would have about half the amount of patients we had.

“We were on the conservative end of how many patients we thought we would have, but we’ve been at capacity most of the time.”


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