June 6, 2019 – On Saturday, May 18, friends and supporters of El Camino Health gathered at Los Altos Golf & Country Club for Spring Forward, a gala celebrating the Scrivner Center for Mental Health & Addiction Services and the soon-to-open Taube Pavilion. Honorary Chairs Tad and Dianne Taube of Belmont and Mary and Doug Scrivner of Los Altos Hills were recognized for their transformational gifts. The event raised nearly $160,000 for the addiction services program. Guests dined at gourmet food stations, heard a riveting presentation by addiction medicine expert Dr. Omar Manejwala, and gave generously to the fund-in-need appeal.
“Addiction is the most stigmatized condition in the world,” Dr. Manejwala observed. While it is both treatable and preventable, only one in 10 Americans with a substance use or chemical dependency disorder currently receives treatment. By reducing stigma, easing access to care through new payer models and technologies, harnessing the potential of gene therapies and medications, and addressing social determinants of health such as trauma and loneliness, addiction can become a manageable chronic disease, just like any other. He asked the audience to imagine, “What if it were easier to get help than it is to get high?”
“Although many health systems are letting go of addiction services, we want to make it clear to our community that we are in the business of treating addictions,” Dr. Daniel F. Becker, chief medical director of the Scrivner Center for Mental Health & Addiction Services, told the audience.
El Camino Health’s approach to treating mental health and addictions is to develop targeted programs that meet the community’s needs. The organization currently offers a 12-week intensive outpatient treatment program in Mountain View for adults with addictions and a dual diagnosis program for adults with an addiction and co-occurring mental health condition. Specially trained program staff help patients develop skills for managing stress and regulating emotions, offer support to family members, and conduct after-care follow up to ensure ongoing mental wellness. In coming months, the addictions team will focus on an approach to inpatient detox, extend outpatient treatment engagement to one year to improve chances for maintaining abstinence, and explore collaborations with other community health organizations to address addictive behaviors in youth.
Michael Fitzgerald, APRN, executive director of the Scrivner Center for Mental Health & Addiction Services, followed by sharing, “We are able to provide high quality services and pioneer more effective models of care without turning anyone away, even when insurance reimbursement lags behind because of your support.”
A Los Altos couple heartbreakingly described their son’s dependence on alcohol and their struggles to find effective treatment. “As a parent, you start to ask yourself, should you let your child go – even if it results in homelessness or jail – or do you try yet another treatment center hoping this time it may work,” they said. “We are deeply grateful to our community hospital and proud that it has stepped up to provide industry-leading mental health and addiction services, despite the financial challenges of doing so.” The couple received a standing ovation.
The evening concluded with dessert and dancing to the joyous music of Tony Lindsay and the Soul Soldiers.
ABOUT EL CAMINO HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
El Camino Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization that secures gifts to support the strategic priorities of El Camino Health. The Foundation awards grants to El Camino Health for operating support, capital purchases and improvements, and innovations that foster and support personalized care.