ABOUT W. G. (BILL) HEFNER VA MEDICAL CENTER – MENTAL HEALTH
The W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center provides health care treatments to veterans in a 24-county area of North Carolina, including Charlotte and Winston-Salem. The center’s mental health division operates residential and outpatient substance abuse andtreatment programs which offer both detox and medication-assisted therapy. Founded in 1953, the Salisbury, N.C., VA serves around 90,000 veterans each year. are also available.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Treatment at the W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center – Mental Health Division begins with an assessment by mental health clinicians. Clinicians evaluate each veteran’s past and current circumstances to determine the appropriate level of care. Treatment programs involve education and therapy designed to help clients understand and recover from the effects of addiction and substance abuse. Commonly applied approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MO). Clients with opioid addiction have the option of receiving Suboxone treatment as well.
The facility’s most intensive level of care is known in the VA as a Substance Abuse Recovery and Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP). This 35-day residential program is designed for clients who have not had or are unlikely to achieve success through outpatient treatment. Clients are monitored around-the-clock to ensure their safety and well-being, as well as to maintain a controlled environment free of drugs or common stressors.
Outpatient treatment may be either an initial stage of treatment or a step-down program following completion of a more intensive treatment program. Veterans participate in one or two group therapy sessions per week at the standard outpatient level. A 12-week intensive outpatient program meets for nine hours per week. Clients focus on resolving individual and common behavioral issues related to their substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Family involvement is encouraged.
Aftercare services are available for clients that complete treatment programs. The facility maintains contact with clients to help facilitate follow-up services and continuing care. Involvement in community-based treatment groups is encouraged. Referrals can also be provided as needed.
The treatment team at W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center – Mental Health Division is comprised of psychiatrists, physician assistants, social workers, psychologists, and addiction counselors. Staff members have years of experience working with rehab clients in different settings.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
In total, the VA in Salisbury has 484 beds available for inpatient treatment, including a capacity to serve 55 veterans in the SARRTP residential program. Mental health services are provided in a 79,000-square-foot building that opened in 2014 to increase support for veterans needing PTSD, psychiatric, and substance abuse treatment.
Best-rehabs.com surveyed eight alumni and loved ones associated with addiction and mental health services at the Hefner VA. Resulting data revealed strong satisfaction with accommodations. Metrics measuring the quality of meals and nutrition, cleanliness and upkeep of the facility, exercise and leisure opportunities, and general accommodations each received average ratings of four out of five stars or higher.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Of the five alumni polled by Best-rehabs.com to date, four indicated that they would recommend treatment at the facility.
Alumni tended to reference counselors and counseling options as strengths. On a scale of one to five, the average rating for the level of staff training and experience was 3.6 stars, while the effectiveness of treatment received a 3.4-star average rating.
One alum would not recommend the program, citing several concerns including a lack of support for relapse prevention. “The facility personal were not concerned about their patients. They followed a routine set by the VA and refused any ‘wiggle’ room,” the former client wrote. Alumni rated the availability of holistic opportunities poorly, with an average of 1.8 stars.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Three loved ones polled by Best-rehabs.com at the time of this writing provided positive feedback about this facility.
Loved ones rated treatment effectiveness with four- and five-star ratings. Available counseling options and the staff’s level of training and experience were also identified as strengths.
Two respondents gave two out of five stars for family participation. One mentioned a need for more activities during treatment and another described the facility as overcrowded.
The Veterans Administration encourages vets to maintain private health insurance, which Hefner VA Medical Center accepts. Veterans may also apply eligible military benefits to the cost of care. Self-pay is also available, but all clients must be military veterans or their families.