Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

ABOUT RALPH H. JOHNSON VA MEDICAL CENTER

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is located on the campus of Roper Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina, on the west side of Charleston. The Ralph H. Johnson facility is a 145-bed primary, secondary, and tertiary care medical center; for the treatment of mental health disorders, the center offers a psychiatric inpatient center and inpatient and outpatient programs for substance use disorder.

Services are available to veterans and their families.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

The Ralph J. Johnson VAMC’s website notes that the facility provides inpatient psychiatric care and inpatient and outpatient programming for substance use disorder, but does not, at the time of this writing, provide any further details about its treatment methodologies.

An alum polled by Best-rehabs.com painted a picture of an effective but somewhat bare-bones program, in which they received good treatment for their co-occurring disorders, but less impressive holistic offerings, and a relatively limited range of counseling options. And the facility’s website notes that this VAMC offers dedicated programming for minority veterans who are struggling with a range of difficulties, including homelessness and substance use disorder. In addition, CiteHealth indicates that the center provides methadone and buprenorphine programs for individuals seeking assistance with an opioid addiction.

Additionally, the Handbook of Military Social Work, notes that across the VA, the most common method of treating addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), along with education and support. The same source notes that most VA medical centers provide short detox programs on both inpatient and outpatient bases, and that outpatient care is generally provided once weekly, in the form of a one- or two-hour group counseling session, or in intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) that include 20–30 hours of programming per week. The handbook also notes that VA facilities aim to assess veterans seeking addiction treatment for any co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD or depression, and to provide treatment for those disorders along with support in the areas of spirituality, sexual dysfunction, employment, and education. This holistic treatment is designed to remove likely causes of relapse.

In addition to direct treatment for substance use disorder, the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC provides alcoholism prevention-based programming via its on-site Healthy Living Program.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

The Ralph H. Johnson VAMC is a research institute as well as a treatment center, and some staff members are currently conducting research on alcohol-related disorders, PTSD, and other areas of mental and behavioral health. The facility employs at least one psychologist, as well as numerous physicians. The single alum polled by Best-rehabs.com to date gave the facility four out of five stars for its staff’s level of training and experience.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

There is currently no information provided by the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC regarding its living arrangements and related offerings, however, the single alum polled by Best-rehabs.com to date gave the facility five stars for its accommodations and meals, and four stars for its cleanliness and exercise/leisure offerings.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

The single alum polled by Best-rehabs.com to date gave mostly positive feedback. They noted that strengths of the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC included “the experience of the staff the treatment process and the attitude of the staff,” and gave the facility four stars for its treatment effectiveness and its ability to treat co-occurring disorders and two stars for its holistic offerings, family participation, and counseling options.

At the time of this writing, secondary sites yielded no reviews of the center’s substance abuse programs in particular, and mixed feedback about the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC as a whole: a 2.5-star average rating based on 23 reviews left on Google.[1] The reviews contained repeat complaints about administrative problems such as long wait times and difficulty getting an appointment in the first place; more than one reviewer also felt that the staff, including medical staff, were less than caring: “The staff there are horrible and are Doctor was not the best either. The people that work here have no since of urgency. I feel like we are getting the run around,” M.O. wrote in a representative review. “Mental health is a joke. Community resources are an illusion,” M.B. added, in the only review to directly reference the center’s mental health services.

However, a handful of reviewers described differing experiences, most often by focusing on the staff’s dedication: “They work hard to provide the best care to veterans that they can!” D.M. wrote in a representative review.

FINANCING

Depending on the services rendered and other factors, treatment at VAMCs is sometimes offered free of charge to veterans and their families, though clients are sometimes required to pay a co-pay. The single alum of the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC polled by Best-rehabs.com to date gave the facility three out of five stars for its affordability.

[1] https://goo.gl/Lbx3CQ

Reviews about Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • I would say the experience of the staff the treatment process and the attitude of the staff.The location is great. The only weakness is bedtime hours. Meeting people who have the same addiction and sharing different versions of the individual problems finding different ways to solve the problem.