Source: Detroit News
BY MELISSA BURDEN THE DETROIT NEWS
Director: Change better reflects Brighton site's mission of drug, alcohol treatment
Brighton Township— Brighton Hospital, the nation's second-oldest alcohol and drug treatment provider, is renaming itself to better reflect its mission as an addiction treatment center.
The facility now will be called Brighton Center for Recovery, as part of its transition into Warren-based St. John Providence Health System and its behavioral health and wellness service line.
"I think it's more synonymous with the kind of work we do here today, which is recovery work," said Ken Van Elslander, 57, who became director of the Brighton center in September. He had worked for more than 30 years in his family's Art Van Furniture empire before leaving in 2005.
Brighton isn't an acute care hospital, but has 99 beds for rehabilitation services. Marked on the entrance signs from Grand River Avenue are notices that no emergency services are available there.
Instead, several buildings — some that look like old houses — dot the 92 acres where patients as young as 18 and into their 70s are treated for alcohol and drug abuse.
Van Elslander, whose father is Art Van Furniture founder and owner Art Van Elslander, described Brighton as a wellness center to treat people's mind, body and spirit.
"We're here to love them until they love themselves," he said.
The most common patient these days is an 18- to 25-year-old male addicted to opiates such as prescription Vicodin or Oxycontin, Van Elslander said. Some of those patients also use heroin because it's less expensive on the street at $10 to $15 a bag versus pills that might run $30 to $40 a piece, he said.
Most patients come from Wayne, Oakland and Livingston counties and stay from 14 to 30 days, Van Elslander said.
"A little over 4,000 people came through here last year," he said.
Brighton Hospital, which opened in the early 1950s, was a nonprofit and controlled by an independent board when in 2001 it sought St. John Providence as a partner, said Stephanie Brady, vice president of care transitions for St. John Providence Health System.
Brighton had a 10-year affiliation agreement with St. John Providence until February 2011, when Brighton's board voted to integrate into the health system, ahead of the agreement's November expiration date, Brady said.
"There's not really dollars changing hands per se," she said, adding the Brighton board has disbanded and members have joined various St. John Providence boards, committees and councils. Ken Van Elslander was a former Brighton board member.
For the health system, Brighton helps it to better manage patients' health and offers a profitable service, Brady said.
"Brighton strategically is a great asset to the health system," she said. "Probably about 10 percent of the population coming into our facility hospitals have either alcohol or drug abuse problem."
And Brighton can treat those patients cheaper than if they were in a medical-surgical facility and also in the appropriate setting, Brady said.
Brighton Center for Recovery hosts support group meetings six nights a week and offers outpatient services such as counseling. Patients upon discharge could be referred back to their doctors and other St. John facilities such as Eastwood Clinics, which provide mental health, alcoholism and chemical dependency treatment in southeast Michigan.