Fire Fighter Treatment Facility Receives Top Recognition

10/11/17

The first and only addiction center focusing on treating fire fighters battling Post-Traumatic Stress and substance abuse has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation for its continued commitment to providing safe and effective care to the fire fighters it serves.

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Center of Excellence (COE) is a joint project between the IAFF and Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS) to create and operate a full service residential treatment facility to combat substance abuse and the Post Traumatic Stress epidemic sweeping the fire service. From its 15-acre facility outside of Washington D.C., the IAFF Center of Excellence is a revolutionary facility designed to assist IAFF members who are struggling to cope with the stress and trauma that accumulates over the course of their career.

The center is part of a larger initiative by the IAFF to respond to behavioral health issues its members face. The IAFF has established a peer support program that engages members to reduce stigma, build resilience and provide support after critical events to help them process what has happened. IAFF Peer support teams were activated to assist fire fighters for the recent Clark County/Las Vegas Active Shooter incident, as well as hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In all, over 4,000 peer contacts were initiated.

"We are tremendously proud of what we have built for our members, and the Behavioral Health Accreditation from the Joint Commission ensures more of members will have access to the Center of Excellence and can receive the quality care they need to begin their road to recovery," says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger.

The IAFF Center of Excellence underwent a rigorous onsite survey as a part of the accreditation process. During the review, compliance with behavioral health care standards related to several areas – including care, treatment and services, environment of care, screening procedures, and leadership – were evaluated. Onsite observations and interviews also were conducted.

"We are very pleased to receive Behavioral Health Care Accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation," says Dr. Mitchell Eisenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Recovery Systems, the parent company of the IAFF Center of Excellence. "The opportunity to further help our men and women in the fire service get the treatment they need and deserve to return to their careers, passions and families is an honor."

Established in 1969, The Joint Commission's Behavioral Health Care Accreditation program currently accredits more than 2,100 organizations for a three-year period. Accredited organizations provide treatment and services within a variety of settings across the care continuum for individuals who have mental health issues, addictions, and eating disorders.

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