What Does it Mean to Be a Treatment Advocate?
Authored by Audra Franchini
One of the first people with whom new patients speak will often be one of our Treatment Advocates. To be a treatment Advocate you must play a key role, as they are responsible for forming strong bonds with potential patients.
Regional manager Robin Styer clearly recalls the path which led her to the Treatment Advocate program. With a background in marketing and personal connections with several people affected by addiction, it only made sense to her to combine these passions into a career in the recovery field. Robin’s network of recovery professionals eventually put her in touch with Brian O’Neil and the RCA mission.
Treatment Advocates come from a variety of backgrounds and skillsets. Rick Bradley takes a very personal view of his work as an Advocate since joining RCA in the summer of 2016. “Being a person in recovery myself,” he recalled, “starting a position at RCA was an extremely exciting time in my life. I knew I was embarking on a career that would bring purpose into my life and put me in a position where I could help those that struggle the way I once had.” Alyssa Fountain, on the other hand, was immediately drawn to the passion and energy she felt in her newly formed team. “After spending an afternoon with them, I knew that the RCA team not only shared my vision for changing our community, but for radically improving the way that addiction is treated,” Fountain said.
The position of Treatment Advocate is a multitalented discipline. The main objective of the role is to assist patients in getting the best care possible throughout their recovery. Bradley describes his job as being an “olive branch for our facilities,” including forming working relationships with community members, medical professionals, therapists and companies-any connections which may improve an RCA patient’s journey to wellness. “We are the person they call when they need to get someone help with drug and alcohol issues, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” explained Bradley. Fountain added, “We educate communities, families, employers, and professionals about the resources that RCA provides right in their backyard.”
Beyond direct patient and company interactions, Treatment Advocates also perform day-to-day data functions. Such as geographical regions to assess opportunities, creating strategic plans, and streamlining the administrative entry process for new patients.
No two days are the same for this diverse team! “Some of us know how to communicate flawlessly with Employee Assistance Professionals,” said Fountain, “others know how to assist grassroots organizations or hospital systems.”
One of the biggest challenges Treatment Advocates face is leading potential patients to begin treatment. Interacting with the individual and their family and loved ones to overcome any initial doubt.
Bradley and Fountain hold a deep respect for the valued work that they do. “We understand the window for someone to agree to treatment is small, and we need to act to get them they help they need quickly,” said Bradley. For Fountain, “often my greatest joy is reconnecting with families. To speak with parents, spouses, and siblings and hear how their entire family unit has healed is an experience I wish I could share with everyone.”
Styer herself describes her team not just as a group of coworkers, but as a genuine family. “They care so much about what they do, and that’s really the bottom line,” said Styer with a smile. “I have the best team.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-RECOVERY today!