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Intake Innovations

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When an individual chooses to make the life-changing decision to begin recovery from addiction, Cazenovia Recovery Systems makes every effort to accommodate the request as soon as possible.

Two key persons in the agency’s intake process are Carolyn Hutchen, who oversees the agency’s programs in Erie County (excluding the Housing Program), and Michelle McGovern, who oversees Niagara County.

Carolyn Hutchen, Intake Coordinator

Carolyn Hutchen, Intake Coordinator

Within 24 hours after submitting an application, individuals receive a call from either Carolyn or Michelle, who then review the documentation to determine appropriate placement. Further screening takes place via a phone call.

“I find out what they’d like to work on and what their plans are,” said Carolyn, a two-year Cazenovia employee. She is a graduate of Daemen College, where she is pursuing a master’s in social work. “It’s important to set up the financial resources for their stay, including a personal needs allowance (PNA). If there is a bed available, they come right in or are placed on a waiting list otherwise.”

Cazenovia knows that delayed PNA could potentially lead to triggers for residents. Now, when an applicant is pre-approved for funding, they do not have to wait long for PNA. “We are guaranteed to secure payment for 98 percent of admissions before they even arrive,” she said.

Michelle McGovern, Intake Coordinator

Michelle McGovern, Intake Coordinator

Michelle, a Canisius College graduate, worked at Fellowship House for 28 years before its programs were acquired by Cazenovia this year. She cites “quicker turnaround” as a primary benefit of streamlined intake.

Michelle and Carolyn are in constant communication. “We email, we fax, we text, we call each other, we’re always talking,” Carolyn said. The result is more success stories, such as identifying an immediate opening at Sundram Manor when Cazenovia Manor had a six-person wait list, and expediting a bed at Unity House to meet one man’s critical need. “It’s working really well,” Michelle reported. “It’s nice to have someone that I can share ideas with.”

This story is featured in the May 2016 issue of the Cazenovia Compass.

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