CINCINNATI – Mercy Health, a Catholic health ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky, announced it is recruiting for the second class of Mercy Serves AmeriCorps members to train for service as addiction navigators. The addiction navigator position is a full-time, year-long service position beginning in October and running through September 2019.
There are 10 positions open – five in Cincinnati, two in Springfield and three in Toledo/Willard. People can apply by visiting [mercy.com/about-us/careers]mercy.com/about-us/careers and searching “AmeriCorps” for all postings. Applicants can contact Mercy Serves Program Manager Sarah Beeler with questions at SBeeler@mercy.com.
The addiction navigators provide education, treatment placement and emotional support to emergency department patients with substance abuse disorders using the SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) model. Navigators work alongside nurses, providers and addiction counselors to ensure that any patient who is ready for substance abuse treatment receives the necessary resources to take that step toward recovery. The role offers navigators a strong leadership development and professional development opportunities.
The current class has found the experience fulfilling.
“After my colleague and I did our initial assessment with a patient and determined the types of resources that might benefit her, we stayed past our scheduled shift to help her out,” says one navigator. “My colleague and I provided her a variety of resources ranging from clothing assistance to counseling referrals. I left the hospital that night with extreme gratitude that our position was created so that patient’s like the one we encountered can get the resources they need.”
Recalling an encounter with a patient who was experiencing an array of difficult personal issues, another navigator says that “One of the greatest parts of this work is the connections we make with fellow patients. I hope the resources we provided and talk we had with the patient will serve as a way to help this patient find a way to release some of her overwhelming feelings and find more of a sense of peace.”
Over the course of their year of service, Mercy Health anticipates that Mercy Serves AmeriCorps team members will interact with 16,000 patients, helping about 2,400 with access to social services or treatment.
This marks the second year of a three-year, $149,280 grant Mercy Health received from ServeOhio to select and train a team of AmeriCorps members in reducing and/or preventing opioid abuse in adult patients at Mercy Health hospitals in Ohio. Mercy Health secured this funding in coordination with the Mercy Health Foundation, which empowers and equips the Mercy Health network to extend its healing ministry with compassion and innovation, and Mercy Health’s behavioral health services team.
AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service. It has identified efforts to reduce and/or prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse as a funding priority. ServeOhio, Ohio’s commission on service and volunteerism, awards AmeriCorps grants to support service initiatives in the state. Of the total cost of this grant-funded project, CNCS via ServeOhio will provide $149,280 (75% of the total project budget) and Mercy Health will contribute $50,820 in match and other funds, which is 25% of the total project budget.
Submitted by Mercy Health.