Clinic facilities

Recovery Mobile Clinic aims to make services more accessible in Monroe

Family nurse practitioner Melissa Manczak (left) and medical assistant Toni Stec help patients with addictions at the Recovery Mobile Clinic who regularly visits Monroe.  Provided by Katie Tibai
Vivitrol is a monthly injection treatment.  It is non-addictive and helps with opioid and substance addictions.  Provided by Katie Tibai

Oaks of Righteousness has partnered with Recovery Mobile Clinic to bring stability and hope to the fight against alcoholism and drug addiction in Monroe County.

Jordana Latozas, an acute care nurse practitioner and president of Recovery Mobile Clinic (RMC), founded the company in February 2020 and first introduced it to Monroe as a mobile service in June.

A permanent clinic was established in the Oaks in January of this year. RMC operates primarily from motorhomes and mobile homes, but Monroe becomes the pilot program for a permanent location. It was chosen primarily based on an observed need for treatment.

“The goal is to make assisted medical treatment for alcohol and opioid abuse more accessible,” Latozas said.

“I’m so excited for this program,” added Oaks Pastor Heather Boone. “I think this is going to be a game changer for Monroe. Super excited that God opened that door.

Contact between the clinic and Oaks of Righteousness was made about two years ago in the summer of 2020. Boone has championed the need in the community, and that need has only increased since the pandemic began. COVID-19.

“People have struggled throughout COVID, and they’ve turned to alcohol and drugs,” Boone said. “It’s an opportunity for people who feel lost.”

RMC provides the Vivitrol shot to patients seeking sobriety. Vivitrol, the generic name for Naltrexol, is a monthly injection treatment with a minimum of 12 doses. To fully benefit from the treatment, patients are advised to receive up to 18 doses.

The primary goal of this non-addictive opioid recovery model is to begin the battle against opioid and substance addictions. The purpose of the shot is to block the patient’s cravings.

“The goal is to give the patient time to build stability in their life,” Latozas said.

She explained that drug addiction is usually the result of another disease – like depression, ADD, ADHD, social anxiety, etc. – so they don’t treat addiction. Rather, they suppress the coping mechanism so that the real problem can be identified.

Relatively free of side effects, aside from some pain at the injection site, the biggest hurdle for a patient is coping with the disappearance of the coping mechanism. The first four months of treatment are usually the most difficult as a patient discovers what the core issues are that led to addiction in the first place.

“Depression, for example, has always been there,” Latozas said. “They’re just feeling it for the first time.”

Being able to form a partnership with the Oaks was the perfect situation for Latozas. Oaks already had a great foundation and outreach program, so it was the optimal location for the partnership. She is thrilled that patients can go to one place and have access to multiple resources and programs.

“In Monroe, we were able to administer 100 injections to about 30 people,” Latozas said.

Across southeast Michigan, where the clinic travels, that number jumps to 400 injections.

“If you think about it, that’s 400 months of sobriety and 400 chances of a new life,” she said.

Latozas hopes to be able to form similar partnerships in other communities. She believes that working with an organization that people are already familiar with and trust will make them more willing to accept RMC as a trusted resource. She believes the mobile clinic works because it has the ability to travel to where it is needed most, and she envisions it becoming a valuable asset to many communities and healthcare professionals.

“My dream is to have a mobile clinic in the lower 48 states by the time I retire,” Latozas said.

She thinks the clinic could be the base of a nurse empowerment force, a group that reaches out to people and fights the opioid addiction that has plagued the United States for so long.

Having a permanent location has increased RMC’s reach, and they have been administering numerous doses of Vivitrol at an increasing rate since June 2020.

“Now that we’re still here, we’re able to develop relationships,” said Melissa Manczek, nurse practitioner and head of the Monroe Clinic which operates in Oaks. “With addiction, gaining that trust is beneficial for recovery.”

Manczek said she notices that many patients appreciate and find solace in the faith aspect of recovery that being housed at the Oaks provides. She said patients often stop by to visit the clinic between doses, and that’s one of the amazing benefits of having a permanent location. They were able to prove to the community that they were reliable.

The Mobile Recovery Clinic is open at Oaks of Righteousness every Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are also there every other Tuesday at the same times. Operating throughout Southeast Michigan, their locations and hours of operation can always be found on their website: www.mobilerecoveryclinic.com.

RMC strives to meet people where they are on their recovery journey. They are able to accept Medicaid and most commercial insurance. They also work directly with the manufacturers of Vivitrol to reduce co-payment for patients.

“When someone makes the decision to get sober, they don’t sit on it,” Latozas said. “You have to be there and be ready. You have to meet them at their level.

They organize fundraisers and accept donations to build a patient recovery fund that helps patients without insurance. Latozas doesn’t think lack of finances should ever stop someone from having the chance to have a new life, and says all money donated goes directly into the fund.

Vivitrol Luncheon April 25

Recovery Mobile Clinic and the makers of Vivitrol are planning a Lunch & Learn on April 25 to discuss the benefits. A Vivitrol representative will discuss treatment plans and potential candidates.

Organizers say it’s a great opportunity for community leaders and business owners to learn about the clinic and Vivitrol in general. Collecting information will help local businesses and organizations through education. Community leaders interested in participating should email Melissa Manczek at melissa.manczek@recoverymobileclinic.com.

Pastor Heather Boone is delighted with this partnership and the fact that the RMC is permanently in the clinic two days a week.

“It offers hope to our community,” she said.