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Virtual Treatment: Overcoming Barriers to Accessing Treatment

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Title: “Virtual Treatment: Overcoming Barriers to Accessing Treatment”
Date: June 26, 2015
Presenter: Kathy Hoppe, VP of Treatment Services, Preferred Family Healthcare

Description: Virtual treatment makes treatment a reality for individuals who are unable to access services otherwise due to barriers such as geography, psychosocial issues, or competing work and family responsibilities.  By creating a realistic and immersive virtual office space online, professionals and consumers can meet collaboratively as “avatars” and participants can access individual and group activities in real time.

At Preferred Family Healthcare, the three-dimensional virtual environment is hosted on a private, protected server, accessible from anywhere via the Internet. This technology has been adapted easily for the provision of treatment to drug court participants and to provide veteran-specific programming.  In addition, educational programming for anger management and for individuals charged with driving while intoxicated offenses has demonstrated positive outcomes.

While the target populations in virtual programming have varied, the results have consistently demonstrated increased retention and engagement during and after treatment, when compared to control group.  Virtual programming has demonstrated a great deal of flexibility with regard to being modified easily and effectively to the needs of the population served while demonstrating positive outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognition of how virtual treatment/services may be utilized to better serve behavior health consumers and overcome barriers to access.
  • An ability to compare virtual counseling outcomes to those of traditional treatment and to determine the effectiveness of virtual treatment.
  • An increased knowledge of what virtual treatment is and how to engage consumers.

Bio: Kathy Hoppe began her career in the behavioral health field in 1992, after graduating from the University of Missouri – Columbia.  She has worked in the juvenile justice system, programs serving at-risk families in home and residential settings, and in the development and provision of behavioral health treatment and education, predominately regarding alcohol and drug addiction.

Since joining Preferred Family Healthcare she has served in multiple roles, currently as vice president of treatment services.  Kathy maintains the credentials of Certified Reciprocal Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional and Medication Assisted Recovery Specialist. Kathy provides oversight and development for alcohol and drug addiction and other behavioral health programs, as well as technology-assisted service.

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Mike is the Executive Director of TAPSTI and also serves as Training Director for the Institute. Mike is ABD on a PhD in Public Safety and has completed a Master's in Criminal Justice, a Master's in Adult Education, and a Master's in Public Safety. His Bachelor's is in Social & Behavioral Sciences. Mike is a POST-certified instructor and has attained dozens of other certifications through his thirty-year career.