Brad Greenstein, CEO, Las Vegas Recovery CenterWritten By: Brad Greenstein Date: October 16th, 2012. Topic: Member Profile Article.
Upon hearing the word rehab, the thought that crosses most people’s mind is hard drug and alcohol addiction treatment. And they wouldn’t be too far off base. This is traditionally what is meant by rehab: inpatient treatment focused on detox and rebuilding mind, body and spirit in an atmosphere of health and sanity.
However, in today’s addiction climate, street drugs and alcohol are only one side of the addiction coin. The flip side has emerged in a much more insidious and commonplace affliction – though nonetheless painful and lethal – prescription medication addiction. The primary statistic bantered around media and addictions treatment circles is 400%: in 10 years (1998 and 2008), prescription medication abuse and addiction has leaped 400%.
In any field, that’s a significant number that demands attention. Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC) has been at the forefront of recognizing this new wave of addiction and creating a comprehensive treatment program to address it. In many ways, this is uncharted territory, making the mission all the more challenging, but also groundbreaking and rewarding.
At the core of many cases of prescription drug addiction is chronic pain. With many potential root causes, the end result is increasingly the same: a diagnosis of lifelong dependence on chemical interventions to “manage” the pain and “get by” in life. When phrased this way, this clearly does not seem a viable answer; indeed, it spawns a new problem all its own.
Leading the charge to find a better answer for this round-robin problem is Brad Greenstein, CEO of LVRC. Humility and a focus on team lies at Greenstein’s core, a former publishing industry executive and recovering addict of 12 years. After running the proverbial rat race in face-paced New York City and San Francisco, “I wanted to slow down my life and build a strong foundation in recovery; I wanted to be around others in recovery”.
Upon immersing himself in the recovery community and working at a treatment center in Pasadena, CA, Greenstein says he “learned a lot and loved it”. This eventually led him to LVRC in 2003 as Administrative Director. He later became Senior VP of Operation for LVRC’s parent company, Central Recovery Treatment and then moved into the CEO role at LVRC in October, 2010.
As CEO, Greenstein’s approach is completely collaborative. “Our team here at LVRC is what makes our programs so successful. We are blessed to have a Founder and Chairman in Stuart Smith who provides our senior leadership team the vision and flexibility to execute it, along with Dr. Mel Pohl, our Medical Director, and Dr. Claudia Black as our Senior Clinical and Family Services Provider. Both of these tremendous clinicians bring the knowledge and expertise to our program that sets us apart from the rest.” Rounding out the executive leadership team is Dr. Stuart Ghertner, who serves as Clinical Director; he brings with him significant clinical and executive experience in the behavioral health and addictions field as well.
And it seems to be a mutual admiration society among senior staff members. Says Dr. Pohl, “I am grateful to have an opportunity – thanks to Brad and the owner of Central Recovery Treatment, Stuart Smith – to accomplish cutting-edge work on behalf of and with the participation of people with chronic pain and addiction.”
Dr. Black echoes Dr. Pohl’s assessment of the collaborative team: “I am so impressed with the team at LVRC and its ability to work with the myriad of complexities, not only with prescription medication addiction, but also with the incredible complication of treating chronic pain sufferers struggling with addiction and believing they can’t live without their medications. And as committed as they are to the treatment of the addicted client, LVRC is just as committed to the family’s recovery. They are passionate about knowing the whole family needs to get well.”
These heavy-hitters in the world of addictions treatment collaborate on the most efficient and effective ways to stay on top of emerging health care trends and integrate them into LVRC’s treatment offerings. “We constantly research current and emerging treatment trends, then bring them back to our team and see how we can do better,” Greenstein says. “I’m very proud that we truly deliver an integrated health care approach, and we’ve been doing it for a long time, especially around chronic pain.”
Many treatment centers simply refer patients out to complementary practitioners, such as chiropractors, acupuncturists and physical therapists and call it “integrated”. At LVRC, these clinicians “actually attend our weekly treatment meetings and communicate well together – this is key,” Greenstein explains.
“We are an excellent treatment center for drug and alcohol treatment, but we have become best known for our work with chronic pain recovery. The word recovery is crucial here, because it speaks to what we’re focused on: a solution , not just managing the pain,” Greenstein states. This philosophy could be considered revolutionary among the medical community, who tends to follow a name-it, blame-it, tame-it philosophy.
However, because LVRC does not necessarily buy into the “terminal” diagnosis of chronic pain, it could be considered by some to be without merit, not scientifically backed. Nothing could be further from the truth. “We are a data-driven organization,” Greenstein emphasizes. “This constant review of the latest research is what led us to the connection between prescription-drug addiction and chronic pain. We have been developing our program for seven years and are very good at it – every single person on our team is very committed to this program.”
In the interest of casting the widest net to bring in the maximum number patients, many treatment centers claim to do it all. Not so, LVRC: “We don’t want to be all things to all people,” Greenstein insists. To be an expert in anything, one must apply laser-focus in that area, not succumbing to distraction that would threaten to dilute the purpose and outcome of the task at hand. LVRC does just this in a very inclusive and collaborative fashion.
While developing treatment programs is often left to senior staff members, Greenstein recognizes that great ideas can come from anyone at any level, so all staff is included in the process. This policy has led to some breakthrough concepts: “You’d be surprised at what might come up from people when you give them the forum to speak,” Greenstein says. Vice President of Business Development,
Mark Greenberg, agrees: “I am very grateful to the LVRC leadership for the opportunities that have been afforded to me in my efforts to create awareness of our program services; [Greenstein] listens to ideas for new revenue streams. It is a delight to work for an organization that embraces the concepts of encouraging creativity.”
As for where LVRC is headed, “We are in the final stages of offering a couple new programs,” Greenstein states. “We are working on a transitional living and partial day programs, as well as a residential program. We are also set to offer outpatient-based adolescent, pain recovery and family services. It’s important to offer a broad spectrum of services.”
Some other keys to LVRC’s success, according to Greenstein, are proper patient placement (“We strive to be as accurate as possible because the wrong placement could potentially harm and not help that patient.”); provide many levels and modalities (“We don’t just create one box and hope everyone fits; we provide patient-centered and -directed care – we’re at the forefront of this.”); and find where primary care and behavioral health care connect in order to be in the “best position to meet people where they are; we must give them options to do this effectively”.
As any successful person can attest, you are only as successful as the people with whom you surround yourself. Nowhere will you find a stronger believer in this principle than Greenstein. “I think my most significant contribution is providing staff leadership and encouragement to let them do what they do best. I strive to create a culture of empowerment and creativity.”
Clearly, it’s working.
For more information about Las Vegas Recovery Center, visit www.lasvegasrecovery.com or call 702.515.1374.
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