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Honoring Our Hooper Heroes

Monday, July 13, 2020

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We are a truly multi-disciplinary team, collaborating to make this work happen.

David Lawrence

For low income and homeless Portlanders, Central City Concern’s Hooper Detoxification & Stabilization Center is often the only option for inpatient withdrawal and stabilization care. When the realities of the COVID-19 crisis started coming into focus back in March, there was no doubt about whether the facility would remain open.

“This is literally life-saving care,” said Hooper Medical Director David Lawrence, MD.

During the past four months, Hooper has guided more than 750 people through the process of acute detoxification from drugs and alcohol and into housing and ongoing treatment for further recovery.

Hooper is more like a hospital than a clinic – patients who come there require intensive, around-the-clock care while their bodies withdraw from physical dependence on substances. It’s a 24/7 facility, and that requires hard work from staff.

And it’s also care that can’t happen online or over the phone. Hooper’s work is face-to-face and up close, putting staff at particularly high risk at the height of the pandemic. But thanks to an agency-wide infection prevention plan guided by CCC’s Incident Management Team, Hooper’s dedicated, compassionate and multi-disciplinary teams have kept their patients – and one another – safe.

Today, we’d like to highlight and applaud members of each Hooper team, who have all shone so brightly over these last few months. We appreciate all that they and the rest of the Hooper family have done to keep the doors open and the care flowing during this challenging time.

Dennis Boyles, LAc – Licensed Acupuncturist

Hooper patients receive acupuncture treatments to reduce substance cravings, lower stress and anxiety, regulate emotions and promote well-being. And for ten years, Dennis Boyles has guided that practice by providing care for patients and mentoring student acupuncturists. When Hooper patients are feeling anxious — not just about withdrawing from substances, but also about the wider uncertainty of the pandemic — acupuncture has been a vital tool for helping them feel calm and safe.

Image of Dennis Boyle

Cassandra Croxton, CADC – Care Coordinator

Acute detoxification is just the beginning of the recovery journey for Hooper patients. That’s where Cassandra Croxton comes in. Since the pandemic began, she has connected nearly two hundred patients who presented without homes to housing and ongoing treatment after they left Hooper. “Cassandra is single-handedly responsible (for those numbers). Instead of sending people back to a campsite, we can hand them a key,” said Lawrence.

Image of Cassandra Croxton

Charles Jennings – Subacute Technician

COVID-19 precautions meant that a lot had to change at Hooper—especially the admissions process. Most of that initial work had to move outside, into the fresh air. Charles Jennings, who has been at CCC for a decade, helped support a new process that ended up being even more efficient than the previous one that Hooper had been using for years. That meant that patients could get inside and into clean beds even more quickly before. “Charles rolled with all the changes,” said Lawrence.

Image of Charles Jennings

Hazel Jones – Front Desk

For many people, Hazel Jones is the face of Hooper Detox. That’s because, for 15 years now, Hazel is the first person that patients meet when they walk through the doors, and she exudes an undeniable sense of hope and calm. Hazel extends that sense of peaceful kindness to her coworkers, too. They know they can rely on Hazel not just to keep things organized, but also to keep everyone on an even keel — even in this recent high-risk environment.

Image of Hazel Jones

Stephen Lawrence – Subacute Technician

Stephen Lawrence, known to most at CCC as “Stevie,” has a reputation for being one of the hardest workers around. And he’s amazing with patients, too. “Stevie has an incredible ability to build rapport, de-escalate and redirect folks,” said David Lawrence.

Image of Stevie Lawrence

Jana Rackley, RN – Registered Nurse

At Hooper, subacute technicians and nurses are the “secret sauce” that make everything work. And Jana Rackley helps lead the charge. She is a strong patient advocate who serves with compassion and conviction. “Other nurses look to her as a mentor and a leader,” said Lawrence.

Image of Jana Rackley

Laura Rogers, PA – Medical Provider

Laura Rogers has thrived during her one and a half years at Hooper. Her non-stop energy and dedication have been an inspiration to the rest of the Hooper staff, as she plays a crucial role in keeping Hooper patients stable and safe.

Image of Laura Rogers

Hattie Siegfried and Eli Solis – Peer Support Specialists

Peer Support Specialists like Hattie Siegfried and Eli Solis are critical for the long-term success of Hooper patients seeking to recover from substance use. They have walked the path to recovery themselves and support patients as they start their journeys. During COVID-19, Hattie and Eli have gone above and beyond, working 7 days a week to make sure patients have what they need – everything from picking up medications to accompanying folks to medical appointments or the emergency department. “They are a strong voice for their patients,” Lawrence said.

Image of Hattie and Eli

Jesse Spain, CADC – Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Counselor Jesse Spain is always looking for ways to do more for his patients – and to do it more efficiently, which is critical for a busy facility like Hooper. He advocates for his patients, making sure that they’re getting the best care possible.

Image of Jesse Spain

Aundrell Young – On-Call Environmental Services Specialist

Aundrell Young is new to the Hooper family – he came to Hooper in March, just in time to help with all the increased hygiene needs during COVID-19. Even with near-daily adjustments to policies and procedures, Aundrell’s incredible work ethic was up to the task – he and the rest of the environmental services team responded with, “Yes, we can handle that!” and kept moving. Supervisor Erik Glemaker said, “I know I can count on Aundrell.”

Image of Aundrell Young

Melissa Zimmer, EMT – Admission Specialist

Melissa Zimmer was already doing the work of two people when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Then all of a sudden, she had twice as much work again, implementing new procedures, organizing orders, managing the lobby and more. “It’s a critical role, and Melissa handled it with grace,” said Lawrence.

 

Image of Melissa Zimmer

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