Q&A with Hazel McClaire, Recovery Services Clinical Director

Hazel McClaire, Recovery Services Clinical DirectorWhat does a Recovery Services Clinical Director do?

Recovery Services is a group of counselors specially trained to help people whose use of alcohol, other drugs, gambling, Internet, gaming, etc. has become a problem for them and people they care about.  If you think you may be having a problem or family, friends, employer or others are complaining about your behavior in one or more of these areas; you might call for an assessment to see if there is a problem or not. During the assessment you and I would talk. I’d ask questions that would help us take a look at your use and together we would decide if you have a problem or not and look at how to best deal with the problem if there is one. By this time, if there is a problem, I would have asked why you’ve tried in the past and what has worked best for you. I’d have an idea of which counselor you might work best with and we’d talk about why type of services would be of interested to you.

When a patient comes to see you, what information should they bring?

A commitment to be open and honest because I can’t help if I don’t know the truth.

What are three questions patients should consider asking during their visit?

People can certainly ask about anything that concerns them.

They might ask, “Does this work?” Yes, it does. It’s worked for others and we can help you too.

How can I be sure that my information is kept confidential? 

The State of Wisconsin and federal laws and regulations assure the privacy of your records. None of your information may be released without your written permission. Not only would that be illegal, it would also be unethical.

What is the largest misconception you think patients have about Recovery Services?

Memorial Medical Center no longer provides any treatment for addictions.

When MMC transitioned to a critical access hospital, we did discontinue intensive inpatient treatment because the number of beds allowed for patient use became limited. We do offer a number of treatment options for addictions.

We offer inpatient detoxification (detox). During the detox process, people meet with doctors, nurses, social workers and Recovery Service counselors to talk about options for outpatient treatment.

On an outpatient basis, we offer individual sessions with a counselor to address addiction issues. Sessions are one hour long. The average length of treatment is 12 weeks. The goal of individual counseling is to help the person with an addiction to recognize the negative impact of continued use and utilize community support from a sober support system as a means to maintain sobriety.

We also offer an intensive outpatient for people who meet with a counselor for individual and group session. Groups are lead by a Recovery Services Counselor on a variety of subjects. Individual sessions address individual issues.

Day treatment is also an option and includes more than 12 hours of services per week. This option also includes groups, lectures, and individual sessions with counseling staff.

Aftercare participation may be appropriate and necessary for someone who has completed a primary treatment program at MMC or elsewhere and is not yet ready to leave treatment completely.  Aftercare is individualized to meet the need of the participant and may be individual sessions only or include group sessions, too.

Family conferences may be scheduled with significant others as appropriate.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give patients to improve their overall health?

Do things in moderation. If something begins to become a problem by coming between you and your family, work, social life, or you feel like you are using it for relief, or it’s causing financial problems; it is becoming a problem. Get help.

If folks wanted additional health information about Recovery Services, what are some available resources?  

I welcome phone calls or emails with questions or concerns 715-685-5400 or hmcclaire@ashlandmmc.com and face to face questions by appointment. I’m very happy to meet with students needing information for assignments and people with concerns about themselves or family members.