When the Barboursville location opened in 2016, it became the first FamilyCare location in Cabell County.
At the time, it was also one of only a few places in the county to offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT)—a principal purpose of its founding. Even as the location has expanded to include family practice and behavioral health, substance use disorder treatment has remained a central focus at Barboursville, making the site unique among FamilyCare’s health centers and other regional providers.
Over the past few years, Barboursville’s behavioral health services and MAT program have experienced steady growth. While COVID-19 has put a slight pause on some of the location’s goals for further development, existing programs have not faced significant setbacks. The location was able to continue offering its usual services throughout the pandemic, due, in part, to the unique nature of those services. The staff stated that maintaining consistency for its patients feels like a victory.
“Behavioral health is very adept at changing to telehealth,” said Dr. Michael Hackman, a psychiatrist at the Barboursville location. “So the transition hasn’t been too difficult.”
Recently, Dr. Hackman has noticed an increase in the requests for behavioral health appointments, which he attributes to the additional stress patients are under due to the pandemic and current economic crisis. The Barboursville team has accommodated patients quickly, ensuring that they do not have to wait to receive help. Patients can now attend appointments via telehealth or in-person, with careful measures in place to make on-site visits safe.
For patient and staff safety, MAT program group meetings are paused, but independent therapy sessions have continued—and attendance is up.
“Some of our patients who were missing appointments before have started showing up regularly,” said Barboursville MAT Service Coordinator, Stephanie Beaver. “They want to be there, which helps a lot.”
Nobody in the program has relapsed, and two patients have tapered off of suboxone entirely.
When COVID-19 hit, we were really afraid of backtracking, but that hasn’t happened. Everyone has stayed on track.”
— Stephanie Beaver, Barboursville MAT Service Coordinator
“When COVID-19 hit, we were really afraid of backtracking,” Stephanie said. “But that hasn’t happened. Everyone has stayed on track.”
As the Barboursville team looks to the future, they feel optimistic about the potential that exists to expand the behavioral health and substance abuse programs even further. They are proud to help patients through these challenging times and hopeful about the progress they expect to see on the other side.