Virtual addiction services available
Another important health service recently added to the telehealth lineup at NUMC is expanded virtual addiction care, which is a new development in 2021.
“Our service is really tailored to the unique needs of each patient. To reach the broadest cross-section of patients, we are offering all our services virtually,” said Allina Mental Health and Addiction Director Aaron Grey. “That said, patients who have the ability (and the need) to see our providers face-to-face can set up an in-person visit as needed.”
The first step for a patient interested in the virtual addiction service is to call for an intake. The clinical experts in this program will then help create a plan of care. The program consists of addiction medicine specialist Dr. David Frenz, MD, and addiction therapy clinician Beau Elkington, LICSW, LADC.
Dr. Frenz earned his medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School and is the Medical Director for the Allina Health Addiction Treatment Program. When working with patients, he believes strongly in understanding the whole person in order to develop a treatment plan and solution consistent with their goals, values and preferences.
Elkington is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and a psychotherapist. He earned his master of social work and his master of business administration from Augsburg University, where he was a McNair scholar.
“Beau brings a compassionate and person-centered approach by virtue of his training as a Zen monk, and Dr. Frenz brings in a personalized, evidence-based medical plan to complement it,” Grey said. In addition, Elkington is board-certified as a clinical supervisor with the state of Minnesota, so he remains involved with the training and competency of the addiction and therapy clinicians across Allina Health. Recently, Beau served as the interim manager for the inpatient addiction counseling service as well as the intensive outpatient addiction environment.
NUMC has been a pilot site for the virtual addiction service, due to the facility’s considerable expertise and experience in providing virtual care services. Though the addiction service is “hubbed” at NUMC, it serves patients anywhere in Minnesota and will soon be expanding into Wisconsin.
The virtual addiction service has received outstanding philanthropic support.
“We have been blessed with very generous foundation and community support,” Grey said. “The funds we have received have helped us to hire our team of therapists, nurses and patient registration staff, and it will enable us to launch a digital campaign in 2021 to help patients reach this much-needed service.”
To schedule an appointment with the new virtual addiction service, call 507-217-5168.