Novant Health psychiatry and recovery centers offer support and understanding to all

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 15, 2018

SALISBURY — For people struggling with mental health problems and substance abuse, Novant Health is now offering an outpatient alternative.

Novant’s new Psychiatry and Psychiatric Recovery and Counseling centers are located in the same building at 315 Mocksville Ave.

The venture was some five years in the making, said clinic administrator Stephanie Feriante.

“This is the first outpatient location for Novant Health in Rowan County,” she said. “Before, our psychiatric practices were only offered inpatient, in the hospital.”

Feriante said both branches of outpatient care are working together when necessary.

With the psychiatric practice, patients can receive individual therapy and medication management. This, in turn, offers additional support for what is called an “intensive outpatient program,” a substance abuse treatment program involving group therapy and support.

“It’s hard to have one without the other,” Feriante said.

Medication management is offered through Dr. Ejike Kingsley Ofoemezie and Catherine Tyler King, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

The substance abuse program began operation in April. It is overseen by Quanita Small, a clinical addiction specialist and clinical social worker.

Small offers motivation and education on the journey toward sobriety. She also connects patients to community resources for after care, food, shelter and more.

“I’m here to be their cheerleader,” she said. “When people on the outside are telling them negative things, they can come here to a therapeutic, friendly environment.”

On average,  the intensive outpatient program lasts eight weeks, with three weekly, three-hour group therapy sessions.

The time commitment is critical to a patient’s success, said Small. The goal is to keep a person struggling with addiction busy.

Outside groups, patients attend individual or family therapy sessions as needed and are connected to additional recovery resources like Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery.

On the psychiatry side of the two centers is Tammy Redmond, a clinical social worker. Redmond joined the practice in late December, offering individual adult therapy and counseling.

She comes with a wide background of experience, from home therapy and psychiatric hospitals to working at Camp Lejuene Marine Corps Base in clinical crisis response.

Redmond said in her practice, she’s seen it all.

“The way I view my practice is you are coming to me for support,” she said. “By no means do I judge, do I say ‘Oh, I’m not too comfortable with that.”

Redmond offers therapy sessions in a soothing office space that’s without bright lights and has plenty of objects to fidget with: Slinkies, puzzles and the like.

She’s open to getting out of the office to go wherever makes the patient more comfortable, including the large and brightly lit room used for group therapy.

She lets her patients communicate in whatever means they prefer, be it through poetry, art or other forms of self-expression.

“I think it makes a richness within the session and it helps a person to feel comfortable to be able to speak, disclose and just be truly them,” she said. “… And it’s OK to cry. It’s so OK to cry.”

Feriante said the practice accepts all insurance carriers on the Novant Health panel, including Medicare, Medicaid and many commercial insurers.

The substance abuse program is still working to meet the requirements of Medicaid, but individual therapy is available for Medicaid recipients struggling with addiction.

Feriante expects the intensive outpatient program will be covered by early next year.

A sliding scale is offered for those who have to pay out of pocket.

Patients seeking psychiatric assistance will require a referral from their primary care doctor. Those seeking aid for addiction can call for an appointment.

For more information, call 704-870-2660.