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Veterans Day 2016 -TAPS, PTSD and PACE

Echoes linger in the heart, long after its tones cease to vibrate in the air...Jari Villanueva

Veterans Day 2016 - TAPS

Veterans Day Bugler Arlington National Cemetery Veterans Day 2016 TAPS PTSD PACE
Bugler Arlington National Cemetery
Tomorrow November 11, 2016, our nation will celebrate Veterans Day. It is a Federal Holiday that is always held on the exact day...we do not move it to a nearby Monday to create a magical three-day holiday, we stay the course and call to mind those who have served in our military, as well those who have died as a result of that service. We reminisce the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. TAPS will be played at our National Cemeteries, the President will hear TAPS as he presents a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, and people will recognize the soulful melody of TAPS.

How much do you know about TAPS?

There is no doubt that if you were to ask someone "What is TAPS?" perhaps they would think of the 1981 movie TAPS, or they might associate it with an acronym of a present day organization; however, most will have some association to the  simple 24-note melancholy bugle call known as "TAPS." It is in fact the final call of the day at military bases...and interestingly was a Dutch command "taptoe" - to shut ("toe to") the "tap" of a keg."  For a clearer understanding of its origin, we are sharing a video from the History Channel.

Veterans and PTSD

In our world of today, we often hear people use the phrase "a call to action." TAPS, in its own way, is a call to action - end the day and begin rest. This past week we read with interest an article published by U.S. News and World Report: "A Call to Better Treat PTSD in Our Military Veterans." Here at PACE Recovery Center we offer dual diagnosis treatment for veterans and others who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) recognizing its complications associated with addiction and suicide. It is a complex problem and one that calls for more research.  Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, points out in trying to understand why there has not been more dedicated PTSD research:
There are three reasons. First, the idea of psychological weakness is antithetical to military culture with its ethos of aggression and invulnerability – so military leaders were reluctant to recognize and accept its existence. In the interim, many soldiers were accused of cowardice, in some cases punished and even executed, for their infirmity. Second, mental disorders are not tangible and have no visible physical signs. Hence, they are not seen as real and are often ignored or minimized. Third, PTSD was considered to be a military problem and thus the responsibility of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
We will continue to follow this call to action and keep our readers informed.

PACE Recovery Center's commitment to treating veterans

Each year on Veterans Day we feature our staff who are veterans and those who have special training and experience in treating veterans. In 2013  and 2014 we introduced and focused on staff members Sean Kelly and Victor Calzada.  In 2015 we proudly recognized Matthew Johnson, Dr. Hisham Korraa, M.D., Dr. Ryan Wright, M.D., and Dr. Venice Sanchez, M.D. 
Clinical Psychologist Helen O'Mahony, Ph.D. Veterans Day 2016 TAPS PTSD PACE
Clinical Psychologist Helen O'Mahony, Ph.D.
This year the PACE team would like you to meet Helen O'Mahony, Ph.D. Dr. O’Mahony is a licensed clinical psychologist. She has worked in the mental health field for over 13 years. She has worked with all populations and specializes in dual diagnosis. Dr. O’Mahony runs experiential groups to help clients not just talk about their maladaptive patterns but to help them transform them. She received her BA and Masters from Boston University and moved to Los Angeles in 2001. While working as a program director at the Salvation Army located at the West LA VA campus she received a lot of experience working with veterans diagnosed with PTSD and substance abuse along with other diagnoses. She received her Ph.D. from California Graduate Institute at the Chicago School in 2008.

In closing...

PACE Recovery Center staff and the gentlemen whom we treat wish veterans and their families a peaceful and memorable Veterans Day 2016.  Be thankful, graceful and hold dear...
In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~José Narosky

PACE Salutes Veterans November 11, 2015

Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.   Tecumseh
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located in Washington, D.C.'s West Potomac Park, southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and just south of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. It commemorates those who served in the Korean War.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located in Washington, D.C.'s West Potomac Park, southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and just south of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. It commemorates those who served in the Korean War.
Tecumseh is gone now over 200 years, but his words still echo when we consider the power of a nod of understanding and appreciation for the men and women who have served our country throughout times of war and peace. So again,  PACE salutes Veterans November 11, 2015: We will stop what we are busy doing, maybe just for a few minutes, and consider the sacrifices made by our veterans to build and protect our freedoms and those of other countries.

Understanding veterans with addiction and PTSD, at the movies...

Over the past couple of years there have been a number of movies about war and PTSD, such as American Sniper, Unbroken and Railway Man. Two of these movies dealt directly with the impact of PTSD, and while Unbroken didn’t deal with Zamperini’s alcoholism and PTSD many of his family members will attest to his suffering from both and receiving help for his addiction and PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the term we have used for the past few decades to describe what many veterans experience as the result of service in times of war and minor conflicts. Over the centuries, the definitive terms were hysteria, melancholia, battle fatigue, combat fatigue, shell-shock, or operational exhaustion. In 2015 The Wounded Warrior Project conducted an annual survey of 23,000 injured service members and found that three in four wounded veterans are dealing with PTSD. This month a film completed in 2014 is now more widely available to view in the United States - Of Men and WarAccording to The Hollywood Reporter,  “...the horrors of the battlefield come home to roost in ways that are both riveting and deeply disturbing in Of Men and War (Des hommes et de la guerre), a remarkable chronicle of Iraq War veterans suffering from the devastating effects of PTSD.” This month Of Men and War will have playdates across the United States, including Southern California. Learning from films can be personal, powerful, and provocative.

PACE is honored by the service of veterans and our psychiatrists’ specialized skills

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson
On Veterans Day 2013 we proudly featured two veterans who serve on our staff: Sean Kelly, now PACE’s Chief Operation Officer and Victor Calzada, A PACE Resident Manager. This year we want to also recognize Matthew Johnson, A PACE Resident Manager who served four years in the Marine Infantry and highlight our Consulting Psychiatrists who are experts in the field of addiction and skilled in working with those suffering from PTSD, including veterans. Dr. Hisham Korraa, M.D.Dr. Hisham Korraa, M.D. is a UCLA trained psychiatrist specializing in psychotherapy and medication management for adults and adolescents. With a heavy emphasis on addressing the individual, Dr. Korraa’s treatment focuses on variables that would impact the individual’s development and coping patterns over the course of the years. Dr. Korraa developed a special interest in helping individuals overcoming their chemical dependency issues and addressing underlying core struggles to focus on growth and health. Dr. Korraa works well with several different chemical dependency programs in Orange County including PACE Recovery Center and he maintains a strong relationship with his patients well after their acute recovery period. Dr. Korraa did his undergraduate training at University of Houston. He later graduated from Texas Tech School of Medicine. He then specialized in Psychiatry at the reputable UCLA/Sepulveda Training Psychiatry Program. Being exposed to several different facilities in the Los Angeles area (with much exposure to veterans in the greater LA VA and Sepulveda VA program), Dr. Korraa became well versed in PTSD and chemical dependency. In addition to psychopharmacology and individual therapy, Dr. Korraa is one of the very few physicians who also specializes in both the transcranial magnetic treatment of depression and deep brain nerve stimulation of obsessive compulsive disorder. Dr. Korraa has been awarded multiple awards over the course of the years. He has been recognized by his patients with several “Patient’s Choice Award” and “Compassionate Doctor Recognition”. He has also been recognized as among the best rated doctors in the area. Dr. Ryan Wright, M.D. PsychiatristDr. Ryan Wright, M.D. is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He completed college, medical school, and residency at the University of California, Irvine. While in college, Dr. Wright graduated Magna cum laude from the school of Biological Sciences at UCI, was invited to join the national honors society Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated from the Campuswide Honors Program at UCI. During medical school and residency at UCI, he received extensive training on treating a wide range of psychiatric disorders utilizing both medication management and psychotherapy. Dr. Wright worked extensively at the Long Beach VA treating veterans for post traumatic stress disorder. He successfully mastered the skill of using cognitive behavioral therapy to improve the quality of life of veterans after returning home from overseas. During his final year of his residency, Dr. Wright elected to spend a significant portion of his year working at a substance abuse treatment facility in Orange County in order to gain specialized training in the field of chemical dependency. This experience allowed him to treat psychiatric patients who have a co-morbid substance abuse diagnosis. Dr. Venice Sanchez, M.D. PsychiatristDr. Venice Sanchez, M.D.  received her Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and Medical Degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She continued her training at the University of California, Irvine Psychiatry Residency Program where she was recognized by faculty with the Outstanding Resident of the Year Award as an acknowledgement for her dedicated efforts in education, the clinics and her work with her patients. Dr. Sanchez has had extensive training at multiple facilities under supervision of experts in her field, which allowed her to gain comprehensive knowledge and experience in treating a wide array of psychiatric disorders. Her work at Long Beach VA, Pat Moore Rehabilitation Center, San Diego Detention facilities allowed her to gain expertise in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse and mood and thought disorders underlying the substance use. Dr. Sanchez realizes the significant need in women’s health, especially in treating pregnant and post-partum patients who are struggling with mental illness. She not only trained with a specialist at the Maternal and Fetal clinic at UCI Medical Center, she was also a forefront in opening up the first Women’s Mental Health Medication Management Clinic at Long Beach VA Veteran’s Hospital. Her passion for her field allowed her to diligently pursue the much needed training and experience in treating patients who have a co-morbid psychiatric diagnosis.

In closing…

PACE Recovery Center staff and the gentlemen whom we treat salute all veterans, remembering their sacrifices. Gratefully the enormity of these sacrifices is memorialized in monuments in our nation’s capital (see below) and throughout our country with national cemeteries that provide a final resting spot, a permanent salute to our veterans. ___________________________________________________________________________ If you are or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, please contact Pace Recovery Center.
Iwo Jima Memorial
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial is a United States military monument sited at the back entrance to Arlington National Cemetery .
 
World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial is a memorial of national significance dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II.
 
Vietnam's Women Memorial
The Vietnam Women's Memorial is a memorial dedicated to the women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses. It serves as a reminder of the importance of women in the conflict.

PACE Recovery Center Receives CARF Accreditation

PACE Recovery Center Announces CARF Three Year Accreditation

PACE Recovery Center's CARF Accreditation On May 29, 2015, PACE Recovery Center was honored to receive notification from CARF's Brian J.  Boon, PhD, President/CEO that PACE Recovery Center has been accredited by CARF International for a period of three years.  This accreditation is for the following PACE programs: Dr. Boon offered the following congratulations:
This achievement is an indication of your organization's dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served. Services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicate an established pattern of practice excellence."

Learning more about CARF

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) was founded in 1966 and "is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services."

The importance of a three year accreditation

The PACE Recovery Center's treatment team brings decades of clinical expertise and personal experience dealing with addiction and co-occurring disorders. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows PACE's substantial conformance to the CARF standards. We recognize  that an organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. We have demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit our commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.
PACE Founder Lenny Segal
Lenny Segal, LMSW, MBA
PACE Executive Director and Founder, Lenny Segal, says it best:
We are excited to have PACE Recovery Center achieve a three year CARF International accreditation. We will continue to offer our Clients, Families and Referents the highest level of care."
  To learn more about our men's only extended care drug and alcohol treatment program and our intensive outpatient program you can contact us and be assured our PACE programs are built on the idea that by helping the client work on their underlying issues, they will be able to achieve long-term sobriety. Remember at PACE a Positive Attitude Changes Everything.

Memorial Day With Heart And Poppies

What we learn by heart...

There was a time when our parents and teachers would expect us to learn things "by heart." Remember? We might be asked to learn a poem or a song, our multiplication tables (because we didn't have hand held calculators or smartphones to quickly check the answer to 6 X 12), the Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem, traveling directions, peoples' addresses and phone numbers. Another way to define "by heart" is "by rote." Rote is an interesting word, but perhaps the most fitting when it comes to discussing days like Memorial Day: by rote, from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way. There is so much more to Memorial Day, beyond what we have learned by heart. So today we thought we would share just a bit more of the history of this day, including why poppies come to mind for those celebrating the lives fallen for our freedom.

In Flanders Field the poppies blow

100 years ago this month, May 3, 1915, serving in World War I a Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the following poem after presiding at the funeral of a fellow soldier.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

You see McCrae noticed that for some reason poppies will grow even in a field serving as a graveyard; in fact historically we learned that dating back to the Napoleonic Wars [1803-1815] a poet reflected on poppies growing among the graves (according to Wikipedia: "...a writer of that time first noted how the poppies grew over the graves of soldiers. The damage done to the landscape in Flanders during the battle greatly increased the lime content in the surface soil, leaving the poppy as one of the few plants able to grow in the region." Memorial Day 2015 It was just a few years later at the end of World War I when Moina Michael, an American professor, read "In Flanders Field" and determined she would wear a red poppy each day to remember the soldiers who had died in WWI. She worked tirelessly with others and convinced the American Legion to adopt the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. According the American Legion's website:
The Auxiliary Poppy Program has been a staple of the organization since the Legion’s 1925 National Convention when Resolution 534 was adopted, giving the Auxiliary complete charge of the program. But it is imperative to remember that the Poppy Program is an American Legion Family event where both Legion posts and Sons of The American Legion squadrons are encouraged to partner with their local Auxiliary unit to organize and promote the program, as well as distribute poppies for donations. Auxiliary Unit 291 in Newport Beach, Calif., recently raised $14,000 for its poppy program by mailing donation envelopes with poppies in them to all 6,000 unit, post and squadron members. The yearly mailing “is an opportunity to make a donation via the mail since not all members are able to attend meetings or events,” said Margaret Myles, Unit 291 president. “The purpose (of the poppy) is to remind our members the reason why we are The American Legion, and to honor those who have served, those who are currently serving and most importantly, those who have lost their lives in the line of service to our nation.”

Honoring our own...

Here at PACE Recovery Center we are honored to have two staff members who served in our armed forces.
Sean Kelly, Chief Operations Officer
Sean Kelly, Chief Operations Officer
  Sean Kelly is a former Marine who proudly served our country. It is this background that helps him teach the Men of PACE  Recovery Center how to accomplish goals, create discipline, and develop accountability. Sean’s own personal struggle with addiction allows him to meet the Clients where they are at in their own recovery, and help guide them on their recovery journey. Sean is an active member in the recovery community. His philosophy is to treat people with love, dignity and respect. It’s this mentality that allows him to create an alliance, which allows for the therapeutic process to take place between him and his Client. This relationship empowers the Client to gain the skills necessary to recover from drugs and alcohol. Sean studied at Centaur University to become a certified Chemical Dependency Counselor.
Victor Calzada, Resident Manager
Victor Calzada, Resident Manager
    Victor Calzada joined the United States Marine Corps right out of high school in 1995. He proudly served as a heavy weapons operator. While in the service, Victor was recognized for his, honor, courage and commitment. While serving in the United States military, he learned the important characteristics of working as a team. After his tour in the military, Victor worked for the Correctional Systems for 6 years as a Correctional Officer. Victory was known for his keen ability to listen and help them problem solve any issues they might have been experiencing. An area that Victor is passionate about is working with people who have substance abuse issues. Victor has had his own personal struggles with chemical dependency issues. He believe that the combination of opening our hearts and minds, with the right guidance, we can overcome our issues. If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Related articles

PACE Clinical Staff Continues To Improve Skills

PACE Recovery Center logoPACE Recovery Center believes it is vitally important that our therapists continue to develop their skills in order to meet the unique needs of our clients. Recently the entire clinical staff at PACE participated in a day long training seminar which focused on integrating Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Twelve Step Facilitation (TSF) for treating individuals who suffer with substance use disorders.

DBT and TSF are both evidence-based modalities that have been proven to be effective in substance abuse treatment with a wide variety of populations. DBT was initially developed for clients who have dual-diagnosis issues and has been found to be effective in working with clients who suffer from personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and eating disorders. DBT has also been found to be very effective in working with clients who suffer from substance use disorders. This approach is integrated with twelve step philosophy in order to help clients learn how to stay focused and aware of the present moment, to use coping skills during distressing times, to increase interpersonal effectiveness, to regulate emotions, and to live an engaging life in recovery.

We are excited to integrate these practices into our men's addiction treatment program which focuses on helping our clients to establish and maintain long-term sobriety.

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