Dedication, Leadership and Commitment
Dedication, Leadership and Commitment
How Hudson’s Leadership Team Assured the Facility Stayed Open
More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Hudson Behavioral Health has not stopped helping people get into treatment safely, and this is due to a very dedicated staff.
“I believe we excelled in three areas: medical leadership, constant planning, and teamwork,” said Hudson CEO Leslie Brown. “We experienced many of the same bumps and bruises to our system as many other organizations and it has to be the innovations these inspired which brought us through.”
From admission to detox, in-patient care to treatment homes, Hudson’s team has kept patient and staff safety front and center. Hudson has a main campus where most patients stay 30 days, and then a network of treatment and recovery houses in Maryland and Delaware where they can stay up to six more months as they continue their treatment and journey into recovery.
Here are some of the many ways Hudson has navigated the pandemic to keep treatment and recovery programs and resources available.
Committed Medical Leadership
Hudson’s COVID-19 positivity caseload was minimal, said Leslie Brown, who gave credit to the medical staff for its commitment to developing protocols and tracking.
Shiela Pullen, Director of Admissions, is the first person to see a new patient, on what is usually the most difficult day of their life. Since the start of the pandemic, Pullen has evolved Hudson’s intake procedure, which includes a combination of two COVID-19 tests, an in-depth patient screening and a clinical assessment by a licensed clinician.
“Our goal is to ensure that the patients are medically and psychiatrically stable upon admission,” said Pullen. “The protocols we have set up are to make the patients feel and be safe when they enter our treatment facility.”
Sher’ra Brown, Hudson’s Director of Nursing, oversees the infection control team which tracks any issues, including staff who call out ill for non-COVID reasons. Her system kept evolving, lobbying for vaccines for staff and patients and tracking them as they were (and continue to be) received.
Other steps that contributed to avoiding widespread infection include perpetual training videos to ensure safety protocols were followed.
Constant Planning & Revisions Lead to Better Outcomes
Policy and protocol are updated frequently as recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and other governing bodies release new information. All information is shared with staff. We continue to push handwashing, mask-wearing and social distancing.
The ordering of personal protection equipment, PPE, was and remains a major focus. “We have to make sure each patient has the protection they need with a complete understanding of the pandemic protocol,” said Sher’ra Brown.
A Caring Team That Did Not Waver
Medical Director Robert Coker, D.O., DABAM, reviews protocol and procedures with staff to ensure proper guidelines are followed. His calm demeanor and caring approach have helped keep patients as relaxed as possible, even at the height of the pandemic.
As vaccines became available, Coker has been holding Town Halls with five staff members at a time. During the meeting they talk about how the vaccines works, why getting one is critical for recovery and communal health, and to allay anxiety or fears. Actions like these have increased Hudson’s participation in staff vaccinations.
“The systems we have put in place over the last 13 months have made it possible for hundreds of people to participate in the program, and that has made all of the challenges worth it,” said Leslie Brown, CEO.
She also points to some less visible members of the team who have helped to make the experience run more smoothly, and that includes community supporters and the Health Departments. “There are proven partnerships at work that have consistently put patient and staff health first,” she added. “It’s partially because of that teamwork that we remained open when others could not, and for that we are so very grateful.”
Hudson Behavioral Health was formed in 1980 (as Hudson Health Services, Inc.) to bring the first residential recovery program to the Eastern Shore. Today, thousands of patients later, we remain the leader in recovery programs and resources, with our staff of 100 committed to serving each patient as an individual.