Addiction programs also offered for physicians, attorneys
Professionals in a range of fields are tapping the knowledge of addiction experts at Oxford Treatment Center through continuing education programs.
The center is now an official continuing-education provider for the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), which certifies Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). The center earned its Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) status in May.
Oxford Treatment Center is already a Designated Provider for the Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists.
Earning official provider status from both boards gives the center even greater leeway to design continuing-education programs for mental-health professionals in the region.
“We are really listening to what mental-health providers in this area want,” said Brian Whisenant, Director of Community Relations for Oxford Treatment Center, who has spearheaded the development of continuing-education programs at the center.
“The programs we plan are in direct response to what counselors and social workers are telling us they need,” he said. “They are letting us know about the kinds of challenges they are facing as they work with their clients, and how they want to grow as professionals.”
The programs are planned through a local advisory board which includes therapists in the Oxford community and on the University of Mississippi campus. The center’s most recent CE conference focused on mental healthcare for LGBTQ clients — a direct request from local mental-health providers.
Oxford Treatment Center is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility with two campuses in Lafayette County, Mississippi.
Continuing education programs are not designed to bring in revenue for the center. Programs in 2018 were free. For 2019, the advisory board opted to set affordable fees for each CE program — with all proceeds going toward a charity relevant to the event’s topic or presenter. The May CE conference raised $1,100 for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit for crisis intervention and suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.
Oxford Treatment Center began offering continuing-education programs in 2018 to provide training for its own staff of therapists, as well as for mental-health professionals throughout North Mississippi. The programs are offered at the center’s outpatient location off Highway 7 South. That location is also a training site for the Mississippi Addiction Counselors Training program.
In addition to hosted events, Oxford Treatment Center staff travel to present at training events around the state and region.
While most events are focused on mental health, attorneys will have a chance to hear COO Mark Stovall, CAT, CMHT, speak on addiction as part of a University of Mississippi Continuing Legal Education seminar in Jackson on June 21.
In July, Medical Director Dr. Stephen Pannel and Clinical Director Dr. Jerri Avery will present a CE program on medication-assisted treatment (MAT). For this event, the center is approved by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME credits for physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants and other medical professionals, in addition to mental-health professionals.
CEO Mark Sawyer said such outreach efforts are an important way for Oxford Treatment Center to share its resources and expertise. The center’s work is based at a secluded 110-acre campus 16 miles outside Oxford, where patients come for withdrawal management and residential levels of care.
“By design, our main campus is very separate from the outside world,” Sawyer said. “Being part of continuing education programs is one way we can bring our experiences out of that environment, where others can also benefit from them. When we can share what we are learning with professional peers, it’s good for both our staff and for the broader community.”