WOOD RIVER – Amare, a local nonprofit based out of Wood River, Ill., has joined forces with the Jersey Community Hospital (JCH) Clinical Services' MAT Clinic located at 220 County Rd., Jerseyville, Ill, and is part of the JCH Healthcare organization. MAT is an acronym for medically assisted treatment that typically combines medication to help someone diagnosed with a substance use disorder and counseling as a treatment modality. The revolutionary partnership between the two agencies will allow additional support for MAT Clinic's clients.

Amare works to help those recovering from substance use disorders, dependency, or co-occurring disorders. The nonprofit provides recovery support services like recovery coaching, family recovery coaching and support, and linkage to additional resources and clinical services like detox or residential treatment. They also focus heavily on education and awareness with events like their annual Rockin' for Recovery held in September, which provides live music, testimony, food trucks, and resource booths for attendees to learn more about the services and programs within their communities.

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"This is a big deal for Amare," Bechel said, "it allows our organization to help with what we specialize in, which is recovery coaching and providing support to individuals and families impacted by drug addiction." Amare's Board of Directors comprises 50% of individuals who have lived experience with substance use, and most of their internal staff are people in long-term recovery.

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Jerseyville resident, Nikki Smith, has been hired by Amare as a recovery coach to provide direct recovery support services to the MAT Clinic's clients. "I am beyond excited to work with Amare and provide recovery support services and share my lived experience with the MAT Clinic clients Smith stated, "and being a Jerseyville resident, I know how important these services are to our area."

The JCH Clinical Services opened in 2019 and began providing MAT services in 2020. The Director of Specialty Clinics, Kelli Wittman, has been with JCH for 26 years and has served her role as director for the past five years. The clinic also provides other services like pain management and primary care. "Having a peer counselor join the MAT Team at JCH will provide insight and understanding where we didn't have it before," Lauren Savoie, JCH Healthcare Project, and Grant Manager said. "We are eager to have Nikki come onboard, and with the help of Amare, we will be able to provide this much-needed service to our community and reach and support members of our population in new ways."

To learn more about Amare and its programs and services, call 618-331-5905, email gethelp@amarenfp.org, or visit their website at www.amarenfp.org. For those interested in learning more about JCH Clinical Services, call 618-498-2273 or visit their website HERE.

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