ABOUT NATIVE AMERICAN CONNECTIONS, INC. – PATINA WELLNESS CENTER
Since 1972, Native American Connections (NAC) has provided culturally appropriate community services in the Phoenix area. Patina Wellness Center opened in the fall of 2016, offering gender-separate residential facilities for adults struggling with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.
The center's approach is holistic and strengths-based, blending traditional healing with evidence-based therapies. The facility is one of the only 201 (58.9 percent) facilities in the state offering specialized treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders. Medical detox is not available on-site. NAC operates around 15 additional sites and programs, including outpatient treatment and housing support.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Potential clients can be referred by another agency, make an individual appointment, or attend an intake session on weekday mornings. Typical treatment plans last 45 days - placing the facility amongst the 67 (19.6 percent) long-term residential treatment centers in the state - but the length can be tailored to individual needs. Each client works with a behavioral health technician, recovery coach, and case manager while participating in diverse activities designed to support physical, mental, social, and spiritual recovery.
Among the treatment approaches used is the Native American 12-step practices of Red Road Wellbriety, a traditional medicine wheel, the trauma-informed Seeking Safety model, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapies (DBT), and NAC's Circle of Strength intensive family program.
Sweat lodge ceremonies are also an integral part of treatment, along with storytelling, drumming, smudging, talking circles, and Native crafts. Educational sessions include cultural presentations, life and job skills training, and health classes.
The treatment team includes licensed professional counselors, master's-level social workers, and registered nurses. Some alumni return as staff members, some are bilingual in Spanish and other languages, and job listings express a preference for Native American applicants.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The relatively new, 70-bed residential facility has space for men, women, and parents with young children. This suggests high levels of availability, given that the average number of clients in a residential facility was 18 individuals, as of 2016. Specialized services are also offered for women who are pregnant or post-partum, and childcare is available on-site for those up to age five, a feature of only 60 (17.6 percent) Arizona treatment centers.
Images on the NAC website indicate semi-private rooms, chef-prepared meals shared in mid-size dining rooms, a fitness room, and a large courtyard. The building style is clinical, but with plenty of space for social activity.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Alumni reviews of the two previous residential facilities tended to be favorable, highlighting accommodations, positive outcomes of rehab, and empathetic staff. At the time of this writing, Rehabs.com has received survey responses from three former clients. One of these individuals identified their counselor as a strength, but reported "to much free time," and provided the lowest rating of one-star to holistic offerings and the level of family participation.
Two of these alumni also indicated low satisfaction with flexibility and options in counseling practices as well as for the facility's policies regarding connection with the outside while in residential treatment. Still, the third, more positive reviewer, added, "The staff at patina wellness center are great. Very helpful, informative and professional. They truly care."
On Google at the time of this writing, six reviewers provided mixed feedback, indicated by a 3.2 out of five-star average rating. While D.W. awarded five stars and wrote, "Awesome place, welcoming and kind," contrastingly, B.K. disagreed, writing: "This place weird no body was welcome and nobody told us rules and regulations," giving the facility just one star out of five.
Two CiteHealth reviewers also provided mixed, although overall positive, opinions. While one noted inconsistencies in staff interactions, the other was especially complimentary, writing, "I was more then just a name to them, the staff acted as if they really cared about us," and identifying staff members who were former clients as a strength.
Native American Connections received overwhelmingly positive reviews on its official Facebook page, which staff members may monitor. Of 81 ratings, the facility earned a 4.4 out of five-star average rating to date. The reviews covered an array of services and several characterized alcohol and drug addiction treatment as life saving. One reported long-term sobriety and achievements such as advanced education after completing the program. On the other hand, two alumni reported unprofessional staff and inadequate support.
WHAT STAFF SAY
On Indeed, 39 current and former employees submitted reviews of the facility to representing a positive work environment and a committed and collaborative staff, for a 3.8 out of five-star average rating. Some reported understaffing and one noted a need for more training for dual diagnosis treatment. The only negative reviews consistently mentioned concerns with the hiring experience and management.
There is currently no information on the facility's website regarding its costs. NAC receives funding from state and tribal governments and Indian Health Services.
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