Innovation Spotlight: New York Hospitals Are Improving Health, Enhancing Quality, and Reducing Costs.

River Hospital Combats Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common affliction military personnel face, they often experience hurdles and limited resources finding treatment. In 2013, River Hospital created the River Community Wellness Program (RCWP) to help treat PTSD for local soldiers at Fort Drum.

RCWP offers combat- and non-combat-related trauma care. Treatment is offered five days a week, five hours per day, for eight weeks and includes therapies such as cognitive processing, group and individual, peer-to-peer support, creative arts and imaginal. Typically, treatment is conducted in a group setting, ranging from six to ten soldiers. Soldiers are provided individual sessions a few times a week as well as a weekly medication management meeting. The combat-related trauma group offers rolling admission, allowing a soldier to join at any time. The non-combat-related trauma group starts once the program has received eight to ten referrals so the group can start and end the program together. In 2016, RCWP expanded to include veterans and created outpatient services.

River Hospital is the only civilian hospital nationally offering this level of mental health treatment to active duty soldiers. To date, more than 500 soldiers have graduated from RCWP.

Read the Watertown Daily Times article for more on this innovative program.

For more information, contact Brad Frey, PA-C, MPAS, Senior Director, Operations and Director, River Community Wellness Program, at (315) 482-1203 or at bfrey@riverhospital.org, or Amanda Fisher, Program Manager, at (315) 482-1225 or at afisher@riverhospital.org.

bg