Dear Neighbors

Our company, Discover Recovery, is proposing a convalescent home use in Camas, WA.  We have written a letter (below) to provide you important information about our proposed project.  We would very much like to get your feedback, understand any concerns, and answer any questions you may have.  In addition to the letter, we respond below to various questions that we have heard to date on this website.  You can also send us your questions or comments using the comment field at the bottom of this page.

Thank you,

Thomas Feldman and Christopher Paulson

Co-Founders of Discover Recovery

February 11, 2021

RE: Change of Use (2213 NW 23rd Avenue) – Information about Discover Recovery Facility

Dear Neighbor,
Our company, Discover Recovery, is proposing a convalescent home use at 2213 NW 23rd Avenue in Camas. We understand that there have been questions and comments about our conditional use application. We write this letter to provide you important information about our proposed project in your area.

Discover Recovery is proposing a maximum 15-bed convalescent home through a conditional use. The proposed use will provide 24-hour care and treatment for individuals seeking to recover from substance use disorders from drugs, alcohol, and other substances. The care and treatment services do not include any surgical, obstetrical, or acute illness services. Instead, the facility will provide living accommodations along with a safe and holistic setting staffed with medical and clinical professionals to help those who are suffering from substance use disorders. This use will replace the current 15-bed assisted living use that was permitted at the property.

The purpose of Discover Recovery is to meet the growing needs for individuals struggling from substance use disorders. The facility helps to solve the growing need for access to quality substance use treatment by serving individuals who otherwise would seek help outside the state due to the lack of local resources. Discover Recovery will provide care and treatment services with residence periods between 30 to 90 days. Our goal is to simply treat a patient so that a patient is well enough to return home. Although our programs are comprised of proven clinical therapies and treatments, Discover Recovery also prides itself on a holistic approach in treating recovery. Discover Recovery focuses on providing a therapeutically planned living and rehabilitative intervention environment for the treatment of individuals. By providing quality full-time care and treatment, the proposed use will provide support to effectively address the needs for individuals struggling with substance use disorders.

Because of several features of the Discover Recovery program and management of the facility, this use will not cause any harm or safety concerns to the nearby area, including the Dorothy Fox Elementary School and the Dorothy Fox Park. Discover Recovery has taken measures to address potential concerns and to minimize possible negative impacts on neighbors. Some examples of these measures include:

• Residents are prohibited from leaving the property per program guidelines unless there is a scheduled outing. Residents are to remain on-site and are supervised for off-site outings. Transportation to and from the facility and to and from off-site activities will be monitored and group outings will be limited.

• Residents at the facility are not allowed to use, park, or otherwise operate vehicles (whether their personal property or Discover Recovery’s vehicles) at the property during their occupancy.

• Visitation by family and friends of the residents is not allowed at the facility at any time.

• We will have cameras installed throughout the center. Those camera feeds are monitored 24 hours a day.

• The facility will be staffed by medical professionals, clinical professionals, and other professional staff throughout its operations. Additionally, at least two staff members will be on-site 24 hours a day including a nurse, and 30-minute checks are performed with all patients on a 24-hour basis as well.

• Periodic supervised off-site resident group outings are anticipated on Saturdays or Sundays between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM (after resolution of the current COVID-19 pandemic and a return to more typical conditions). The group outings will be organized and administered by the facility and would involve the use of a company vehicle (passenger van) that is stored on-site to transport the residents to and from the outing.

• The ingress and egress to the Discover Recovery site is off of NW 23rd Avenue at the south of the property while the school is accessed off of NW Sierra Street at the east. Programming for the Discover Recovery operations does not include any activities at the adjacent park or school property.

By implementing these measures as part of its daily operations, Discover Recovery will provide effective care and treatment for its residents while operating in a safe and secure manner.

Moving forward, as a surrounding neighbor, you will receive a letter from the City when the application is deemed “technically complete”. We are told this application review process usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks. One element of achieving a “technically complete” application is installing a sign on the property that informs neighbors about the application. That sign was posted at the site on February 4, 2021. A public hearing on the application will eventually be held. When the hearing is scheduled, the sign will be updated with the date of the hearing, a notice of the hearing will be published in the newspaper and on the city’s website, and letters will be sent to the neighboring properties. You are welcome to view the status of the review and download application materials at the link in the footnote below.

We look forward to sharing more information with you about our company, our proposal, and our values as the permit review process moves forward. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach us at Thomas@discoverrecovery.com. And, for questions regarding the City of Camas’s review process, please email Sarah Fox at SFox@cityofcamas.us.

Kind Regards,

Thomas Feldman and Christopher Paulson
Co-Founders of Discover Recover

Frequently Asked Questions

Addiction affects those from all backgrounds in life. It does not discriminate. Most facilities in Washington state are large scale, high-volume treatment providers with longstanding Medicaid contracts, that provide services to individuals without private insurance or with limited financial means. As a result, families with resources who are motivated to get help often must travel to other states to find an appropriate treatment setting to address the complexities of a substance use disorder. Leaving the state to seek help speaks to the void in available services in Washington and presents its own set of unique challenges.

Part of the process of recovery is the development of social support. Connection is an essential part of the recovery process. If an individual leaves the state to seek help, their support network—their “connection”—is then developed in the locale in which they receive treatment. The experience of developing peer support is invaluable; however, that support cannot travel with the patient when he or she returns home.

Discover Recovery’s expansion into Camas will provide a facility that helps solve this problem by serving individuals who otherwise would seek help outside the state due to the lack of local resources. The Camas location will be a small treatment center offering individualized treatment targeted at professionals with high levels of motivation for recovery. The facility will employ a team of highly qualified and skilled specialists including psychiatrists, nurses, medical doctors, and licensed therapists. The facility would be a maximum of 15 beds and provide a safe, comfortable, and home-like experience for those who seek treatment. The average length of treatment would range from 30 to 90 days based upon the recovery plan developed by the team.

By providing quality full-time care and treatment, the proposed use will provide services and support to effectively address the increasing community needs for care and treatment for substance use disorders.

Thomas Feldman:

Thomas graduated from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He has worked in various positions in finance, sales and healthcare in Florida, Washington, D.C., New York and California. Most importantly, however, and at the core of his life’s mission, Thomas has an extensive background working at non-profit and for-profit residential treatment centers serving in various capacities, including as Chief Operating Officer of a multi-site facility. In 2018, Thomas began the journey of opening his own treatment center with longtime friend Christopher Paulson, a licensed therapist. Thomas envisioned a treatment center which would fill a much-needed void—catering to a local demographic, specifically the Pacific Northwest. Along with a small loan from a family friend, Chris and Thomas invested their entire life savings into starting their company and opening Discover Recovery, their facility in Long Beach, Washington. Thomas brings his strong belief in helping others and giving back to the community to this and all his endeavors.

Christopher Paulson:

Chris graduated with high honors from the University of California Santa Barbara with a liberal arts degree. Subsequently, he obtained a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University and became a licensed therapist. Chris has spent the last fifteen years working in the behavioral health sector. His experience is vast, ranging from large scale national treatment providers, to the non-profit sector, to start- up businesses. Chris’s initial foray into the treatment sector began in 2005, when he worked as a case manager and admissions coordinator for the Caron Foundation, located in south Florida. Chris has a strong background in admissions and marketing, especially as it relates to developing and fostering new relationships. As a therapist, Chris has been able to utilize operational knowledge of a treatment setting to help develop effective strategies for quality patient care. He worked as a clinical director at a prestigious facility in Malibu, California before making the decision to partner with his longtime friend Thomas Feldman and begin the process of opening a new facility. Their combined knowledge creates a balanced vision of what constitutes a successful and effective treatment program.

The facility will offer in-patient sub-acute detoxification services and in-patient residential services. The facility will be a private pay and private insurance facility targeted toward adult professionals in the Pacific Northwest struggling with substance use disorders.

The facility will be staffed with 24 nursing (RN or LPN) along with 24-hour support staff. In addition, we will have licensed therapists and medical doctors on site during the day to provide treatment services.

The facility is voluntary and will support those who want help to recover from drug and alcohol use. Patients are only allowed to leave the facility on a scheduled outing. For scheduled outings, transportation to and from the facility and to and from off-site activities will be monitored and group outings will be limited. The group outings will be organized and administered by the facility and would involve the use of a company vehicle (passenger van) that is stored on-site to transport the residents during group outings. Specifically, off-site resident group outings will be supervised and are anticipated to occur only 2-3 times per month on Saturdays or Sundays between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM (after resolution of the current COVID-19 pandemic and a return to more typical conditions). Residents at the facility are also not allowed to use, park, or operate vehicles during their occupancy.

This is not a sober living or outpatient center. Patients are forbidden to leave the property per program guidelines unless there is a scheduled outing as described above. If a patient wants to leave prior to completion of treatment, we will arrange transportation for them.

Discharge planning is a key component to the treatment episode. Patients are only with us for a short period of time and it is critical that we set up a discharge plan. Most of the patients treated will be returning home to a family and a job or transferred to a lower level of care for outpatient services. Our treatment team will work with the patient and the family to determine the best course of action.

At least two staff members will be on-site 24 hours a day including a nurse. We will have cameras installed through the center and they are monitored throughout the day. Patients will be in scheduled therapy for most of the day in a highly structured environment. Additionally, 30-minute checks are performed on all residents 24 hours a day.

We want to help those in need in the pacific northwest. We work closely with a number of providers, interventionists and other facilities in Oregon and Washington. Around 90% of all our patients in Long Beach come from Oregon or Washington. We expect to have similar admissions data in Camas, WA.

The 2.39-acre site is located at 2213 NW 23rd Avenue in Camas, Washington. This property has most recently been permitted and used as a 15-bed assisted living facility. An aerial vicinity photo is provided below.

We do not currently have any plans to expand the facility beyond 15 beds. The facility is designed to be small and offer highly individualized treatment.

 

The proposal will not cause harm or safety concerns to the nearby area, including the Dorothy Fox Elementary School and the Dorothy Fox Park. Discover Recovery has taken appropriate measures to address potential concerns and to minimize possible adverse impacts on the nearby area.  Examples of these measures include:

• Residents are prohibited from leaving the property per program guidelines unless there is a scheduled outing. Residents are to remain on-site and are supervised for off-site outings. Transportation to and from the facility and to and from off-site activities will be monitored and group outings will be limited.  Examples of these measures include:

• Residents at the facility are not allowed to use, park, or otherwise operate vehicles (whether their personal property or Discover Recovery’s vehicles) at the property.

• Visitation by family and friends of the residents is not allowed at the facility at any time.

• We will have cameras installed throughout the center. Those camera feeds are monitored 24 hours a day.

• The facility will be staffed by medical professionals, clinical professionals, and other professional staff throughout its operations. Additionally, at least two staff members will be on-site 24 hours a day including a nurse, and 30-minute checks are performed with all patients on a 24-hour basis as well.

• Periodic supervised off-site resident group outings are anticipated to occur only 2-3 times per month on Saturdays or Sundays between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM (after resolution of the current COVID-19 pandemic and a return to more typical conditions). The group outings will be organized and administered by the facility and would involve the use of a company vehicle (passenger van) that is stored on-site to transport the residents to and from the outing.

• The ingress and egress to the Discover Recovery site is off of NW 23rd Avenue at the south of the property while the school is accessed off of NW Sierra Street at the east. Programming for the Discover Recovery operations does not include any activities at the adjacent park or school property.

By implementing these measures as part of its daily operations, Discover Recovery’s rules of operation will prevent the occurrence of any harm or safety to the school and park.  The rules of operations at the site will not cause any harm to the adjacent area.

We will be actively involved in the community the way we are in long beach. We want the community to know that we will be available and work with neighborhood to make sure everyone feels safe and heard. We plan to get involved in a number of local causes as well. The facility will provide much needed services to the area along with the creation of approximately 20 jobs. The main concern seems to be the proximity to the school. We look forward to working with Dorothy Fox Elementary School to discuss and address any concerns they may have about the new use.

In addition, Discover Recovery does not expect to admit any registered sex offenders to the proposed facility. Unless required by law, Discover Recovery will not admit any registered sex offenders at its facility.

After more than two years in business in Long Beach, Washington, we have developed a strong relationship with the local community. The mayor, Jerry Philips, speaks highly of our business and the positive effect on the community. We have given back to the community through a number of outlets including: the police department, local rotary club, children’s foundations and more. We are currently in the process of establishing a scholarship fund for the Chinook School District which will provide much needed funds for college tuition. Discover Recovery has also helped the local economy both through employment and the utilization of local vendors for services. We have worked closely with the local community and have continued to foster open lines of communication with the local community we serve.

We plan to establish a similar relationship within the Camas community and look forward to becoming actively involved in volunteer work and funding local programs. The involvement within the local community is critical to our primary mission. Service and altruism are essential parts of the recovery process and our business model.

While residents will be allowed to spend time outside during their treatment episodes with supervision, designated outdoor spaces will be on the north eastern side of the property, away from the shared property line with the Dorothy Fox Elementary School. Outdoor activities are monitored by staff. Residents will not have the ability to freely roam the property. As an added safeguard, Discover Recovery (DR) will also install fencing as a means to further enhance safety and privacy.

DR has developed sophisticated strategies to prevent residents from leaving our facility Against Treatment Advice (ATA). At present, we have a very low “fall out rate,” due to the training we offer our staff, along with the caliber of professionals we employ. While treatment itself is voluntary, should a patient decide he or she wants to leave treatment, we have policies and procedures in place to mitigate the associated risks. For example, based upon our clinical philosophy, if a patient wants to leave, the staff will meet with the patient and develop an aftercare plan as a means to facilitate a safe transition from residential care to the outside world. We are able to arrange transportation to another treatment, or their home environment.

No patient leaves without an aftercare plan and travel arrangements in place. We boast a high success rate related to successful completions of treatment and the maintenance of long-term sobriety. It is also worth mentioning that treatment is entirely voluntary, meaning most, if not all, of the patients we serve have high levels of motivation for treatment. Patients join the treatment program because they want help and want to find a better way to live. There are greater instances of ATA risks associated with mandated treatments. When an individual voluntarily admits into the program, we have experienced a greater degree of internal versus external motivation, hence the low risk for departures ATA.

Should a patient still decide that he or she must leave immediately, refusing referrals and an aftercare plan, staff will transport the patient offsite.

Currently, DR offers door-to-door transportation services. The majority of the patients we serve are from the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, our transportation staff is able to pick up and drop off residents upon admission and discharge from the facility. This is an additional service of care we offer. Our drivers are trained and have a wealth of experience dealing with the population we serve. Any departure from the facility will be with a staff member.

DR will not allow sex offenders into the treatment program. All new admissions are required to complete a pre-admission assessment. Part of the assessment process pertains to legal history, including whether the potential admission is a sex offender. It should also be noted that the legal assessment also looks into whether a potential admission is currently on probation. As allowable by law, legal history may serve as a cause for non-admission.

This number is hard to quantify as there is no exact number of admissions that can be projected on a month to month basis. Many factors influence whether or not individuals seek treatment (e.g. holidays, seasons, etc.) The Camas location, however, is a small and intimate treatment setting so the maximum number of residents at any given time would not exceed fifteen.

DR boasts an extremely high staff-to-patient ratio. As a result, staff is always present and able to monitor the movements and locations of all patients. Staff currently conducts thirty-minute rounds, meaning eyes are on each patient every thirty minutes as a means to maintain safety and security. We also utilize surveillance equipment that is monitored in the staff office at all times. DR has employed a tremendous amount of staff to ensure that each resident receives the highest level of care. Even shifts that are relatively low impact (e.g. overnights) have nursing, and two support staff members present due to the management team’s belief in risk management. The organizational belief is that the more contact the residents have with varying forms of staff, the better the treatment experience. During the day there are nurses, counselors, doctors, therapists and various support staff present to interact and assist with residents.

DR’s residents also follow a strict daily routine and are present in groups and individual appointments all day. The structured daily activities provide containment and accountability for individuals seeking treatment, also allowing staff to maintain safety and security. Residents are rarely alone, with the exception of designated homework times and when they sleep. As a result, we have seen very few critical incidents, especially surrounding safety and security. These issues are of the utmost importance to us.

The market we are trying to serve is in the Pacific Northwest. At present, all patients we have treated at our Long Beach facility are from the Washington or Oregon area. The proposal has a focus on the local area, due to the identified need for treatment providers. There are limited options and resources available to those from the Camas and Vancouver area. This area is currently under-served for treatment options. If anything, we are making an effort to elevate the standards of care in Washington so that those who need help do not have to leave the state to receive quality care.

atients cannot leave at any time. Once an individual is enrolled in treatment, he or she must adhere to the treatment environment. The only exception might be attending an outside twelve-step meeting; however, any travel offsite will be with staff members. Any offsite activity will be supervised and monitored by staff.

DR boasts the highest level of accreditation at present. We are licensed through Washington State’s Department of Health to provide treatment services. Through our own volition, we pursued further accreditations as well. For example, DR received a three-year accreditation from CARF International. The CARF International accreditation provides a visible symbol that assures the public of a provider’s commitment to continually enhance the quality of services and programs with a focus on the satisfaction of the persons served. We also sought accreditation from the Joint Commission as well. The Joint Commission accreditation is the highest standard of excellence that you can have in the field. It is usually found at hospitals, however, as a treatment provider DR sought to have the highest quality of care for those we serve.

Our Medical Director, Dr. Martin Klos is a board certified addictionologist. This board certification highlights a level of mastery pertaining to the treatment of Substance Use Disorders. He supervises and oversees our medical staff, ensuring that the treatment we provide is safe, effective and contemporary to developments in the field. Currently, we also have a physician, Dr. Dave Cundiff, who also hold a Masters in Public Health. Dr. Cundiff is onsite daily providing care to our residents. He has worked with the state of Washington and provides the highest quality of care to our residents. This level of medical oversight was a decision made by DR to enhance patient experiences in treatment, and provide the safest treatment setting possible.

We work closely with both a psychiatrist and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. The ability to address any potential underlying mental health issues creates an environment of care that can treat all aspects of the individual. The majority of research suggests that most people who suffer from substance use disorders (SUDs) might also have an underlying mental health concern (e.g. depression, anxiety, etc). While the focus is always addiction related first, the ability to address any unforeseen circumstance also mitigates risk.

DR has nursing staff onsite twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. All nurses are licensed through the Washington State department of health. The nursing team is comprised of Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses. Medical professionals are onsite at all times.
Our clinical staff is comprised of counselors and therapists. All counselors are certified through the state of Washington as Substance Use Disorder Professionals, demonstrating expertise specific to the treatment of SUDs. Our therapists all have Masters degrees and vary from licensed clinical social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists. The counselors address the issues surrounding the addictive disorders, while the therapists can address the underlying issues which may have contributed towards the development of a SUD. All professionals are appropriately credentialed and licensed, offering what we consider the best and most robust treatment setting in the Pacific Northwest.

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