Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dan & Agnes Visit to Willingway Hospital and The Healing Place

From 3 March, 2010 to the present, June 6, we have been on the road studying a variety of approaches to help deal with recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.  We expect to arrive back in Bethesda/Washington, DC on June 15.
On March 3 we drove from Bethesda to Richmond, Virginia where we met Byron Merriweather the Oxford House representative who spent six weeks in 2009 with Hopeful Way Foundation in Ghana.  Byron brought us up to date on his work in Virginia and gave us a tour of an Oxford House in Richmond.  We were impressed by the emphasis that residents placed on attending AA meetings, working the 12 steps and participating in activites of the Fellowships of AA and NA. 

From Richmond we drove to Raleigh, North Carolina and spent a week in the area with Dr. Al Mooney of the Willingway Foundation.  Through mutual contacts in Egypt, Dr. Al made our three month study visit possible.  We first had a brief look at The Healing Place in Raleigh, a halfway house in the area and a continuing care group for former patients of Willingway Hospital. We then drove to Willingway Hospital, located 370 miles to the south in Statesboro, Georgia ( where we spent two months.  The hospital was established in 1971, has 40 hospital beds and has treated over 20,000 patients and family members. A highly dedicated staff provides excellent care including detoxification, inpatient, outpatient and extended care for both men and women.  The treatment and group sessions at Willingway are based on the approaches of AA, NA and Al-Anon.  Former patients of Willingway Hospital attend weekly "continuing care" meetings in about fifteen cities, mainly in the southern part of the U.S.  The entire staff of the hospital treated us like royalty.  We were most fortunate to attend the homecoming celebration of Willingway Hospital where over 400 former patients and friends came to Statesboro on the weekend of April 23.  In my next blog entry I will describe some of the activities of Willingway Foundation and how they could benefit our efforts in Ghana.