For the past three and a half years I have been honored to be a part of the PCHS PLL team. My name is Michael Coffman and I supervise the PCHS site. While I would like to say that my office is located in Alaska, I am unfortunately more than a stone’s throw away (roughly about 4,130 miles) as I am in Northeast Ohio surrounded by a rich Amish culture in a little town called West Salem.
Despite the distance, our regular Internet conferencing (which centers around utilizing the PLL program to help hurting families) has drawn me close to the clinicians at PCHS who, day after day, are on the front lines witnessing the often intense and unique struggle each family faces. Family therapy is often complex and difficult and it takes a special breed of clinician who not only maintains a passion to see families unite and heal but it also demands a level of excellence with high expectations when it comes to strategically moving families toward healing.
While this calling is high there are many programs claiming to have the elixir to excellent clinicians and good family treatment. However, in my 20 years of experience in the mental health field there is all too often a lack of strong supportive evidence to support claims of cost effective, quality care.
According to our dashboard that examines and tabulates data from PLL sites across the country, PCHS is standing out among the best as having the right program with the right clinicians with supporting hard numbers indicating that something continues to happen in Kenai that is worth taking note.
Despite some turnover in the past year, both Heather Dominguez and Iris Ehret have maintained a completion rate of 100% with an agency overall rate of 96% for this year. This is not only a very high number; it also means that there is a very high engagement rate and a very low dropout rate. Basically, the data is supporting that families feel they are getting meaningful services through the PLL program and often comment about
positive, sustainable and satisfying changes.
Feedback from family members also report that the material presented in the 6 multi-family groups and coaching sessions have been very helpful in making great strides in a short amount of time. Heather and Iris are likewise reported as facilitating an environment that is both welcoming and non-judgmental.
While there is no magic pill here, the data does give support to quality care being given by Heather and Iris. This care is cost saving to the community, and to the families they serve, I would imagine “priceless.”
My thanks to Heather and Iris of the Alaska PCHS team for their continued effort toward excellence in their field and to their passion to continue to help families move toward healing through the delivery of the PLL program. They have a growing waiting list, which again suggests, something is happening that is worth taking note.
Michael K. Coffman, MA, LPCC-S