Woods is a premier residential treatment center that for more than 100 years has been rooted in deeply caring for some of the most challenging and vulnerable people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities and medical complexities and extreme emotional and behavioral challenges. We treat people who have some of the most rare and complicated disorders who cannot be served anywhere else. Woods is a last resort for many families whose loved ones have suffered through numerous failed placements, hospitalizations and medications. Woods has nurtured individuals and their families for over 100 years and will continue to do so.
We treat individuals who are self-abusive, destroy their bodies, are traumatized by past experiences, , have impulse control issues, and many for whom aggression may be their only mode of communication. We understand these challenges and work with their families and other team care team members to develop individualized treatment that meets their needs and will help them succeed in living.
Taking care of these children is a daunting task. Our aim is to give them strategies that enable them to thrive so that they can return to the community and participate in an everyday life. In 2016, Woods embarked upon a transformational journey of building a life-long client-centered community-based system of care. Our integrated approach leads to improved lives.
Woods’ Population Health Model
Woods CEO, Tine Hansen-Turton, has a long-history of involvement in the health care industry. Upon arrival at Woods in 2016, she realized the work that Woods was providing was population health management, meaning that we were positively influencing the social determinants of health for the individuals we were serving leading to better health outcomes. She recognized though that we could do better.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience health disparities and numerous barriers to receiving quality health care in the community, so Ms. Hansen-Turton led the charge, along with other talented professionals, to open The Medical Center at Woods in 2018 to meet their needs. The Medical Center at Woods is a national model for providing comprehensive, coordinated care that integrates primary care and behavioral health care with a model that improves care coordination, provides extended service hours to reduce disruptive ER visits, and increases access to more advanced medical services and specialty services such as neurology, podiatry, and ophthalmology right in Woods’ Medical Center all leading to improved health outcomes.
The Medical Center at Woods is designed to accommodate every barrier. Universal design principles are utilized throughout the building and providers are trained to address communication barriers and also to work with direct caregivers who may accompany individuals in their visits. For many of Woods’ residents with complex medical and behavioral health care needs, the ability to reduce environmental disruptions while providing them with first-rate medical care is a game changer.
Our technological enhancements have also contributed to improved care. Woods installed an Electronic Medical Record system that has an e-prescribing module. This new database facilitates communication with external providers and pharmacies and enables improved care coordination.
Woods’ Treatment Models
Our four world-class treatment models serve people with varying diagnoses and levels of need. All are based upon building skills that enable individuals to interact with the world in safer ways. We have a team-integrated approach involving clinicians, residential direct support professionals, care coordinators, educators, nurses, physicians and parents who meet and talk to develop the best solution for the individual. Our clinical program has transformed our care and we are getting great feedback from families and funders.
We Find Solutions
We provide care through acceptance, respect and compassion and we continually advance our care according to our field’s best practices. A new advancement includes the implementation of the Ukeru® Systems method and its “comfort vs. control” approach when de-escalating aggressive, challenging behavior to ensure the safety of the individuals we serve as well as our staff.
In June 2017, Woods partnered with Grafton Integrated Health Network, Inc. on the implementation of the Ukeru method. Ukeru, the Japanese word for “receive”, is a trauma-informed, safe, comforting, crisis management technique developed by and for behavioral health caregivers and educators. Ukeru is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a best practice in restraint reduction.
The main components of the Ukeru program include verbal and nonverbal communication, managing and de-escalating conflict by converting/diverting aggression, building an environment focused on comfort versus control, and recognizing traumatic experiences of individuals who receive services for developmental, behavioral and mental health needs.
The Ukeru method teaches a variety of physical techniques that minimize the need for physical restraint. It also involves a system of blocking techniques with the use of pads that protect the both the aggressor and the person receiving the aggression during behavioral episodes. The blocking pads are a way for staff to help an upset individual work through negative emotions while keeping hands off.
We have seen great results with our entire clinical program that goes well beyond what our funders require of us, and we believe sets the standard for others to follow. We believe that all children deserve the best and therefore hired a Chief of Psychiatry, AFM Z Haque, MD, MPH who is internationally-known in the field of autism. Providing care for his son who has autism led Dr. Haque to become a global leader in the field.
We understand the challenges better than anyone else, yet we know we are not perfect. The challenges are big, but we assure families that we will do our very best to meet their need and provide the best possible care for their loved ones.