Chautauqua Healthcare Services


The IMPACT 100 Grant allows Chautauqua Healthcare Services (formally known as the COPE Center) to continue its mission in meeting the needs of one of our most vulnerable populations, pregnant/postpartum women with a substance use disorder and their children. Chautauqua Healthcare Services built a fifteen (15) bed residential treatment center for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders. The center built on land owned by  Chautauqua Healthcare Services. Funding obtained by the center from the Florida Department of Children and Families for annual operating costs will ensure the sustainability of the residential treatment center.

Treatment experts agree that substance use treatment for women needs to be approached from the perspective that includes the context of womens lives. These include her relationships with her children, family, extended family, and support systems, social and economic environment, and the impact of gender and culture. The program is sensitive to the womens cultural beliefs and values, language, level of literacy and emotional ability to respond. By using an individualized approach to care for each woman, the center will be able to reduce the challenges and obstacles women face when accessing substance use treatment. Their residential program will reduce the challenges and obstacles by allowing preschool aged children to reside with their mother in the residential center. The program will also allow visitation of older children and include older children in the mothers Recovery Plan.

With the addition of a residential treatment center, Chautauqua Healthcare Services will be able to provide a full continuum of care for pregnant/postpartum women and their children. The residential treatment center will not only have a positive impact on the women and their children, but also on the communities in which they live.

With over forty years of experience providing services, Chautauqua Healthcare Services (formally known as the COPE Center) has grown from the original 2 programs operating out of one room in DeFuniak Springs City Hall to over 22 programs and ten locations.  Over the years, Chautauqua Healthcare Services has evolved from the original community mental health center to a comprehensive community behavioral center that provides nearly 120,000 mental health and substance abuse services to approximately 5000 adults and children in our service area each year.

Despite efforts over the last decade to increase awareness regarding the negative effects of alcohol and other drug use during pregnancy, substance abuse among pregnant women continues to be a significant problem in Okaloosa and Walton County.  Many women who are pregnant or have young children do not seek treatment or drop out of treatment early because they are unable to take care of their children; they may also fear that authorities will remove their children from their care.  The burden of child care and other responsibilities can be overwhelming for many women.  A successful treatment approach must be family-centered and allow mothers to keep their preschool aged children with them during residential treatment.

With an increase in the number of drug related arrests in Walton and Okaloosa County, Chautauqua Healthcare Services has seen a 27% increase in the number of pregnant and postpartum women who received Intensive Outpatient Substance Use Services.  In fiscal year 2014-2015, a total of 37 pregnant and postpartum women received services.  In fiscal year 2015-2016, the number increased to 63 pregnant and postpartum women receiving Intensive Outpatient Substance Use Services. All 63 women meet the requirements for residential treatment. Due to the lack of residential facilities in Okaloosa and Walton County for pregnant/postpartum women and their preschool aged children, the women did not enter into a residential program.

With funding provided by the IMPACT 100 grant, Chautauqua Healthcare Services will construct a residential center that will house 15 pregnant/postpartum women and their preschool aged children.  The center will allow the women to receive the services they need and keep their children with them during treatment.

Thank you IMPACT 100 for helping Chautauqua Healthcare Services reach our goal of reducing the number of children born with drug related withdrawal symptoms and to provide the mother and other family members with the support needed to maintain a stable, safe environment for their family to thrive.

Shalene Hall, Executive Assistant Chautauqua Healthcare Services