[GREAT FALLS, MT, 19 APRIL 2019] Four years ago, Gateway Community Services, a local addiction treatment center, was almost ready to close the doors. Faced with funding changes at the state level, understaffing, and difficulty keeping clients engaged, Gateway put out a search for a new director with the experience and fortitude it takes to save a struggling organization. Robert Wigdorski was hired January 2016 and rolled up his sleeves to get right to work. The first thing Bob did may seem counterintuitive but he raised wages and added additional employment benefits. This allowed Gateway to recruit and retain the best staff to be able to repair the agency’s tattered reputation.
Beginning to implement evidence based practices into counseling was the next step to ensuring the clients at Gateway get only the best treatment. In October of 2017, Gateway opened a drop-in center and began to employ Behavioral Health Peer Support Specials to complement an interdisciplinary team of mental health and substance abuse counselors. In 2018, through partnership with Alluvion Health, Gateway added a full time medical provider and care coordinator in-house to address medical issues often ignored at other treatment centers. Addressing the whole person has allowed Gateway to achieve a graduation rate of almost 50% which is almost double the national rate.
Through hard work and not a few sleepless nights, Bob was able to transform Gateway to arguably one of the best Substance Use Disorder Treatment centers in the state. Now, Bob and Gateway have set their sights on bringing evidence based, whole person addiction treatment to three other counties in the state. Acquiring three locations now managed by Flathead Valley Chemical Dependency Center, Gateway will be implementing their successful program structure in Kalispell, Thompson Falls, and Libby, Montana on July 1st, 2019.
Gateway is excited to bring its model of compassionate and wrap-around client care to these new locations. Gateway’s model of providing mental health treatment, addiction treatment, peer support, and medical care (to include medically assisted treatment), can be a powerful tool for communities struggling with addiction issues.
Gateway’s vision is to be a community based, highly respected organization acknowledged to be the best addiction center in Montana; offering compassionate, client-focused, professional help to those in need.
Gateway is well on the way to realizing that vision and bringing whole person care to all of Montana.
For more information contact Megan Bailly or Bob Wigdorski at (406)727-2512.