“Person-first Philosophy” Enhances Care Experience for Patients of All Ages
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) Health and Human Services Department (HHSD) Behavioral Health Team has earned the elite Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities (CARF) Accreditation, becoming only one of 65,000 programs in the world to do so.
Valid through January 2026, this accreditation applies to Behavioral Health’s outpatient integrated treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health for both adult and children/adolescent patient populations. At NHBP, the outpatient integrated model incorporates behavioral health resources into primary medical care functions at all age levels.
“With our Behavioral Health integrated with our Primary Care team, our patients have much easier and faster access to behavioral health services,” said HHSD Director Roz Johnston. “Our Primary Care team consults with the Behavioral Health team, and there is collaboration to provide our patients with what’s needed in a timely fashion, especially in a time of crisis.”
According to the congratulatory letter to NHBP, the CARF standards center around a person-first philosophy, which NHBP adheres to.
“The person-first philosophy is crucial because people are more likely to effect change in their lives when they have a sense of choice and control over what their goals are and how they work towards their goals,” said Johnston. “This differs from advising patients on all that they need to do, potentially overwhelming them, to supporting them on the goals they chose, based on where they are on their wellness journey.”
During the survey process, led by Behavioral Health Manager Nichol Bremer, LMSW, MAC, ACTP, CAADC, ADS, CCS, the team proved it had more than 1,800 policies and procedures in place to achieve CARF accreditation.
“We only had four recommendations for improvement from CARF,” said Bremer. “We have to demonstrate that we actually follow all 1,800 policies and procedures, which was assessed through staff interviews, client interviews and reviews of more than 400 documents. You could have a dozen recommendations and still have a very good report, but having only four recommendations demonstrates how diligently our team works to achieve the highest standards. The team is grateful for the support we received from the NHBP Community, as well as Tribal Council, throughout this accreditation process.”
According to its website, CARF was founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Today, CARF International is an independent, non-profit accreditor of health and human services in several areas, including mental health and substance abuse. More than 65,000 programs and services at more than 30,000 locations are CARF-accredited worldwide.
About The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
NHBP is a federally recognized Tribal government located at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation near Athens, Michigan, with more than 1,600 enrolled Tribal Members. NHBP’s economic development entities include Vegas-style casino FireKeepers Casino Hotel and Waséyabek Development Company, LLC, which focuses on the pursuit of non-gaming, economic diversification opportunities. For more information visit www.nhbp-nsn.gov.