September 2017
The Big Reach of Extended Treatment
Whether you came through Willingway for inpatient treatment, or went on to become a graduate of the Men’s Lodge, m any of you will fondly remember fellow alum John Williamson . Once graduating treatment in 2010, John went on to become a Willingway inpatient counselor and has managed Willingway’s long term residential Men's Lodge program since 2011. He was also the recipient of Willingway’s 2014 Employee of the Year award and is a staple in the Statesboro recovery community. 

Last March, CEO Cherie Tolley created a new executive role to oversee the operations of our extended treatment continuum of care and appointed John to this position as the Director of Extended Treatment Services. The Chandelier had the opportunity this month to sit down with John to learn more about Willingway’s extended treatment programs and John's vision for the future of extended treatment in Statesboro.
TC:  What are the current extended treatment programs in Willingway’s continuum of care?
JW:  We currently have four programs for women and four for men. Programs for women are Lee Street, By the Grace, The Women’s Residence, and Women’s SLE (short for “Sober Living Environment”, comparable to a ¾ house program). Programs for men include the Men’s Lodge, Louie’s House, Broad 90, and Men’s SLE.
TC:  What is the difference between a client who is appropriate for extended treatment and one who is appropriate for inpatient-only?
JW:  Whenever someone is admitted to our inpatient program, there are two main questions that are asked to determine whether or not the patient would be a good candidate for extended treatment, and the questions are really just two sides of the same coin. Would the person benefit significantly enough from the services offered in extended treatment to warrant them staying? Anyone would benefit from extended treatment, but is the benefit from the added structure and clinical services, the alcoholism/addiction education, the peer support, and the family program significant enough to warrant it? Furthermore, would returning home present a significant enough risk to make that not advisable? For instance, is the patient returning to a toxic relationship, a home where there is a lot of using, or are they returning to an area where there are not a lot of resources available– perhaps they live in a rural area where there are no 12-step recovery meetings or no clinical support, such as outpatient or counseling? It is also taken into account if the patient has been to multiple inpatient treatments with repeated relapses, if they have poor boundaries in relationships, legal issues, or health issues that present a serious risk if the individual doesn’t maintain sobriety.

TC:  What excites you most about your change from inpatient to extended treatment?
JW:  I believe that both areas have their advantages and I certainly miss the intense individual counseling that I did as an inpatient counselor. However, being able to create and manage programs that really give people who have different needs opportunities to learn how to live sober a day at a time is an incredible and meaningful experience. When I was working inpatient I would see some patients do well and some not, and when they left I would cross my fingers and say a prayer and would hope that things went well. But I didn’t really get to see how it all panned out. What excites me about extended treatment is that we actually get to see people grow and change right in front of our eyes - how they begin to interact differently with the world, how they start to look healthier, and how they begin to treat others, both their peers and families, with respect and love. 

TC: What is your vision for the future of Willingway's extended treatment programs?
JW: I would like for us provide a variety of extended treatment options that would meet both the clinical needs and financial resources of anybody in our system that needs the help that extended treatment offers.

TC: How did going through the Men's Lodge impact your recovery program?
JW: When I came to Willingway as a patient, prior to coming here I was a counselor and an interventionist. At that time, I had been sober between 7 and 8 years and with all of that experience and knowledge I had in recovery and treatment, I still relapsed. So I found myself asking “Does any of this really work?”. And really, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I went through inpatient treatment at Willingway and I was unfamiliar with extended treatment and certainly had no intention of going. I wasn’t necessarily resistant to it, but I also wasn’t motivated to do it. It was recommended that I go to the Men’s Lodge and I wasn’t quite sure why, but my benefit was that I was so beat down and defeated, that I really didn’t fight it. It wasn’t because I thought that extended treatment was a great idea, it was just that I was done- just please tell me what to do - and I wasn’t really hopeful that anything was going to work. 

Extended treatment provided me with an opportunity to learn how to apply recovery in my day-to-day life. In our inpatient program we talk a lot about historical events – what got me to treatment, what my use and life truly looked like – and we talk about the future – potential for things that may or may not happen and how we might deal with it. Extended treatment is a lot more of the here and now. I found myself living with a group of people that I didn’t always get along with- sometimes they made me angry, sometimes they cosigned my BS which fostered unhealthy relationships. You have jobs where not everyone you are working with is in recovery and they may, with all innocence, ask you to do things that you know aren’t healthy for you to do. You don’t always get along with the boss, you don’t always want to do the things that you need to do. So extended treatment gave me real life opportunities to practice a 12-step recovery program on a daily basis, while living in a safe environment. I learned how to live a spiritual way of life as opposed to just going through the steps as an exercise.

TC:  What sets extended treatment in Statesboro apart from other areas?
JW: Not just because of Willingway’s programs, but also because of the many other programs that we have in town – including Pineland and all the halfway houses - coupled with Georgia Southern University and their Center for Addiction Recovery, we have a large number of young people in this recovery community. This creates a really strong support system specifically for young adults trying to live sober.

TC:  What is something that patients often find themselves loving about extended treatment?
JW:  One of the most common things you hear when a patient finally agrees to go to extended treatment is “as soon as I’m discharged I’m leaving Statesboro- I’ll be outta here!” It’s funny to watch as that perspective changes and more than half end up staying in this area. When it comes time for our patients to finish their treatment, they have developed too much of a foundation, too much in terms of relationships and goals, to leave. The truth is that if our patients are able to just stay put and try for a better life a day at a time, things take shape that they never even imagined were possible, in fact they were convinced were impossible. It is amazing to watch people’s lives change in such a huge way.

The Chandelier thanks John for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with us and we look forward to watch as Willingway's extended treatment programs continue to grow under his care.
Haunted Forest at The Clubhouse
Now that fall has officially begun, Willingway is getting ready for Statesboro’s annual scary-fun event, The Haunted Forest. Every year Willingway partners with other local businesses to bring Statesboro a week of scares in the woods in an effort to raise money for The Boys and Girls Club. Many of our alumni who went through extended treatment in Statesboro will have fond memories of dressing up as zombies, killer clowns, and dead brides and spooking community members out in “The Forest”. Last year we raised over $30,000 for The Boys and Girls Club!

Check out these pictures of some of our favorite ghouls—Inpatient Counselor Kinder “Koko the Clown” Cannon and Women’s Residence Program Director Autumn Altamirano—and come see us in Statesboro’s Haunted Forest!

Statesboro's Haunted Forest
at The Clubhouse
2704 Old Register Road, Statesboro, GA 30458
October 24th to October 31st, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Tickets are $10.
Children under ten are free with paid adult.
And the parties continue!
Our Continuing Care Community Groups throughout the southeast are hosting informal Summer and Fall gatherings for fun and fellowship. We'll be sharing photo from these events as they occur.
A note from John Roberts, our Jacksonville Continuing Care Facilitator


On August 24th we had a very successful Continuing Care & Alumni gathering with over 60 in attendance. We appreciated very much our CEO Cherie Tolley coming down to be with us to share a bit of her vision for Willingway's future. And everyone was extremely receptive of John Williamson and his message as he shared his story with the group. It was an evening of fun, fellowship and gratitude for all that Willingway and recovery has come to mean in our lives. 

Many thanks for all the fine work of Janis Ellington & Sarah Dasher in getting the logistics set up for this event. Can't say enough for all the support we feel in our work with Continuing Care. 

Many thanks - and God bless.

The Statesboro Continuing Care Community Group enjoyed a scrumptious low country boil (with crawfish!), made by Mark Platt, Louie's House Manager, and his team of very helpful Lodge men. Here are some pictures from the event.
Exciting News for Statesboro Continuing Care
Our Statesboro Continuing Care Community Group has announced some exciting changes! Please join us in welcoming Willingway's Family Counselor, Hope Aldred, to the group. Hope began co-facilitating our weekly meeting with long-time Statesboro recovery community favorite, Charles Stokes (better known around town as "Mr. Charles"), in the beginning of September. Additionally, the group is now meeting on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Willingway Outpatient Building, located at 373 Savannah Avenue in Statesboro, GA.

If you have any questions about Willingway's Continuing Care Community Groups, please feel free to email us , or check out our website. We look forward to see you at Continuing Care!
Alumni Updates

Sarah D.
Boston, MA

Willingway alumna and former Alumni Director, Sarah Dasher, has moved from Augusta, GA to Boston, MA for graduate school. Best wishes to Sarah, although we all know she will thrive wherever life takes her!
Do you have news to share? 

Reply to this email or start a new message to  communications@willingway.com to publish:

  • Birth announcements
  • Marriages
  • New jobs
  • Sobriety/Wedding anniversaries
  • Obituaries
  • Spiritual support requests 

Use "Alumni News" in the subject line for all submissions and let us know where you are currently located. We welcome your photos. 

Deadline for inclusion is the 15th of each month
and as they say, thanks for sharing. 
Highlights From Around The Way

Francis Retires!

Always a patient favorite, Francis Measmer has retired from the Willingway Dietary Department. The beloved kitchen guru has spent the last 15 years putting a smiles on the faces of patients and co-workers alike. Willingway hosted a beautiful send off for her in the cafeteria with cake and punch for all. Francis, you will be missed!

Jason DuPell Named Director of Patient Services and Continuing Care

Jason “JD” DuPell, alumni of both Willingway and Louie’s House, has taken on a new role within the Willingway Family. Now the Director of Patient Support and Continuing Care, JD will be responsible for supervising, staffing, and training all Recovery Techs on both Unit I and II, while continuing to manage patient discharge dates and facilitating their placement in all levels of care beyond inpatient treatment. The Chandelier can't think of anyone better for this position than J.D. Please join us in congratulating him on his promotion!
Willingway Weekly Continuing Care Community Groups

Held weekly in the following cities, our care extends beyond the Statesboro campus
to provide ongoing support for those in recovery. Alumni, their families and friends,
and anyone with a touchpoint to recovery are welcome.

For detailed meeting location information and local contacts, please visit our Continuing Care page  or contact Director of Patient Support and Continuing Care Jason "JD" DuPell at 912.489.7218 or email him at jdupell@willingway.com

Atlanta - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm
Augusta - Saturdays, 10:00 am
Bluffton - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm
Charleston - Mondays, 6:30 pm
Macon - Mondays, 6:30 pm
Marietta - Thursdays, 7:00 pm
Raleigh - Mondays, 7:30 pm    
Savannah - Mondays, 6:00 pm 
Statesboro - Mondays, 6:30 pm
 St. Simon's Island - Saturdays, 10:00 am
Jacksonville - Mondays, 6:00 pm
Jacksonville Beach - Tuesdays, 6:00 pm  
Warner Robins - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm  
Waycross - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm

“Home is where one starts from.” 

                                                       - T.S. Eliot
The Chandelier is a digital monthly publication for the Alumni, Family, and Friends of Willingway. For any questions about it or our Alumni program in general, please contact Alumni & Community Relations Coordinator Emily McFarland at emcfarland@willingway.com or 912.489.7277.