West End Weekly – Nate Heffron, Negaunee City Manager

Nate Heffron, city manager, city of Negaunee

NEGAUNEE — The Central Upper Peninsula is about to gain a new inpatient facility that aims to provide specialized substance abuse recovery

services for women. This facility will be located in Negaunee in the former Bell Hospital Teal Lake Medical Facility. Great Lake Recovery

Center (GLRC) will be taking on this ambitious project that aims to consolidate most of their services under one campus. The overall

project is estimated to cost $2.8 million. According to Greg Toutant, Chief Executive Officer, this new facility will help to reduce programmatic silos that exist now.

Bringing together many of the GRLC services under one campus, improving efficiency and increasing the synergy and quality of

care for patients. The Negaunee facility, when completed with its remodel, will house a child & adolescent specialty clinic,

out-patient services offices, a woman s residential treatment center, and an addiction- based primary care medical services clinic. The project is slated to begin August of this year with a hopeful completion date of spring or summer of 2023.

One major change this new facility will bring is the women’s residential

treatment center. This center will provide residential substance use treatment along with a short-term recovery residence living on


Clients will live in a therapeutic environment, alongside other clients, with 24-hour supervision and access to on-site clinicians.

Women with children will now be able to be housed together, where these mothers can care for their children in a stable environment

at this facility. Increasing their chances of recovering from substance abuse and reintegrating into and maintaining a more stable family environment. Unfortunately, this service is currently not available at the current GLRC co-ed living facility in Marquette.

However, once the Negaunee facility is up and running, GLRC facility in Marquette will be dedicated strictly for men. An added benefit, increasing the capacity to help male patients. One other unique aspect to the Teal Lake conversion project will be the addition of on-site

recovery housing for clients continuing treatment after residential care. According to the GLRC website, this type of service, known as recovery housing , provides a safe and supportive, recovery-oriented environment where individuals can begin their life of sobriety.

While living in this housing, residents are required to attend four self-help meetings per week, engage in outpatient counseling

and obtain full-time employment within 60 days.

Weekly intensive case management is offered, residents attend house meetings and complete weekly chores.

Outpatient Services for substance use and mental health disorders will also be a major focus of the new

facility. Often these services are less intensive, but a more flexible therapeutic approach to recovery.

These services could involve meeting regularly with counselors or therapists in a group or individual setting.

These meetings help patients to focus attention on gaining the necessary skills needed to live life while in

recovery. These important services and works are severely needed. Substance abuse often comes with major stigmas and biases from

those that may not understand how one can be found in these situations.

Even worse, those that suffer from substance abuse will find themselves facing others that have no compassion, tolerance, or desire

to provide real help. We cannot pretend these issues don t exist. They must be met head-on with communitygrit, professionalism, a

ton of humanity, a place like GLRC can provide.

This facility may be in Negaunee, but it is a place for anyone and everyone that needs help. It will truly be an asset, especially for

those individuals and their families. I wish them luck and thank them for their dedication to those that need these

important services in our region.


Heffron is city manager of the

city of Negaunee.


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