Open Accessibility Menu

OhioGuidestone and Southwest General Partner to Provide Peer Recovery Support Services

  • Posted On:


OhioGuidestone and Southwest General Partner to Provide Peer Recovery Support Services

Berea, OH (Wednesday, March 1, 2023)OhioGuidestone, the state’s leader in behavioral health care, and Southwest General Health Center, a nationally ranked health care provider in Northeast Ohio, are proud to announce a new partnership to help patients—both insured and uninsured—suffering from substance use disorder.

Beginning today, Southwest General will offer OhioGuidestone’s Peer Recovery Support Services to individuals who not only present to the Emergency Room (ER) having suffered an overdose but also throughout the hospital’s Behavioral Health Services. The collaboration comes in response to rising numbers of fatal drug overdoses as well as a generous donation from longtime Southwest General donors, Wayne and Debbie Brassell.

“We are extremely grateful to bring this collaboration with OhioGuidestone to our patients,” said Michael Waggoner, RN, MSN, director, Oakview Behavioral Health Services, Southwest General. “The Peer Recovery Support Specialists are a critical link between the treatment system and the larger communities where those struggling with substance use disorder live.”

A certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist is someone who has direct experience with addiction and other behavioral health challenges and is trained to use their own experiences to help others impacted by substance use disorder. They help people engage in the recovery process, which, in return, reduces the likelihood of a relapse and the overall cost of services.

Research has shown that implementation of a Peer Recovery Support Specialist can:

  • Improve quality of life
  • Decrease overdose deaths
  • Increase treatment participation
  • Decrease hospitalizations and inpatient days
  • Improve whole health, including chronic conditions, such as diabetes

OhioGuidestone’s, Rebecca Emery, who will serve as the Peer Recovery Support Specialist at Southwest General, said, “We’ve had remarkable success with peer recovery at OhioGuidestone. Together, we’ll be able to help more people take steps towards a healthier future.”

In addition to providing support to patients in Southwest General’s ER after an overdose, the Peer Recovery Support Specialist will provide care in the following hospital areas:

  • BreakThru (medically assisted drug/alcohol withdrawal inpatient treatment program)
  • Oakview Behavioral Health Services Inpatient Unit
  • Oakview Behavioral Health Services Outpatient Program (IOP/PHP – Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization Programs)

OhioGuidestone, President and CEO, Brant Russell, RN, said, “I am especially excited about this partnership. Much of my professional life has been in a hospital setting. I know how behavioral health is interwoven with physical health, and Southwest General offering OhioGuidestone services fits perfectly with our better person-centered care approach. I look forward to more collaboration in the future.”

“With overdose rates continuing to rise, we understand the importance of continuing to grow and invest in our behavioral health programs,” said William A. Young, Jr., president and CEO, Southwest General. “By providing a Peer Recovery Support Specialist to individuals at their greatest moment of despair, we strive to be a beacon of hope for change and long-term success.

We are proud to partner with OhioGuidestone, a long-standing community partner, to provide this greatly needed service to our patients and community members.”

About OhioGuidestone

With compassion and respect, OhioGuidestone helps people across the lifespan navigate the most difficult times of their lives. As the state’s leader in community behavioral health care, we focus on the needs of the whole person, empowering them to take steps towards a healthier future. OhioGuidestone provides a complete continuum of prevention services and mental health and substance use treatment, focusing on responsive person-centered care to approximately 26,000 people each year through telehealth and locations across the state. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or by calling 440-260-8300.

About Southwest General

Southwest General is a private, not-for-profit, 368-bed acute care facility located in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Founded in 1920, Southwest General is home to nationally recognized physicians with full access to state-of-the-art technology. Southwest General has a deep commitment to providing personalized care and building a healthy future for the patients, families and communities it serves. For more information, visit or find Southwest General on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.