Cherokee Health Systems Philosophy
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ABOUT CHEROKEE HEALTH SYSTEMS
Headquartered in Knoxville, Ky., Cherokee Health Systems provides comprehensive health care at more than two dozen clinics serving urban and rural communities in 13 Tennessee counties. The nearly 60-year-old nonprofit agency prioritizes integrated primary and behavioral health care, addressing substance use disorders and co-occurring conditions.
Services include specialized care for pregnant women and newborns born addicted to opioids, medication-assisted therapy (MAT), intensive outpatient programming (IOP), as well as an outreach program for Spanish-speaking clients. The facility is among 27 percent of Kentucky facilities equipped to treat pregnant women.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Clients typically undergo assessments through their primary health care providers prior to beginning a Cherokee Health Systems addiction or mental health treatment plan. The MAT program supports individuals during withdrawal from alcohol and opioids, provides long-term medication for opioid dependency, and is combined with psychotherapy. Among the primary care concerns receiving dual diagnosis treatment along with substance abuse are diabetes, hypertension, and COPD.
The IOP runs for 12 weeks and utilizes a mix of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivation enhancement therapy, and family systems theory, according to the facility’s website. Group therapy and educational sessions cover such topics as anger management, parenting skills, social support systems, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). A weekly aftercare group is available after completion of intensive treatment.
Cherokee Health also operates a Hispanic Outreach Program, which includes treatment for alcohol and drug abuse.
Cherokee Health Systems employs addiction medicine and other physicians, psychologists, nurse practitioners, and peer recovery specialists. Some patient advocates on staff are bilingual in English and Spanish.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Rehabs.com has yet to receive any feedback for Cherokee Health Systems from former clients, but reviews on other third-party websites reveal a trend toward criticism of customer service. A sampling of Google reviews for the Knoxville location, which addressed a mix of primary and behavioral health care experiences, revealed an average rating of 2.7 out of five stars based on 41 reviewers.
A majority of negative reviews cited wait times and difficulty arranging for appointments as key problems. A few also expressed concerns about high staff turnover, resulting in inconsistent therapy. More favorable reviews, in the minority, countered with positive reports on customer service and tended to characterize treatment staff members as good listeners.
A total of 10 reviews for two locations followed Google trends, on Yellowpages.com, with negative perspectives outpacing positive ones about two-to-one. Several clients noted differences in customer service between various locations as well as between administrative and medical staffers.  
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
When asked how likely they were to recommend Cherokee Health Systems to others, the single loved one polled by Rehabs.com to date provided a rating of five out of five stars. They also awarded five stars for treatment effectiveness and - countering alumni trends - admissions and discharge procedures. The staff’s level of training and experience and the facility’s capability to treat co-occurring disorders each received four stars. "They were treated like they were in their own home the whole time and came out a new person," the loved one wrote.
Cherokee Health Systems uses a sliding fee scale, and accepts most insurance plans, including TennCare.
Published on July 2018
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