Sovereign Health Addiction, Dual Diagnosis, and Mental Health Treatment Programs Philosophy
Sovereign Health specializes in mental health, substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment for men and women. The rehab has numerous facilities in California, Arizona and Florida — the Fort Myers, Florida location offers residential treatment and utilizes evidence-based treatment modalities combined with a holistic focus for a well-balanced and sustainable recovery. Clients are encouraged to examine and understand how and why their maladaptive behaviors evolved and to set realistic goals for a happy and fulfilling future.
Areas of Specialization
Creative Arts Therapy
Writing, making art or engaging in theater can be deeply therapeutic for people working to recover from addiction. Many facilities offer one or several forms of creative arts therapy as a way to help patients learn to express their feelings in productive ways.
Some facilities have an addiction treatment protocol that all patients or clients are expected to follow, while others customize or individualize treatment based on a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Factors that may affect treatment decisions include age, lifestyle, medical conditions, type of drug, religious beliefs, etc.
Meet the Staff
Francisco Cruz, M.D.
Francisco Cruz, M.D., is a Medical Director at the Sovereign Health Group treatment center in Fort Myers, Florida. Dr. Cruz is board-certified in both general psychiatry and addiction medicine. He has been in practice for nine years and was previously employed as the Medical Director of The Recovery Place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Cruz trained at The Menninger Clinic and Baylor College of Medicine before he completed his residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His areas of expertise include substance use/co-occurring disorders, personality disorders and psychodynamic psychiatry. Dr. Cruz is passionate about his work and strives to provide client-centered treatment within a biopsychosocial framework. Dr. Cruz’s personal interests include music, cycling and travel.
Lead Medical Liaison
Marlee Hartnett RN is the lead medical liaison at Sovereign Health of Fort Myers. She has a strong nursing and administrative background. Marlee has almost 30 years in substance abuse and behavioral health. She ensures our medical department runs efficiently and achieves high standards of care. As part of our senior leadership team, her track record with accreditation surveys is excellent. She also created and spearheads our infection control program following Joint Commission standards. As a motivational leader she lives by this motto: “Do you want to be part of something good or something great?” “Follow me if you want to be part of something great because that is always my goal!”
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT SOVEREIGN HEALTH ADDICTION, DUAL DIAGNOSIS, AND MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT PROGRAMS — FORT MYERS, FL
Sovereign Health operates multiple treatment facilities in California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. The Fort Myers center, which opened in 2014 and is one of two Sovereign Health facilities in Florida, offers medical detox, residential treatment, and outpatient programs for men and women aged 18+ who are struggling with substance abuse, mental illness, and dual diagnosis. The center is located in a quiet, residential area on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, three miles from downtown Fort Myers, on southern Florida’s Gulf Coast.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Treatment typically lasts 30 to 90 days, beginning, when necessary, with a medical detox program that provides 24-hour medical care and supervision.
The center offers individual, group, and family counseling, including a range of evidence-based modalities, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), biofeedback, and neurofeedback. Holistic options including equine therapy, fishing therapy, art therapy, yoga, and meditation.
Outpatient treatment — which can be either step-down or entry-level care — is offered at a variety of intensities: a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and general outpatient treatment. Treatment is offered in the daytime or the evening, to suit a variety of schedules.
Sovereign offers graduating clients a year of continuing care services, though it does not specify what these are.
The treatment team includes an MD who is board-certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine, as well as a registered nurse.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Photos of the Fort Myers facility depict a modern, home-like setting. The residences are located in a gated community surrounded by palm trees, with direct access to the Caloosahatchee River. In addition to small, modestly furnished shared bedrooms, clients can enjoy outdoor seating, communal dining areas, and comfortable lounge spaces for resting and watching TV. Families may visit on Saturdays and Sundays.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
All three alumni reviews submitted to Rehabs.com to date were negative. The reviewers repeatedly claimed that the facility was more interested in insurance money than in helping clients and that they were promised amenities that were not provided. “You might as well go to prison. That's how this facility treated me and all of the other patients… I was told all sorts of nonsense by this man that clearly wasn't true. They will lure you with information and ‘specialties’ of this facility that aren't true… Your level of care is determined by how much your insurance is willing to pay, not by growth in personal recovery or behavior. This place just FEEDS off of your insurance which is why they try to make you stay longer,” C.O. wrote in a representative review.
At the time of this writing, the center had a two-star, a four-star, and a five-star rating on Facebook. Only the two-star reviewer, T.G.M., left commentary with their rating: they praised the location, the chef, and the staff, but criticized the center’s admin, echoing Rehabs.com reviewers by writing: “They don't have the facilities nor the treatment that the consultant say they do!”
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
The single loved one polled by Rehabs.com to date gave negative feedback. “He did not come home with any appreciable tools for recovery, there was no follow up from his case manager or therapist once home… He is merely a number there I'm sure,” C.T. wrote of their significant other’s treatment, adding that the center failed to diagnose their partner’s depression and that the promised family involvement was never provided.
Sovereign Health accepts private pay and, according to its website, most private insurance plans.
Despite the serene setting that the Florida location appears to offer its clients, Sovereign’s expansion into Fort Myers has not gone smoothly. Neighboring residents have expressed concerns over client-related disturbances and, in March 2015, Sovereign was reportedly ordered to give up its state license or face daily fines, as it did not comply with the neighborhood multi-family residential zoning designation. In May 2015, Sovereign countered this action by filing a Fair Housing Act lawsuit against the city. In January 2017, local Fox affiliate Fox4 reported that the facility will be allowed to remain open, after the city settled the lawsuit.
Updated January 2017
Published on April 2017
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