America’s veterans answered their country’s call for service, and their sacrifice demands service in return.
Congressman Tim Burchett, who represents Tennessee’s Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives, knows that all too well. He recounted the experiences of his father, a World War 2 veteran who fought in the Pacific, and acknowledged the work done by Cornerstone of Recovery to meet the substance abuse treatment needs of those veterans during a visit to the Blount County facility on Friday.
“It’s a disgrace the way we treat our veterans in this country,” Burchett said. “We expect them to fight our wars, then they come home and have issues they need to deal with, and we don’t deal with them.”
Friday, he got a first-hand look at the ways in which Cornerstone is working to meet the needs of this underserved population. The drug and alcohol treatment facility, which has called Blount County home since 1989 and is the county’s largest private employer, recently reached a deal with the Department of Veterans Affairs and is now in network with crucial insurance services that provide healthcare coverage to veterans and active-duty military personnel and their families.
New Possibilities for Treatment
Thanks to the work of Nichole Pfohl, Cornerstone’s Director of Business Development, and Nora Cheney, a Regional Outreach Manager with the organization, Cornerstone is now in network with TriCare, the health care program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families; the Community Care Network, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs regional conglomeration of facilities that provide health care on behalf of the VA; and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries.
“Because of Cornerstone’s nationally recognized clinical program, and our relationships with employers, we’ve been serving veterans from within the workforce for many years,” says Nichole Pfohl, Cornerstone’s Director of Business Development. “That said, we’ve always wanted to be able to target veterans directly but weren’t able to because of contracting difficulties. I spent a lot of time in 2020 working on contract negotiations, and I revisited the VA insurance plans. Thankfully, we were able to come together and reach some agreements that made this amazing opportunity to serve veterans possible.
“It feels great knowing that our nation’s veterans, who deserve the very best care in America, will be able to get the help they need with us at Cornerstone. We know this is a vulnerable population, which made securing these contracts important for us, because we also know that with more than 30 years of treating substance use disorders, we have the clinical expertise to get both our veterans and our active duty military personnel the help they need.”
Rep. Tim Burchett Recognizes Cornerstone’s Efforts
Cheney, whose work in the drug and alcohol treatment field has established a number of contacts with VA referral sources and the patients themselves, expressed gratitude for Rep. Burchett’s visit to call attention to these new outlets for patient care.
“Not only are we able to offer treatment to veterans who may be covered through other forms of insurance, but we’re now able to accept those veterans and even active-duty personnel whose only coverage is through these insurance plans,” Cheney said. “As a regional treatment provider, we want these individuals to know that not only can they use these benefits here at Cornerstone, but when they do so they’ll also get treatment that’s been proven effective for more than three decades.”
Rep. Burchett has a long history of advocating for both veterans and substance abuse treatment. During his visit and tour, he related a number of personal anecdotes of friends and loved ones who have struggled with addiction and alcoholism and lauded the treatment provided by Cornerstone to those who come to the facility to deal with addiction issues that continue to cost money, jobs and lives in his district.
“Cornerstone of Recovery has a long history of helping folks in their battles against alcohol and substance abuse, including our brave veterans,” Burchett said. “It is excellent news Cornerstone is expanding its accepted insurance plans so more veterans and their families can receive the addiction services they need. I’m grateful for the opportunity to tour the Louisville facility today and thank the staff for the important work they’re doing here.”
Webster Bailey, Cornerstone’s Executive Director of Business Development and Marketing, pointed out that Burchett has been a long-time supporter of Cornerstone of Recovery, going back to his days in the Tennessee General Assembly, to which he was elected for the first time in 1994.
“Rep. Burchett has always acknowledged and appreciated our efforts to help addicts and alcoholics stop using and drinking and find a way to live as responsible and productive members of society,” says Webster Bailey, Cornerstone’s Executive Director of Business Development and Marketing. “This is a nationwide problem, and Rep. Burchett recognizes that in order to make a difference, we have to start at a community level. At Cornerstone, we’re honored to do our part, and we believe Rep. Burchett will find that our facility and our programming are some of the best in the country when it comes to taking care of the treatment-related needs of East Tennesseans, especially those who have worn a uniform and answered the call of duty.”