New addictions chief named

August 17, 1997

New addictions chief named

Hogamier replaces Brown at county health department


Staff Writer

The new director of addictions and mental health units at the Washington County Health Department agrees she has some big shoes to fill, but she's not afraid.

"I told Henry Brown I would walk in his path but would make my own footprints,'' said Rebecca Hogamier, 39.

She said her goal is to build on what the former director established in his 15 years in that department - streamlining, coordinating and sensitizing services to the addicted.


And that will continue, Hogamier said.

"I'm focusing on providing quality care in the face of changes in the medical systems and providers,'' she said. "We don't want anyone falling through the cracks.''

Working with other community agencies will also continue, as will "creative'' hours of services that are more reflective of people's schedules and needs, Hogamier said.

There are programs on Saturdays and Sundays, and in fact, Hogamier used to volunteer at some of those between 1988-90.

There are now outpatient programs for adults and adolescents, a countywide prevention program, a 25-bed adolescent residential treatment center, a 12-bed residential detoxification center and a domestic violence quick response team.

And more is coming.

"A new driver improvement program has just been approved,'' Hogamier said.

And employee assistance programs run in cooperation with the Department of Transportation are being expanded.

The public is already familiar with many addictions/mental health programs that have been around for a while.

An Evening Substance Abuse Program, ESAP, was spun off into the Intensive Substance Abuse Program, ISAP.

Addictions work has been set up in the schools in an effort to educate, screen and identify potential trouble spots at a young age.

Staff members conduct evaluations of all defendants in direct drug- and alcohol- related court cases and in other cases in which alcohol and drugs were a factor but not the actual criminal charge.

The Jail Substance Abuse Program (JSAP), was launched at the Washington County Detention Center more than five years ago and continues to break new ground.

"This is all necessary because drug and alcohol addiction is so pervasive,'' Hogamier said.

While employed at the Potomac Center, Hogamier began volunteering in Brown's programs. Then she accepted a job there as an addictions counselor and most recently was program director of the Catoctin Summit Adolescent program in Sabillasville.

"Henry suggested I apply for the director's job,'' Hogamier said. "I was encouraged that he believed in me.''

A graduate of Allegany Community College, Hogamier earned her bachelor's degree from Frostburg State University (Hagerstown center) and expects to receive her master's from there next spring.

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