Sunday, August 3, 2014

Travelogue: La Mirada, California

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

I love my work at The Coleman Institute!  This past week my colleague Mr. Ted Salins, Adjunct Professor of Film at Randolph-Macon College, and I had the opportunity to travel to 6 of our offices to visit with the doctors at each location and to capture them on video so that prospective patients can put a face to a name and get a feel for the high quality, intelligent, and compassionate doctors we have in our national network.  Our travels took us from Richmond, Virginia (Home office of The Coleman Institute) through Chicago, Illinois to La Mirada, California (Office of Dr. Zaret) to San Francisco, California (Office of Drs. William and Daniel Glatt), to Seattle Washington (Office of Dr. Rosenfield) through Atlanta, Georgia through Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas to Austin, Texas (Office of Dr. Frederick) back through Atlanta, Georgia (Office of Dr. Keating) to Tampa, Florida (Office of Dr. Hossain) back through Atlanta, Georgia again and back home to Richmond, Virginia.  That is 10 stops in 6 days!  I now know the Atlanta, Georgia airport like the back of my hand!

As we took off from Richmond International Airport, I wondered how it would feel to be a major rock band taking off for your first headlining tour.  Would the tour be a success?  Would anyone show up?  If the tour was Ted and I as the headliners, it would be easy to answer that question.  Crickets!
But, in my mind, I imagined we were members of one of the greatest bands in history: The Beatles!  And as the plane taxied down the runway, I envisioned our first 'video gig' in La Mirada, California with a marquee that read:

‘Chris and Ted’s Excellent Video Adventure Tour ‘14 
sponsored by 
The Coleman Institute  

As predicted, we were met with crickets at the Santa Ana Airport!  All kidding aside,  I am happy to report that our first stop on our 'tour' was a great success!  It was so easy to see why Dr. Zaret (see below) has been with The Coleman institute now for so many years!

(Dr. Phil Zaret of Michael's Medical Group in La Mirada, California;
a part of The Coleman Institute National Provider Network)
His affable personality, medical expertise and compassionate desire to see people freed from addiction to opiates was palpable.  We had a fantastic conversation about our mutual philosophy regarding the importance of combining a safe, innovative, outpatient, medical detox with the important post-detox healing practice known as ‘aftercare’.  His staff shared the same passion as well.

Dr. Zaret gave us a tour of his nice facility and we enjoyed meeting his staff.  I also had the privilege of spending time with one of Dr. Zaret’s detox patients who was on their last day coming off of heroin.  We had a very good conversation.  It just goes to show you how addiction works, where it comes from and it’s unpredictable nature.  This particular patient is a martial artist with a black belt that took 6 years to obtain.  The patient was also a musician.  Clearly, they had an active and passionate life before addiction took over after a close friend overdosed and died.  I have tremendous hope for this young adult to turn their life around after completing the detox through Dr. Zaret and then implementing the suggested individualized treatment plan that I created specifically for them. 

Much like The Beatles and every other rock band who travel from city to city often for just one night, we were not able to stay very long with Dr. Zaret before catching an early afternoon flight to San Francisco.  As we were leaving, Dr. Zaret came out and asked if we wanted to take a picture of him next to his car. At first, forgetting what kind of car he had, I thought the request was a little odd.  Very quickly, I remembered that he drives a beautiful black Corvette with the license plate “Detoxer” on it!  Of course, this was a great idea!

(Dr. Zaret with his black corvette.  Thumbs way up!!!)
This was just the beginning of our 6 day journey.  Life is like a journey and so is sobriety and recovery.  Some days there is turbulence and other days it’s very calm.  Either way, the importance thing is stay the course, pay attention to road signs, and have a great time.  And that is what Ted and I did as we traveled across this great nation. 

Unfortunately, in one blog, I can’t explain all the great things myself and each doctor discussed during our mini-tour.  However, in the coming days, you will be able to read about some of those conversations here. Furthermore, we will have a much more robust synopsis of each office, including a video by each doctor, on our 'locations' page coming soon.  

Finally, in the near future, Ted and I will also be visiting our Chicago, Illinois and Barboursville, WV office's, under the direction of Dr. Wolfrum and Dr. Adams respectively, as we were not able to fit all the offices into 6 days.  We look forward to visiting with both of them very soon!  Stay tuned: Next stop, San Francisco, California!

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