Innovative Social-Mobile Solution for Addicts in Recovery


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Introducing Ascent: the new coaching program and mobile app on a mission to empower addicts as they continue down the path to recovery.

Ascent combines proven addiction recovery methodologies with the best digital technologies the 21st century has to offer, and puts them to work to reduce post-treatment recidivism and empower those in recovery to stay on track with their recovery goals.

With the mobile app already developed and proven by Chess Mobile Health, and nonprofit organization New Directions already on board as a partner for our Beta test, Ascent is laying the foundation for a revolution in the way we treat addiction. 

Addiction affects everyone – even if you haven’t personally dealt with addiction, someone in your family, office, friend circle certainly has.

Substance use disorder is a $350B problem in the United States when you consider its impact in terms of productivity loss, crime, incarceration, hospitalization and other measurable costs. And that’s to say nothing of the catastrophic impact addiction has on family, friends and employment relationships -- costs we can’t even begin to measure.

As destructive of a force as substance use disorders are our society, we still have a long way to go when it comes to how we treat these disorders and the people that suffer from them. Approximately 23.5 million people suffered from a substance use disorder in 2013, but of those 23.5 million, only 2.6 million received treatment. And of those 2.6 million, between 50 and 90 percent relapsed within the first year.

At Ascent, it’s those 2.6 million people, and that 50-90% relapse rate, that interest us. We started to wonder - if we can reach those addicts in recovery, and equip them with the tools and resources they need to stay connected to their support network, can we reduce those recidivism rates and help more recovering addicts stay on the road to recovery?

What’s missing from the majority of traditional treatment programs today is a complete continuum of care - one that continues after a recovering addict is discharged from in-patient services.

At Ascent, we’re honing our attention in on this crucial post-discharge period, and on the months and years that follow, and developing tools and resources that empower those in recovery to stay in recovery long after they leave the treatment center.

Ascent is the first program of its kind to apply our unique blend of technology, personalization and addiction treatment and recovery research to the needs of post-treatment recovering addicts.

The result: a comprehensive, customized evidence-based after-care program that helps clients develop a strong foundation for long-term recovery.

The Ascent approach to recovery support consists of two parts:

Recovery coaches that provide the human connection to empower clients and guide their recovery process.

A mobile app that provides users with tools and resources to assist in their recovery in real time.

Every Ascent client receives a customized recovery plan, created specifically for them by trained recovery coaches using the evidence-based practices. Recovery Coaches continue with clients throughout their recovery journey, providing ongoing coaching in the form of non-clinical activities that engage, educate and support an individual’s efforts to stay in recovery.

The mobile app called Achess and developed by Chess Mobile Health is an innovative, clinically tested recovery application that clients can access on their mobile phones. The app can be used in conjunction with electronic medical records, and with other app users, to provide additional support in real time.

Social networking capabilities that connect users to each other and their support networks

Help button that gives users a direct link to their coach for emergency situations

Geofencing capabilities that allows users to set certain geographic areas as off limits, and sends an alert when they near those spots

Inspirational and informational content that gives addicts the information they need to stay on track with recovery. 

Recovery coaches utilize robust back-end Ascent tools that allow them to track individual and group progress, as well as manage care programs.

Ascent is making tremendous progress toward our goal of reimagining post-treatment recovery support for the 21st century.

The Ascent app is fully built and has already been tested. The app was built by CHESS Mobile Health, funded through the University of Wisconsin.

Ascent is proud to be partnering with New Directions, a Cleveland, Ohio-based nonprofit organization that specializes in providing quality treatment to chemically dependent adolescents and their families, to bring Ascent to the people it has been designed to help.

New Directions understands firsthand the problems that addicts face, and in Ascent they recognized a solution with the potential to make a real, lasting impact on outcomes for addicts in recovery.

Ascent will launch with New Directions outpatient clients as a beta test, but that is just the beginning of our vision to put state-of-the-art technology to work for recovering addicts across the country. 

For more information about the future of Ascent, and how you can get involved, please request access to the Business Plan tab of this profile!


ACHESS and ACHESS Dashboard Copyright © 2014 Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Original by Gustafson, et. al. ACHESS by Gustafson. Licensed to CHESS Mobile Health, Inc

, Founder, has been a certified public accountant since 1983. In 1993, Brian formed The Bailys Group, a consulting firm, to provide tax and financial planning services to his high-net-worth client base. Brian also has been involved in many aspects of private equity, including investment analysis, due diligence, transaction structure, and negotiations.

Other Team Members:

, Director of Operations. Alice is an experienced leader in strategic planning and operational management.  Her expertise includes information technology, human resources, and facilities management and fundraising operations. 

, MA, LSW, LICDC-CS, Director of Services. Sue ensures quality and safety within the organization as well as the day-to-day management of the outpatient area.  During her 15 years at New Directions, she has been a primary counselor and program manager for the female adolescent residential program. Prior to her work at New Directions, Ms. Tager spent 10 years working with children, adolescents and adults in inpatient and outpatient mental health settings.

, Human Resources Manager. Debbie has more than 10 years of experience in HR. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State University. She has been at New Directions since 2012, where she is the human resources generalist onsite for its 60 employees.

, Director of Technology. Darrell began his career as director of information systems for New Directions and Crossroads in Northeast Ohio in July 2014. He manages the implementation and operation of all information technology resources within the organizations. He brings nearly 20 years of experience designing, implement and managing technology solutions for business, government and education.

, Director of Development. Carrie's role includes fundraising, grant writing marketing and website development. In the past, Carrie worked for Karis Advertising and Design, as a researcher for Johns Hopkins in the area of schizophrenia, and as a social worker at the former Windsor Hospital.

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