Family Care Center is an award-winning, comprehensive behavioral health care facility operating as a one-stop shop for mental health. The center provides a wide range of services under one roof: child therapy, individual and group counseling, medication management, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and more. With four locations, an upcoming fifth, and telehealth services, Family Care Center is accessible to those across the Springs. Established in 2016 by an Army veteran, the center is uniquely qualified to offer services to military and veteran families, as the staff includes several veterans and military spouses.
Before opening Family Care Center, CEO and medical director Chuck Weber served 27 years in the military, enlisting as an infantryman in 1989. Six years later, Weber was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point before graduating from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002. The year he retired from the military, Weber opened Family Care Center.
“Taking care of the Department of Defense beneficiaries is our primary mission: families of active-duty soldiers, sailors, and airmen — and also veterans,” says Weber. “That’s been our bedrock, as far as patient population. The other aspect that makes us unique is that our atmosphere is provider-centric so they can bring their A-game to our patients.”
“We practice what we preach,” adds Carlos Urias, marketing director. “Family Care Center emphasizes work-life balance … providers are only required to work 32 hours a week to be considered full-time so they don’t burn out. We offer liberal [paid time off] and ask all leaders to find a way to say yes to time-off requests. [Dr. Weber] regularly asks the leaders to check in on their staff.”
The organization has a sizable administrative staff that takes those managerial burdens off the shoulders of caregivers, so they can spend their energy with patients. “We have over 95 percent retention with our providers and around 85 percent for administrative staff, which is really great in this field,” says Weber.
In addition, Family Care Center includes wellness and employee assistance programs as part of their benefits package and they offer gym membership reimbursement as a perk. The center also provides free counseling sessions for their staff — for abuse, grief, anxiety, depression, divorce and more. This investment in staff translates to more positive patient experiences.
“Unfortunately, psychiatry has a pervasive problem of short med checks,” says Weber. “A patient may see their doctor for five or 10 minutes only. Our lowest here at Family Care is an hour for a new patient visit and 30 minutes for follow-ups. I don’t want our health care to be rushed or inattentive.”
An innovative treatment that Weber’s center offers is transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS is a procedure in which a magnetic field is used to stimulate a specific area of the brain through a magnetic coil (stimulator).
“It’s a non-invasive approach to treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder,” says Weber. “It’s a 20-minute treatment for four to six weeks. I was trained in electroconvulsive therapy. ECT works, and it’s amazing, but it has quite a few side-effects … while TMS has next to no common side effects, other than maybe a mild headache. I don’t practice electroconvulsive therapy anymore because of TMS.”
Weber’s thoughts for Mental Health Awareness Month: “Just seek help. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, substances, seek help — and if you have a loved one that’s struggling, encourage them to seek help.”