Taylor County Launches Innovative Recovery Support Program For  Individuals with Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorders

Medford, WI, January 10, 2024 – Taylor County Hybrid Treatment Court and Taylor County Human Services have partnered with CHESS Health to deploy eRecovery, an innovative and cutting-edge digital health recovery support solution. This groundbreaking initiative aims to enhance existing programs with comprehensive support to individuals within Taylor County who are facing challenges related to substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring behavioral health issues.

Located in rural central Wisconsin, Taylor County’s Treatment Court and Human Services are focused on addressing the complex needs of families and individuals contending with SUD, their co-occurrence, and the secondary issues related to substance misuse and mental illness. Experiencing a significant rise in synthetic opioid use and overdose deaths during and post the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor County is driven by the need to enhance existing resources and programs with accessible tools and 24/7 access to peer support, which is what led them to CHESS Health. As a human-centric software as a service (SaaS) provider, CHESS Health has pioneered cutting-edge digital health solutions aimed at identifying at-risk individuals, guiding them to treatment, and providing continuous support throughout the recovery journey.  

Wendy Ness, Taylor County Hybrid Treatment Court Coordinator, shared her excitement about the collaboration, stating, “Taylor County is a small rural community with little access to peer recovery support services. We are excited to partner with CHESS Health’s eRecovery program to fill a needed gap in services. The online platform allows consumers to engage in supportive services, without pressure or judgement, at any point on their recovery journey.”

As part of the eRecovery solution, individuals in Taylor County will be able to gain access to Connections, a smartphone app designed to reduce isolation, build confidence, and improve adherence to treatment and recovery plans through a variety of digital tools including an online peer-moderated community. 

“We are excited that this partnership allows us to bring a new recovery resource to residents of Taylor County,” added Jasmin Skerven, Clinical Services Coordinator at Taylor County Human Services Department. “In a rural community, the Connections App will be a valued tool that can improve access to peer recovery support, information, resources, recovery meetings and much more.  The app is a great way for our patients to stay connected with recovery support between sessions and have quick access to a crisis line when in need.”

Interestingly, CHESS Health’s roots are deeply embedded in the state, as the program was initially developed and clinically reviewed under the leadership of Dave Gustafson, PhD, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In a serendipitous twist, this homegrown program, now available nationwide, has come full circle to offer support in its state of origin.

“It’s essential that recovery support reaches patients where they are,” said Hans Morefield, CEO of CHESS Health. “That means getting support tools like the Connections app in individuals’ hands as they leave treatment facilities, start outpatient care, or even pre-treatment. We’re proud to partner with the team at Taylor County and provide tools to help extend their reach and provide 24/7 connectivity and support – the perfect complement to our technology.”

This initiative reflects Taylor County’s commitment to enhancing local resources and support for individuals undergoing treatment and recovery, addressing the unique needs of the community in the ongoing battle against SUD and behavioral health challenges.


About Taylor County

In 2013, Taylor County and the State of Wisconsin partnered to establish an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Treatment Court for persons convicted of OWI 2/3 offenses. Subsequently, in 2018, the Taylor County Treatment Court secured additional funding from the Wisconsin Department of Justice/Treatment Alternative Diversion grant program to expand the program to serve both OWI and drug convicted persons. 

The Taylor County Treatment Court Program is a court that is specifically designated and staffed to handle cases involving OWI and drug offenders through an intensive, judicially monitored program of alcohol and drug treatment, rehabilitation services, and strict community supervision. 

The goal of the Taylor County Hybrid Treatment Court Program is to promote public safety by using case management, treatment, monitoring, and judicial oversight to ensure participants receive the necessary level of care, thereby eliminating further drinking and driving events and drug motivated crimes. In this way, the Treatment Court offers participants the opportunity to break the cycle of substance abuse, to improve their chance of a sober and healthy life, and to contribute to a safe community.

In addition to the Taylor County Treatment Court Program, Taylor County operates a certified outpatient clinic within their Human Services Department.  The outpatient clinic provides treatment to residents of Taylor County who need substance use counseling, mental health counseling, and psychiatric medication management services.  Taylor County Human Services is a nonprofit entity with the mission to promote the well-being, safety, and independence of Taylor County residents by coordinating and delivering supportive services.      

About CHESS Health

CHESS Health is the leading provider of evidence-based digital health solutions addressing the individual and societal crisis of substance use disorder (SUD). Solutions are offered in partnership with healthcare providers, community organizations, state and local government, and health plans. CHESS Health solutions span the entire lifecycle of SUD management―from prevention and intervention to treatment and recovery―and are proven to help more individuals enter treatment, improve patient retention, reduce the risk of relapse, and lower the overall cost of care. Through CHESS Health’s current partnerships, statewide initiatives have been implemented across New Mexico, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. For more information, visit www.chess.health.