Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Written by Sandra J. Pennecke
Photo by Eric Lushner
March 26, 2018
Helping people get back to work
From a spare room in his home in 2011, Kirk Cizerle started what has become a national substance-use tracking firm that employs a team of 25 and works with more than 100 monitoring programs and treatment centers across the country and overseas.
RecoveryTrek, now located in the Wells Fargo building in Norfolk, gets its name from the fact that drug and alcohol addiction is a lifelong trek to recovery. It was inspired by Cizerle’s previous work with a similar company.
“As the saying goes, I thought I could build a better mousetrap and create some differentiators that would allow us to do better than anyone else,” he said.
RecoveryTrek’s cloud-based management software supports programs that monitor people as they go through recovery. It provides clients a platform from which to work, be it the company, the health professional or the individual.
Seventy-five percent of RecoveryTrek’s clients are in professional monitoring treatment programs that are set up by licensure boards. Those clients, which include nurses, doctors and attorneys, are either under investigation, referred or volunteer themselves.
Janet Knisely, administrative director of the Virginia Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, said RecoveryTrek has helped increase the program’s efficiency and quality.
“We are virtually 100 percent electronic now and things don’t slip through the cracks,” Knisely said. “If a report comes into the system, we know about it. RecoveryTrek reduces staff’s time of the mundane tracking of things so we can spend more of our time with the real issues and that’s talking to the clients.”
RecoveryTrek also provides a drug and alcohol testing program, which is usually through an automated random selection. Another facet the company recently developed is called CareTrek, which was designed to work with other individuals (nonlicensed professionals) who might benefit from a continuing care monitoring program.
“The licensed professional community in recovery going through monitoring has an 80 percent-plus success rate,” Cizerle said. “The general community coming out of treatment has almost the exact opposite. So there is about an 80 percent chance that you are going to relapse without monitoring.”
Long-term monitoring of progress, accountability, drug and alcohol testing, and the deterrent factors associated with the structured continuing care program help with rehabilitation and success.
“The mission of these programs and what we directly support is twofold. One is to protect the public from folks who may be under the influence or could be at risk and the other is to advocate for the individual,” Cizerle said. “The idea is for everyone to be successful. At the end of the day, what we do for a living does help people. As a company, we help people get their lives back and get back to work.”
Published March 26, 2018 / Written by Sandra J. Pennecke / Photo by Eric Lushner