AT MALVERN INSTITUTE RECOVERY CENTERS, HELPING PATIENTS GET AND STAY SOBER ISN’T JUST A JOB – IT’S A PASSION.
from the May 2017 issue of South Jersey Magazine
That passion is evident in the way Michael Shore, MD, treats each patient at Malvern’s outpatient facility in Cherry Hill with the compassion and respect they deserve while offering the best clinical care available.
With more than 20 years of invaluable experience, Shore understands that addiction is a complicated disease that affects the mind, body and spirit, and recovery requires individualized and specialized care.
“Increasingly, patients have both substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders,” says Shore. “We have to consider the disorders together when planning treatment.
By pairing access to an on-site psychiatrist with appropriate medication as indicated, we can offer a more effective recovery. This translates to superior outcomes and sustained improvement.” This clinical approach, known as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) model, provides emotional support to patients, as well as treatment with proven evidence-based medications for alcohol and opiate use disorders.
The unique access to psychiatrists and medical professionals at Malvern Institute means patients no longer have to consult two institutions while battling addiction. Shore spends 15 hours on-site each week in a dual role to treat and collaborate on both the psychiatric and medical sides of this complex disease.
This level of access to a certified psychiatrist is the only one of its kind among treatment centers in South Jersey, and is backed by the unrivaled dedication to clinical care and innovative treatment solutions found only at Malvern Institute. Founded in 1948, the institute is the region’s oldest private addiction treatment center and today provides an evidence-based, complete continuum of care for those affected by the disease of addiction.
At the outpatient facility in Cherry Hill, Shore is available to complete evaluations, prescribe the most effective medication assisted treatments and collaborate with the highly trained and experienced treatment team, counselors and therapists to organize the optimum recovery for each patient based on their specific needs.
Unlike other treatment centers with a one-size-fits-all approach, Malvern Institute’s model does not focus solely on the traditional abstinence method of getting patients sober. Dr. Shore, who is certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine, believes in truly individualizing treatment to the patient’s unique needs.
“There are so many internal and external pressures on these patients pushing them to use again,” says Shore. “There’s the external pressures from friends or contacts who are still using, and then there are the internal pressures persistent cravings and often unrecognized and untreated co-occurring psychiatric disorders. By using medication-assisted treatment, patients have a vastly improved chance of successful recovery and sustained improvement.”
This approach has earned Malvern Institute national prominence for its unique and inclusive method for helping those physically addicted to heroin and painkillers. Malvern utilizes an extended taper to treat patients during the withdrawal phase from opioid, benzodiazepines and alcohol. Not only does this ease the burden of withdraw, it also helps patients build a foundation for life-long recovery. In order to help Malvern Institute staff and nurses build a better understanding of this innovative treatment strategy, Shore has provided them with hours of valuable training, based on decades of experience.
While working with the Indian Health Service in Arizona, Shore made his first contact with the damaging and life-altering disease of addiction. He says it was there, while helping an under-served Navajo community, that his career was shaped as he witnessed “the destructive force of alcohol and drug use.”
A Philadelphia native, Shore moved to South Jersey after completing his medical education at Temple University Medical School, followed by psychiatric training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He continued to tirelessly work in the addiction field, and he even spent time at Malvern Institute in the late 1990s as medical director.
Today, Shore is transitioning from his role as president of the New Jersey Society of Addiction Medicine to regional director for the American Society of Addiction Medicine, where he will oversee New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. It’s a move that he says reinforces his career choice and has him ready to tackle the future.
“I watch people whose lives were in despair pull it together and make a new life for themselves,” says Shore.