Irsay gift helps Hoosiers find strength and resilience

When Rachel Gonzales Pinto was admitted to IU Health West Hospital to give birth to her third child, she was intoxicated. As someone who struggled with alcohol use disorder since she was 14, and who drank during her pregnancy, this moment became her turning point.

Before being discharged, Gonzales Pinto was met by IU Health West Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center Director Trisha Palencer and IU Health Therapist Libby King. They convinced her that she could turn things around.

IU Health West Hospital

The next day, Gonzales Pinto went to work on sobriety with King as her primary therapist. She credits her progress to intensive, daily therapy sessions, accountability and being educated about her mental health.

Many of the programs Gonzales Pinto participated in are thanks to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who last year gave $1 million to IU Health Foundation in support of increasing access to addiction services for people in need across Indiana.

Because of the Irsay gift, the IU Health West program was able to double its staff and add evening classes. Almost 60% of patients who complete the program successfully reach their goals, compared to about 30% for similar programs. It helps people who have lost jobs due to substance use disorder: 51% of people have a job when entering the program, and 70% are employed when they compete it. And the percentage of patients who are sober jumps from 20% at intake to 76% at program completion.

Now part of that 76% is Gonzales Pinto who says the Center made it possible for her to recently celebrate a full year of sobriety.

Gonzales Pinto and her family

Having tried a variety of programs over the years—sometimes making progress but inevitably relapsing — Gonzales Pinto lost custody of her two sons, places to live, a relationship with her dad and more because of her addiction.

But now, thanks to the Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center, she has restored relationships with her family, is married and is happily raising her daughter alongside her sons.

Gonzales Pinto and her father

“I can tell you now, I have the best life ever,” Gonzales Pinto says. “And I know it’s only going to get better.”

You can help patients like Gonzales Pinto find their strength and resilience by giving to the Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center at IU Health West Hospital. Once prompted, select IU Health West Hospital as your location. Then select “Other” under “Direct My Gift To.” Type “Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center.”