On behalf of the Medical Department…
We want to formally welcome you to the campus. As a department, it is our intent and goal to treat every student as if they were our own son or daughter. Thus, through the identification and implementation of policies and protocols that encompass both best practice guidelines and quality assurance, we care for your child’s medical ailments with the aim of creating a systematic approach that will help maximize their overall health and wellbeing. DRA’s medical department is composed of a myriad of various experienced, licensed medical professionals whose mission is to provide the highest quality of care to each and every student that enters the program.
Our Philosophy & Medical Services Provided:
We believe much can be gained when your child is able to step away from his or her life to focus solely on healing and recovery. DRA’s platform promotes a process where adolescents learn to take accountability for their lives and become responsible, contributing adults, whether they are dealing with addiction, struggling with mental health concerns, or just “off track”. Our approach facilitates a system where students are required to take initiative and accountability for their own healthcare, allowing them to learn the process of ensuring basic medical needs, such as requesting appointments with on and off-site providers, addressing medical concerns with professionals, and ultimately advocating for their own medical needs.
The medical services provided on site can be compared to what is offered in your basic family medical practice. If your child becomes ill or injured, medical staff will attend to their needs, and licensed health care providers will perform examinations and provide recommendations when deemed necessary.
Systematic Approach to Medication Evaluation & Management:
When symptoms of a mental health condition cannot be managed through the use of coping skills alone, certain psychotropic medications may be recommended and prescribed. As a dually licensed family and psychiatric nurse practitioner, I have worked in several psychiatric settings, one of which includes the outpatient setting. Providers working in the outpatient psychiatric settings often find themselves in a constant struggle to identify accurate depictions of mental health. For example, when meeting with a teenager in the outpatient setting, psychiatric providers are often forced to paint a clinical picture and formulate diagnoses/interventions based off limited information obtained from the child and parent within a 15 to 30 minute window. Important information is often missed or left out by the client, such as drug use, lack of medication adherence, abuse, social and familial dynamics etc. These external factors can skew the results in regards to whether or not a certain medication is working effectively. The information obtained from short follow up appointments within the outpatient setting rarely paints an accurate/whole depiction and often leads to trial and error diagnosing and prescribing. When it comes to prescribing medications, we consider ourselves both conservative and realistic in our approach. Our systems mitigate the “trial and error” process that is often associated with prescribing psychotropic medication.
From a prescriber’s point of view, residential treatment provides an ideal platform for identifying accurate diagnoses and medication regimens. I have the great opportunity to work on campus amongst DRA students and staff on a daily basis. This interaction proves to be vital, as I am able to evaluate direct correlations/effects from interventions that are implemented within students’ treatment plan. From a medication standpoint, DRA is truly unique and stands alone in the industry when it comes to evaluating the efficacy of medication/treatment regimens. To accomplish this task, we are able to collect and analyze information from multiple sources that include DRA staff observations (i.e., teachers, programming staff, therapist, coaches), token economy data, pharmacokinetic testing, psychological assessment tools, and clinical interaction. Being able to work with the students for at least 10 months, control external distractions, ensure medications adherence, and draw observations is truly a great systematic approach, resulting in a more “clear” depiction of what “truly” is occurring within the developing adolescent, and ultimately aids DRA’s prescribers to make more accurate diagnosis and treatment regimens.
Meet our Providers:
Medical Director: Dr. Danny Worwood, MD
Dr. Worwood is a native of Southern Utah. He completed his undergraduate degree (B.A.) at Brigham Young University then attended medical school at the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. He then completed his residency in family medicine at Dewitt Army Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He served in the U.S. Army for over 19 years and had wonderful learning experiences in Panama, Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Brazil and Portugal. In 2003, his family decided that it was time to move back to Southern Utah, and for more than a decade, he practiced Family Medicine and currently works in the acute care setting (InstaCare) for Intermountain Healthcare. Dr. Worwood has been the Medical Director of DRA for a little over 7 years.
I have seen many students come and go from DRA and have been impressed at the level of maturity they gain as they participate in the guided experiences that are offered by the school staff and therapists. Students learn coping skills that enable them to deal with the difficulties of life. With these coping skills, many students are able to stop medications for depression, anxiety, or ADHD that they have been on for years. It’s such a contrast to see patients when they arrive at DRA and then again when they graduate. They arrive apprehensive, rebellious, and angry. They leave with confidence, hope and ambition.
Assistant Medical Director: Brooks Wiley, PMHNP-BC, FNP-C
Brooks was born and raised in Southern Utah. At a young age, his parents taught him the value of education and the importance of life-long learning; as a result, one of his greatest passions/interests is the pursuit of knowledge, having obtained several undergraduate and graduate level degrees, certifications, and licensures. In addition, he enjoys serving others. This drive was cultivated while serving a full-time mission for the LDS church in Virginia. On my mission, he developed deep, close relationships with people from various cultures and backgrounds and quickly realized the value of serving others. He and his wife plan on raising their four children in the Southern Utah and are excited to be apart of the DRA team.
I love working at Diamond Ranch Academy! Throughout my life, I have worked for a number of different private and public entities. From a business standpoint, DRA is second to none as it pertains to how they value and treat their staff. The work environment has played a positive influence within my life. In addition, I have quickly come to the realization that DRA truly cares for the wellbeing and future of each and every student who enters the program. The concepts and principles found within DRA’s core are strategies I want implement within my own family in order to raise competent, productive children. I am truly grateful to be apart of Diamond Ranch Academy.
Dr. Neeley: Licensed Chiropractor
Dr. Neeley grew up in the foothills of Monrovia, California. His interest in Chiropractic and Health Care began as a teenager, after a water skiing injury. After high school, he served a two year LDS Mission throughout Washington D.C. and Maryland. During chiropractic school, he married his wife, Shandi , who is a Registered Dietitian. In 2005, after their fourth child was born, he and his wife moved their family to Southern Utah. They now have five active children who enjoy everything from dance lessons to Go-Karting.
I have been treating students at DRA since 2009, and it has been a deeply fulfilling experience. The staff at DRA is committed to the youth and their future. The program instilled in the students will give them tools they need to succeed throughout their lives. It is an incredible opportunity to watch students learn and grow.
Specialists within the Community:
- Dr. Todd Perry, Orthopedic Surgeon
- Dr. Brad Simister, Orthodontist
- Dr. Dorius, Optometrist
- FIT Physical Therapy
- Southwest Skin and Cancer (Dermatology)
- Dr. Long, Chiropractor
- Dr. Hatch, Dentist
- Dr. Neilson, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist