Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Sierra Tucson to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Sierra Tucson.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Resident Satisfaction and the Survey Says?

Sierra Tucson – Ranked #1 in Newsweek’s list of Best Addiction Treatment Centers in Arizona for 2020!

By Richard M. Walko, PhD
Quality Management Coordinator

Surveys say a lot actually. Because of our strong commitment to resident satisfaction, Sierra Tucson conducts a lot of surveys. Years ago, each resident was offered one general satisfaction survey to fill out right before completing his or her stay. Today, with an eye toward knowing, in real time, how satisfied our residents are, we have implemented an additional survey.

At about two weeks into a resident’s stay, he or she is invited to complete a mid-term survey that is general, yet comprehensive. It consists of several items to be scored with a numerical rating on a scale ranging from poor to excellent, along with some open-ended, write-in items. Because the survey takes place in the middle of one’s stay, the feedback we receive allows us to be more responsive, and sometimes, right then and there, address an issue of dissatisfaction. In addition, we’re set up to conduct more detailed or “drill-down” surveys, if we need to know more specifically about an issue that is creating dissatisfaction.

Recently, we saw a decline in satisfaction among residents related generally to their daily schedules. To identify the specific issues, we quickly created and implemented a drill-down survey. The results were interesting. A while back, residents expressed the desire for additional therapies to be included in their treatment plans. As each resident’s program is individualized to best treat his or her specific issues, our therapists and medical providers worked with our care planners to determine ways of increasing the number of appointments and activities. Over time, we were able to fill residents’ schedules with many more services. But, as with many things in life, balance is critical. The responses we received in our more recent drill-down surveys were that residents wanted more free time. They felt like they had so much to do with all the individual meetings, group meetings, and activities, not to mention everyday responsibilities like eating and sleeping, that they didn’t have time to simply process it all. Many also indicated they wanted more time for exercise, and maybe a little more leisure time, too. We responded by lightening up their schedules in order to regain the balance.

At Sierra Tucson, we are always concerned with providing the best treatment for each resident, but that philosophy is all about treating the whole person. Balancing the various therapies and modalities with nutrition, sleep, relaxation, and individual and group processing, as well as taking into consideration the philosophical/spiritual needs of each resident, can be a challenge. The methods we have established for surveying are critical to finding that balance. The feedback we receive allows us to act quickly and adjust each individual’s schedule to combine the best therapeutic practices with relaxation and enjoyment. As a result, the resident satisfaction scores have increased significantly in all schedule-related areas.

The items on our mid-term survey are kept constant, so we can see long-term trends. Over time, we’ve seen a change in the dietary preferences of our residents. More and more residents now indicate a preference for vegetarian or gluten-free options. To meet that demand, Sierra Tucson’s kitchen staff has started to introduce new entrées and snacks, and even beverages. Ever tried a kale smoothie? OK, the verdict may still be out on that one, but we have received very positive feedback on one particular change that was made to the dining experience itself. Every Friday evening, instead of the usual dinner hours during which residents eat when they want, everyone gathers together for a delightful dinner served family-style. It changes the entire atmosphere of the dining experience and creates a tremendous sense of community.

It’s always nice to see positive responses and high scores. We love that. We routinely receive encouraging feedback about our facility and the beauty of the surrounding desert and mountains. We are also pleased to report that one of the top-scoring items is our residents’ feeling of safety. Nonetheless, we are most proud that their comments overwhelmingly state that the best thing about Sierra Tucson is the people. We believe that’s the way care should be … all about the people.