St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center’s Veteran EmployeeGeneral
St. Elizabeth’s Comprehensive Addiction Program
MSN, RN Senior Nurse Manager
When Brian Jewers, MSN, RN, Senior Nurse Manager, SECAP (St. Elizabeth’s Comprehensive Addiction Program) and E-4 Senior Airman, entered the Air Force in 1998, it wasn’t because he wanted to help people manage addiction. It began as a desire to work in Law Enforcement. It wasn’t until after his enlistment ended that his experiences led him to a career helping men and women who are battling substance abuse.
“My buddy Mike from the Air Force got addicted to pain pills,” said Brian. “It’s really how I became first interested in working with people with substance abuse disorders.”
Brian entered the United States Air Force in 1998 and served through 2003 and then was on non-active reserves through 2006, when he was discharged with a good conduct medal. He was intent on a career in law enforcement and was in Minot, ND guarding nuclear weapons and in Security Forces in Saudi Arabia. During his training, he developed a bond with a fellow trainee named Mike. “Mike is a really talented guy. He could have done and can do anything he wanted to,” said Brian. During their time in Saudi Arabia, Mike protected Brian and was subsequently injured. What followed were four knee surgeries and an addiction to pain medication.
“Mike went through a lot of things addicted to pain meds. He was dishonorably discharged and was on a very dangerous path. I’m very happy to report Mike is doing great now and I’m grateful. He’s living in Florida, has a girlfriend and family and a successful career,” said Brian. “I am so thankful to the people who helped him get sober.”
While Mike was battling his addiction, Brian came back to his hometown of Malden, MA after discharge and found that many of his school and neighborhood friends were addicted to OxyContin. “When I left it was alcohol and marijuana. When I came back from the military it was Oxy and it was scary.”
These experiences impacted Brian so much he began pursuing a Nursing degree at Regis College. It was during clinical rotations that he was increasingly drawn to patients with addiction. “My teacher was supportive of my focus on these patients. I had a great mentor that encouraged me to work closely with those with addictions,” said Brian.
Since graduating from nursing school and earning his Masters, Brian continues to work tirelessly on behalf of his patients. Clinically he is a champion for the needs of the staff and patients of Boston’s oldest hospital-based program for the treatment of addiction. SECAP treats more than 1,000 inpatients and 22,000 outpatients annually. He also supports intense community outreach to help bring awareness of addiction and the help available to those suffering in the Allston and Brighton communities and beyond. This past week, he led a St. E’s team in a local walk (Walk for Recovery) to raise funds for and awareness of addiction needs in the community the hospital serves.
“I think about Mike often and am proud to play a part in someone’s recovery,” said Brian. “Addiction has such deep and broad impact and it’s my honor to help people through treatment into recovery.”
Read more Steward Health Care Veteran stories:
Proud to Serve Our Country. Honored to Care for You.