IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery

Specialized treatment for firefighters affected by substance use disorders or PTSD.

100% confidential. Most insurance accepted.

Exclusive Care for IAFF Members

The IAFF Center of Excellence is a product of the International Association of Fire Fighter’s dedication to helping fire fighters overcome the unique mental health challenges they face. The center treats only IAFF members, so clients are surrounded by people who can relate to their experiences.

Leading Treatment for Addiction and PTSD

Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS) is a leading behavioral health care provider in the United States. In partnership with IAFF, specialists at ARS provide clients with the latest evidence-based mental health care. “We have evidence-based diagnostic procedures,” Dr. Craig Katz, a consulting physician for the IAFF Center of Excellence, said at the 2017 Vincent J. Bollon Affiliate Leadership Training Summit. “We don’t just diagnose for problems. We also diagnose for strengths. We do a resilience assessment and some other strength-focused diagnoses. We are going to use those diagnoses to inform the clinical tracks that the firefighters that come to the facility will go into.”
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Therapy Tracks and Types of Therapy

Clients are assigned to individualized therapy tracks based on the diagnosis made during their assessment. “In the different tracks, we’re using evidence-based psychotherapies that have been designed by international experts,” Katz said.

Therapy tracks at the IAFF Center include:

Acute Trauma: For clients with a substance use disorder in addition to an acute stress disorder or acute PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: For clients with a substance use disorder and chronic PTSD Major Depression: For clients with a substance use disorder and clinical depression GriefFor clients with a substance use disorder and complicated grief Behavioral Health: For clients with one of the above diagnoses but no substance use disorder

Types of therapy provided by the IAFF Center include:

  • Cognitive psychotherapy
  • Family psychotherapy
Group therapy is also a key component of treatment. The center offers several types of group therapy to fit clients’ specific needs. “The groups are going to be a little more about peer support, education and sharing with one another what having that particular problem is like and how people cope with it,” Katz said.

The center also provides complementary treatments and services, including:

  • Evidence-based therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Yoga
Mentors are a key part of the aftercare program provided by the IAFF Center of Excellence. Clients with an aftercare plan will have access to a mentor who will encourage them to continue to seek follow-up care and other recovery resources.
front of the IAFF Center

About the Facility

The mission of the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is to offer treatment for successful recovery and help IAFF members return to the job. Located on a 15-acre campus in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the facility is surrounded by a lightly wooded area and beautiful natural scenery. The campus has units for different levels of care, with 64 beds total. The campus also has outdoor picnic areas, nature trails and a sand volleyball court. “The idea is to make this a place that would feel very familiar to a fire fighter,” Katz said. “It has to be a total experience and not just about the treatment.” Gym in the IAFF Center

Other on-site amenities include:

  • Exercise room
  • Basketball court
  • Covered porch and terrace
  • Swimming pool (open Memorial Day through Labor Day)

Policies & Procedures

The IAFF Center of Excellence is committed to providing professional care with compassion and kindness. Firefighters are also asked to commit to certain standards and comply with facility rules during their stay.
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General facility rules:

  • Alcohol and other drugs are prohibited.
  • Photography is prohibited.
  • Visitors require prior authorization.
  • Staff may search rooms, cars and personal belongings.
  • Drug tests may be requested at any time.
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Dress code:

  • Short shorts, bikinis and speedos are prohibited. Tank tops that cover the stomach may be worn to the gym.
  • Clothing containing images or messages involving alcohol, drugs, profanity or sexually explicit images is prohibited.
  • Hats and sunglasses may not be worn indoors.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times, except in specified recreational areas.
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Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas during established break times. No smoking is allowed within 25 feet of any building.
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Daily Chores:

  • The bed will be made each day.
  • Walls must be free of stains and dirt.
  • Other chores may be assigned and must be completed on schedule.
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Each fire fighter will be assigned three designated phone days per week. During their designated phone time, fire fighters may use the phone for up to 20 minutes. No calls may be made during the first 72 hours of treatment.
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Levels of Care

The IAFF Center of Excellence provides a comprehensive range of services for substance use disorder treatment and PTSD treatment. We aid our clients through the entire recovery process. detox icon


Detox is the initial phase of treatment for substance use disorders. We provide 24/7 supervision and medications when appropriate to ease withdrawal symptoms. house icon


During residential treatment, clients participate in individual and family therapy sessions according to their personalized treatment plans. Group therapy sessions and support group meeting access may also be offered. The frequency of therapy maybe increased if necessary. hospital icon

Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial hospitalization is a less intensive form of inpatient therapy. The frequency of individual therapy typically decreases, with clients gaining access to recreational therapy and other on- and off-campus activities. Case management services and discharge planning may be introduced at this phase. house icon

Intensive Outpatient Program

As clients continue to progress through the treatment program, they may participate in family and individual therapy sessions less frequently. Nursing services are available in case of emergency, but clients are typically not monitored around-the-clock. outpatient icon

Outpatient Program

After leaving the facility, clients may continue their outpatient programming as needed. Services can include individual therapy, group therapy, family counseling and substance abuse education classes. Clients continue to have access to case management services if necessary. speech bubbles icon

Aftercare Planning

Each fire fighter’s individualized aftercare plan will detail the type, frequency and duration of recommended treatment. The plan includes goals, support group access and recommendations for other relevant services.
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Our Location

IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery

13400 Edgemeade Rd. Marlboro, MD 20772 Contact Us Contact Us

Meet the Team

The IAFF Center of Excellence employs a multidisciplinary staff of clinicians, behavioral technicians, nurses, psychiatrists and case managers. Each firefighter is assigned to a primary therapist who possesses a master’s degree. Firefighters also meet with a financial counselor to discuss the financial aspects of treatment.

Dr. Abby Morris, Medical Director

A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. Abby Morris is a board-certified psychiatrist with diverse experience in community mental health, substance abuse, inpatient and private practice settings. She is responsible for all inpatient care, training and future operations planning. She develops the individualized plan of care that will follow each client throughout their stay at the Center. Previous to her appointment to the IAFF Center of Excellence, Dr. Abby Morris was the medical director of a 24-bed inpatient facility that treated addiction and behavioral health disorders.

Marc Rattigan, Executive Director

As the executive director of the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery, Marc Rattigan promotes positive team interactions to support exceptional patient care for IAFF Members. Marc comes from a long line of firefighters, including his father, uncle, and grandfather. A combat veteran with 21 years of service in the United States Army, Marc values teamwork and dedication to help people who are struggling with behavioral health and addiction. Marc’s assignments and responsibilities in the Army behavioral health community included inpatient and outpatient services, substance abuse counseling, Master Resilience Training, sexual assault advocacy, and several epidemiological studies with high-risk populations. Marc’s Army career culminated as the chief of operations at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Marc holds a bachelor’s degree in emergency management from Thomas Edison State University and is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.

Jes Corey, Clinical Director

Jes Corey has been in the mental health field for the past 17 years, having graduated from George Washington University in 2004 as a department fellow in Community Counseling. Over that time, she has worked within community organizations to help provide services to those in greater need, from mentoring and case management to therapy within community mental health and crisis response. As Clinical Director for the Center, Jes focuses on curriculum development and quality assurance, incorporating evidenced-based interventions to best meet the needs of our specialized population. She works hard to ensure her clinical team can best support fire fighters and their families on the road to recovery.

Marissa Hall, Director of Nursing

Marisa Hall is the nursing director at the IAFF Center of Excellence, where she oversees patient care and staffing while serving as the facility risk manager. As a nurse, Marisa listens empathically, acts with compassion and serves with purpose. As a leader, she ensures that each member of her team goes above and beyond to connect, advocate and exemplify nursing standards of care. With more than 10 years of health care experience, Marisa extends her focus on healing and quality care by giving back to IAFF members who serve their local communities.

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