Smart City Case Studies

The GreenHouse Child Advocacy and Assault Center incorporates GIGLink by OptiLink to continue their vital work through telehealth.

The GreenHouse Child Advocacy and Assault Center is a 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Dalton, Georgia. Started in 1994, they have expanded over the past 27 years to offer forensic interviews and exams and provide mental health services, advocacy services, prevention education, a hotline service and ongoing support for child victims and their non-offending family members.
Executive Director Natima Walker heads a committed team of full-time employees and contractors, all of whom work to ensure that the proper steps of care are available for those who need them. With a strong passion for people and community, those who work at The Greenhouse offer invaluable resources to those who are most vulnerable.
Partnered with The United Way, The GreenHouse has expanded from a small cottage to a large, all-inclusive facility where all aspects of care can be provided on site. This enables those who contact the organization for help to receive initial treatment and follow-up care in one place with a group of specialists they can trust.

With the onset of the COVID pandemic, the ability for The GreenHouse to provide a system of care for those recovering from the trauma of abuse and assault was challenged by the inability to meet with people face to face. Tackling the necessary tasks of delivering mental health care to those in need, as well as continuing to conduct meetings and provide for the demands of their growing company, required a new level of Internet speed and reliability.
Relying on telehealth to communicate not only with clients and patients, but also team members, therapists, court systems and schools, Walker needed an Internet service company as devoted to keeping its customers online as she is to keeping her organization running at full operation. In her quest for an efficient Internet service to bridge the gap between those who provide care and those who need it, Walker looked to local company Dalton Utilities’ GIGLink system as one her organization could count on for:

• Continuous, reliable, ultra-high-speed Internet connectivity
• Local, trustworthy customer support
• Services that facilitate meetings & provide uninterrupted communication

Based on Dalton Utilities reputation in the community, Walker was confident GIGLink would meet all The GreenHouse team’s demands. The service was quickly integrated into the center’s restructured pandemic routine, and is used, “all day, every day.” In addition to upgrading their phone system right away, GIGLink allowed for essential team and telehealth meetings to continue uninterrupted.
“It was essential to keep those meetings going, even though we couldn’t do it in person,” Walker says. She also noted the service’s ability to meet any need that comes along as the organization expands. “We have grown at an exponential rate. You go from needing a little to a lot, and GIGLink has been able to keep up with it seamlessly.”

With GIGLink, The GreenHouse can focus on what matters most, and be confident that they are backed by an Internet company that has:

• Cohesive, reliable internet service that matches the needs of the company
• Local ties to the community and strong customer service
• The ability to support continuous workflow and aid productivity

Putting GIGLink to work for them has allowed The GreenHouse staff to ensure that the level of service for those who reach out to them never waivers, even as the methods of care change. “Child abuse and assault do not stop in the middle of a pandemic. Our format changed, but our availability didn’t.” Since the incorporation of the GIGLink service, the GreenHouse has seen:

• A 63% increase in client retention with the telehealth option
• Staff time saved with the increased use of telehealth
• Clients’ costs decrease as less travel and childcare is needed

“When we had to move to 100% telehealth during the pandemic, we used GIGLink to get our therapists telehealth certified. Had we not had that option, we would not have been able to provide mental health services to victims of abuse and sexual assault. Knowing that we had reliable internet service was huge during that time.”
Recognizing the demand for current and future generations to have more ways to reach out to the center, Walker is looking forward to including a text message hotline which, thanks to choosing GIGLink, she can confidently say will be a reliable source of communication. For the staff at The GreenHouse, the ability to stay connected with clients is imperative, and GIGLink’s powerful, high-speed technology allows this.

“Had we not had that (GIGLink) option, we would not have been able to provide mental health services to victims of abuse and sexual assault.”

-Natima G. Walker, Executive Director, The GreenHouse

CONTACT: OptiLink / GIGLink Kay Phillips