HIMS Program for Pilots

Substance abuse and emotional problems affect people from all walks of life. No one is immune to the adverse effects of the disease of addiction or mental health problems. More specifically, the effect of addiction on commercial pilots is similar to that of the general population.

For some professionals, employment and regulatory standards impact treatment delivery and post treatment monitoring.  Unique needs and individual expectations need to be addressed and in some instances require specific clinical training. The HIMS program (Human Intervention Motivation Study) was established in the 1970’s to provide a system whereby affected professionals are treated and successfully returned to the cockpit under the FAA Special Issuance Regulations (14 CFR 67.401). Prior to this, self-reporting was not as frequent as professionals feared loss of job.  Today, the majority of pilots who receive treatment are successfully returned to duty.

The HIMS program for pilots includes the involvement of company representatives, pilot peer volunteers, healthcare professionals, and FAA medical specialists. While the program borrows heavily from treatment principles developed in both clinical and industrial settings, it has specific elements that reflect the unique nature of the safety-sensitive airline transportation system.

At Casa Palmera we facilitate pilots into the Human Intervention Motivation Study monitoring program which includes these elements:

  • Evaluation
  • Comprehensive testing
  • HIMS trained Psychiatrists and Psychologists
  • On site COG screen available
  • On site Birds of a Feather meetings
  • On site Continuing Care meetings
  • Comprehensive HIMS preparation prior to discharge
  • Discharge planning including HIMS compliant outpatient recommendations for aftercare

Casa Palmera has been an approved facility for the treatment of professional pilots since 2009 and has earned a national reputation for providing quality care from the first point of contact to post discharge until the pilot is returned to duty. All physicians and therapists who provide care to this populations are Human Intervention Motivation Study trained. They are familiar with the specific treatment protocols for this population including reporting requirements based on the specific airline or employer, whether First, Second or Third class medical.

Our treatment philosophy is grounded in the 12 steps of AA/NA enhanced by a host of holistic techniques designed to complement the core program. In addition to providing the finest treatment available, we work closely with the respective EAPs, HIMS reps, AMEs or supporting professionals for all pilots who admit to treatment.

In addition to primary treatment, Casa Palmera offers a full continuum of care to include titration, residential, partial hospital or day treatment, IOP and weekly continuing care. The continuing care group accepts pilots treated at other facilities and returned to the San Diego area upon discharge, as well as those who have discharged from Casa Palmera.

A HIMS trained professional begins discharge planning immediately upon admission. Outpatient providers are located in the area the professional pilots is returning to; who, if not already trained on FAA reporting requirements is trained by our staff. This assures the best possible progression of care post discharge.

Click here to learn more about the Pilots Program Evaluation.