As St. Joseph’s continues to respond to the increasing heroin and opioid epidemic, I am pleased to share wilth all in our community the news that this week we received notification from the Governor’s office that St. Joseph’s, along with five other treatment agencies in the State, have received awards to establish withdrawal and stabilization services, also known as “detox” services.
From the Governor’s press release:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an award of $10 million in capital funding to five providers for the development of 84 new community-based Medically Supervised Withdrawal and Stabilization Services beds throughout New York.
The detox programs will provide around-the-clock care to people who are under the influence of alcohol, opioids, or other substances, or suffering from withdrawal, and help stabilize them and connect them to long-term treatment services.
St. Joseph’s share of the grant, $1.2 million, will allow us to provide ten detox beds at our combined 24/7 assessment, detox unit, and permanent home for our Saranac Lake Outpatient Clinic at John Munn Rd. Co-locating these services in one new facility is unusual but will share staff and other costs.
Currently, people in need of detox services must travel to either Canton-Potsdam Hospital, the withdrawal and stabilization beds of which are nearly always full, or to Albany or Syracuse.
This latest grant will combine with the capital funding to develop our 24/7 open access facility we were notified of last week. The open access element of the John Munn facility will provide immediate care for people in addiction crisis and referrals to other services as needed. We anticipate the final capital element, approximately $850,000 to relocate the Outpatient Clinic, to be approved in the near future.
I particularly recognize the Primary Care Development Corporation’s role in advancing this important project. The PCDC, whose mission includes providing low interest funding to not-for-profit health care agencies in a timely manner, will allow St. Joseph’s to complete the facility years ahead of schedule had we pursued traditional funding.
As Bill O’Brien, the CEO of PCDC, points out, “As partners with St. Joseph’s, we’re responding immediately to the opioid crisis, where help is needed most, and in the most effective way. OASAS, and by extension, the State, view PCDC as a catalyst for financing site expansion.”
The corporation believes that primary care is one of the key social determinants of health, and is critical to achieving health equity. It is also of note that this is the first time the PCDC has financed an addiction treatment project outside of the metropolitan area.
This exciting partnership between St. Joseph’s, OASAS, and the PCDC is a new approach and will allow us to provide these services to individuals and families in need before the new year.