St. Joseph’s has taken a major step towards their establishing the agency’s new facility on John Munn Rd. that will provide three services: a detoxification (detox) unit, 24/7 Open Access Center to help direct people to addiction treatment services by delivering immediate engagement, assessment, and referral services for people suffering from a substance use disorder; and which will also be the site of the expanded St. Joseph’s Saranac Lake Outpatient Clinic.
Last February, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $10 million in capital funding to expand addiction withdrawal and stabilization services throughout the State. Specifically, the money would support the establishment of 84 new detoxification beds in under-served areas, including in our rural Upstate region.
“Communities across the country have felt the impact of the opioid epidemic and New York will continue to combat this scourge until this crisis has been eradicated once and for all,” Governor Cuomo said regarding the awards. “This funding will bring desperately needed resources to communities across state, allowing us to reach more people and get them the help they need.”
As part of this initiative, St. Joseph’s received $1.2 million to establish 10 detox beds to provide medically supervised withdrawal and stabilization programs, offer medical assessment, information about recovery support, family treatment, clinical services, and medication to manage withdrawal symptoms.
During the same period, the Governor also awarded more than $4 million to expand access to substance use disorder treatment services, including ten new 24/7 Open Access Centers, to offer immediate support for those in need of addiction treatment services.
“These new centers will make a significant impact in communities around our State by ensuring that anyone who needs services or interventions will be able to receive help right away, no matter the time or day of the week,” New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez said. “They also provide the necessary responsive, compassionate assistance and support needed to help New Yorkers successfully start their recovery journeys.”
St. Joseph’s was recognized in this funding as well and received $450,000 to fund the North Country region’s Open Access Center.
Funding for the Open Access Center, and detox unit elements of the project were generated through a competitive grant process, while the overall funding of the project totals $3.35 million.
An innovative element of St. Joseph’s planning included approaching the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) for financing in advance of the grant funding from OASAS. PCDC is a national U.S. Treasury-certified community development financial institution (CDFI) which provides loans to health care agencies to update, modernize, or expand their operations to better serve their communities.
Partnering with PCDC will allow St. Joseph’s to open the facility and begin providing services, which is anticipated before the end of 2019, more than 12 months sooner than if they had pursued traditional funding.
An important step in the John Munn Rd. project occurred last week when St. Joseph’s purchased the property. Their acquisition of the site now allows the agency to proceed, with the guidance of Lake Placid architect, Andrew Chary, with renovations of the former Swift Lumber property. The engineering is being done by Architectural & Engineering Design Associates, P.C.
In recognition of these new services, St. Joseph’s CEO, Bob Ross, announced that, “We are naming the facility the St. Joseph’s Robert R. Reiss Community Service Center after former St. Joseph’s Board member Bob Reiss who served on St. Joseph’s Board for more than a decade and who passed away last year. Bob’s contributions to St. Joseph’s and many other worthy causes in the Tri Lakes and beyond, will be reflected in this vital new addition to St. Joseph’s continuum of care.”