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Giving to Sojourner House Families

sojourner-houseFor SMART’s community awareness team, the Sunshine Group, the holiday season is a great time to help others. Thanks to the efforts of Sojourner House, we were able to sponsor a family in need from their Share the Spirit Program. This program has been helping families with financial needs for the past 10 years. Manager of Immigration Advocacy, Gloria Greenfield explained that “Many of the families are getting back on their feet, are jobless, or they had been relying on the abuser for financial support.” This year was Sojourner House largest drive to date. Organizations, business, families, and individual donors supported 39 families, totaling 115 individuals.  “It’s such an amazing feeling to see the client’s faces when they realize that their holidays are totally different than what they expected and that their children will receive gifts…” said Gloria.

Sharing the Spirit

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SMART Associates gathered to pack gifts before delivering to Sojourner House.

After participating for several years, this has now become a holiday tradition for us at SMART. We were thrilled to collect and give wishlist items to local families who are starting over.  As each gift was brought in, we began to see a trend. Everyone who participated not only gave the selected wish list item but also gave a little extra. Being able to give to those who have little, reminds us all of what really matters.

About Sojourner House

For 40 years, Sojourner House has helped victims of domestic violence. As a comprehensive domestic violence agency, they primarily serve Providence and northern Rhode Island. Their services include advocacy, shelter, referrals, and other resources.  Additionally, Sojourner House works in surrounding communities providing violence prevention education programs.Learn more

 

 

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Maine Helps Addiction Treatment Centers

January 12, 2017 – Recently, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services awarded funds to addiction treatment centers, including Discovery House of Calais and Acadia Hospital of Bangor. This is a triumph for Maine addiction treatment centers. They spent many years defending their very existence.

The Role of Addiction Treatment Centers

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Discovery House Program Director, Brent Miller, speaking out in a 2013 Bangor City Council meeting.

Discovery House Program Director, Brent Miller frequently met with community members and state officials. The goal was to increase funding, decrease overdoses, and to correct the stigma associated with addiction and forms of treatment. After countless media interviews, town hall meetings, and organization collaborations, he brought Discovery House to the forefront of the fight. Brent became a voice for patients, families, and even competitor clinics that were facing the challenge of being defunded. As he told The Bangor Daily News, “I think people are starting to understand that opiate addiction treatment is essential to solving the problem and getting a handle on the disease…”

Enough is Enough

Communities nationwide are reluctant when hearing of a methadone clinic opening in their town. The mantra, “not in my backyard,” has become a typical response. However, we know more about the nature of addiction now. Unfortunately, many have learned this through personal tragedy and loss. In 2012, the overdose count reached 163 people in the State of Maine. Enough was enough for Mainers when overdoses in 2016 exceeded 270. Treatment needed to be an effort supported by officials and members of the community alike.

Purpose of the Funds

DHHS funds awarded a total of $2.4 million. The sole purpose is to support medication-assisted treatment programs. This money will not increase the allowable patient count at these treatment programs. However, it will help to fund treatment for low-income and non-insured patients. This is excellent progress toward supporting those already in recovery, and an encouraging sign for those seeking recovery.

Learn about the SMART Solution or get to know other SMART EHR partners.

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/20/news/bangor/bangor-to-see-influx-of-funds-to-fight-drug-addiction/

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/07/16/news/bangor/officials-defend-mission-after-lepage-says-hes-trying-to-close-methadone-clinics/

https://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/12/news/bangor/bangor-council-rescinds-methadone-clinic-ordinance/?ref=topStories4Thumb

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/20/politics/lepage-plan-to-add-2-4-million-for-addiction-treatment-wins-praise/?ref=relatedSidebar

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State Funding Helps Warm Handoff Program

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Associates of Alliance Medical Services, Johnstown. Photo credit: https://ams-johnstown.pinnacletreatment.com/

As a Center of Excellence, Alliance Medical Services of Pennsylvania was recently awarded $500,000 in state funding from Cambria County. Thanks to this funding, they are poised to treat up to 50 additional patients and participate in the Warm Handoff Program.

Warm Handoff Program Decreasing Overdose

In the fall of 2016, Pennsylvania established the Warm Handoff Program. The aim is to increase interactions between recovery professionals and patients after they have suffered an opiate overdose. Individuals who do not receive follow-up care are more likely to relapse. According to Gary Tennis, Secretary of the Pennsylvania DDAP, “There is a very high risk of a repeat overdose in the period right after a person leaves the emergency room for a drug overdose. Our aim is to avoid that risk by getting the survivor directly to treatment without hitting the street at all.”

Another Gap

The inspiration for the Warm Handoff Program was the life-saving drug Naloxone. After years of seeing lives lost to overdose, police officers were ready for a change. Since Naloxone’s availability in 2014, Pennsylvania police have been able to save 1,600 lives. However, this created another gap in the system of care. Tennis explained that “Many people who would have died are now being saved in the ER, but the protocol there has been to release people once they are stabilized or at most given a card with a referral for treatment.”  As the Chairman of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, Tennis and his staff reached out to ER’s to begin development of the new program. From there, recovery advocates and professionals like the staff of Alliance Medical Services were able to start providing more assistance.

About Alliance Medical Services

alliance-medical-servicesAlliance Medical Services, a division of Pinnacle Treatment Centers, is an outpatient addiction treatment program located in Johnstown, PA. Their team of trained professionals offers medication-assisted treatment with individual and group therapy. Furthermore, they passionately encourage their patient’s development of healthy and stable living to support their journey to recovery.

Learn more about the SMART Solution or get to know other SMART EHR partners.

 

http://www.tribdem.com/news/cambria-county-approves-state-funding-for-additional-opioid-treatment-specialists/article_d3886fa8-bd8b-11e6-ae70-af6ce895235e.html
http://www.drugfree.org/news-service/warm-handoff-program-aims-get-overdose-survivors-directly-treatment/
http://www.health.pa.gov/My%20Health/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/A-D/Pages/Act-139-of-2014.aspx#.WGv7PmQrI1I