NY State Money Announced For “Open Access” Centers To Connect People To Treatment


New York State is putting up $450,000 each to fund nine “Open Access Centers.” According to the governor’s office, it’s a way to get people connected to addiction recovery services quickly. The sites will be 24-7. The governor’s office said the centers would immediately assess people who suffer from substance abuse, and refer them to appropriate treatment. Nine regions of the state will each get an Open Access center, including the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Central New York already has one planned, through Syracuse Behavioral Health.


Yet Another Task For Congress In September: Renew Rural Doctor Training Program


Rural areas of the country need more doctors, and there’s a federal program that seems to have made progress on that. But with the mountain of work that Congress has to do in September, it may fall by the wayside. Training at a Teaching Health Center After medical school, newly-minted doctors do a residency, where they train under established docs. Alexandre Le did his residency at the Wright Center, a primary care clinic northeast of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Wright Center, a non-profit, and has over 150 residents doing primary care. It’s one of almost 60 Teaching Health Centers (THCs) around the country.


What Happens When Social Workers Go On Police Calls? The Southern Tier Is Trying It Out


  Sarah Harding has a police radio and a bullet proof vest. She checks in with 911 dispatch as she starts her day.  But she’s not a police officer. Harding is a clinical social worker with the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier. Meeting People In A Crisis Harding goes on police calls when a person might be having a mental health crisis. Sometimes, people are a bit wary of speaking with her. “They see you coming and [they say] ‘who’s that? what’s that for?'” she said.


New York Farm Worker Suit Examines The Meaning Of ‘Employee’


There’s a lawsuit now in New York that could expand the rights of farm workers. Under state law, farm workers aren’t allowed to bargain collectively, but the state Constitution may say something different. The complaint The part of the New York State Constitution that matters is Article 1, Section 17. Here’s the relevant portion: Employees shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.  Aadhithi Padmanabhan of the New York Civil Liberties Union called the text crystal clear.


County Seeks Bidders For Drug Treatment At Broome Developmental


The Broome Developmental Center is one step closer to becoming a site for addiction treatment.  New York’s Office of Addiction and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) will fund 50 beds for medically-supervised withdrawal in Building 1 of the Center, located in the Town of Dickinson. It could eventually have a hundred beds and include more services. In order to get a licensed provider, Broome County has issued a Request for Proposals. Democratic Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said details on other services will depend on the provider, but hand-offs to the next level of care will be necessary.  Garnar said local officials did bring community concerns to the state.

High Expectations For Possible Treatment Site At Broome Developmental Center


     The shuttered Broome Developmental Center has drawn significant community interest as a possible place for more addiction treatment and related services. But the kind of treatment facility may be a sticking point. In a region desperate for more treatment options, having this site seems like a rare opportunity: there are over one hundred beds, a gym, a cafeteria, access to public buses, and other amenities. The state closed BDC, previously a home for people with developmental disabilities, in 2016. People have been talking about the addiction treatment possibility since then. At a community meeting at the Broome Public Library back in May, there were a lot of residents like Kim Dempsey of Binghamton.


Public Comments Due On “No Further Action” Label For Ithaca Falls Overlook


  Monday is the deadline for public comments on the cleanup status of the Ithaca Falls Overlook.  New York State says “No Further Action” is needed. The Overlook is just one part of the area that was contaminated with lead from the former Ithaca Gun Factory. A status of “No Further Action” means the state Department of Environmental Conservation will do periodic inspections and maintenance of the Overlook, but active soil excavation is finished unless future screenings show elevated contamination. “There is ongoing involvement by the Department with the City [of Ithaca] in their work at the site,” said Gary Priscott, project manager with the DEC. “But the health exposures and protection of the environment have been taken care of.”


AMA: We Endorse Pilot Supervised Injection Facilities


The American Medical Association recently endorsed pilot facilities for supervised injection of drugs. It’s a response to the opioid epidemic.  The City of Ithaca last year gained a lot of attention when it proposed a supervised injection facility. These already exist in Canada and 8 other countries. People suffering from addiction can go to a site and inject or use their drugs under medical supervision. Advocates say they prevent overdose deaths.


The GOP Health Care Bill And New York’s Essential Plan


    With the House of Representatives passing a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, New York’s “Essential Plan” may be at risk. Bill Hammond, Health Policy Director at the think tank the Empire Center, joined WSKG’s Bret Jaspers to explain. Interview highlights: On what the Essential Plan actually is: Bill Hammond: It’s a very low-cost health plan. Totally funded by the government. It was an optional benefit under the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare …