Number of posts : 484
Age : 58
Location : Vermont
Registration date : 2009-03-05
|Subject: Long awaited clinic finds a home in Rutland VT Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:34 am|| |
Last year RuthAnn posted a story about a small town in Vermont and the possibility of a new mmt facility. AS with many other towns a clinic was badly needed in the area.
Everyone agreed, Rutland needed a clinic but no one could agree on where to put it. Some places were too small, some members of the community thought it would be too close to their homes but finally after months of searching the new clinic has found a home. Rutland’s methadone clinic will go in Howe Center, state and local officials said Thursday.
“There are still final details to work through,” Rutland Mental Health Services CEO Dan Quinn said. “We do have some funding challenges with this site. It’s more expensive than what we’ve looked at in the past. The state is committed to working that through. Everything is not nailed down, but this is the site we want to go with.”
Quinn joined Rutland Regional Medical Center CEO Thomas Huebner and Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen in announcing the selection of Howe Center Building 10 for the planned opiate addiction treatment clinic.
Organizers also looked at a West Street location, but said cost, public input and the availability of expansion space weighed into the decision.
Chen said the plan is to open the clinic by October, meeting a deadline for federal funding. He said the budget is sufficient to cover operations through the end of the fiscal year, but state and local officials will have to start raising funds to cover the additional services the clinic will provide, such as counseling and case management.
“This is not just a methadone clinic,” Chen said. “This is broader, something more integrated. ... There’s funding behind all these services. The process is deciding what’s best for Rutland’s needs and then working out the financing for that.”
Huebner said they used three criteria evaluating locations — community input, price and how well-suited the space was.
“This really met all those needs,” he said. “We got a lot of input from the community that the West Street location was too close to a residential neighborhood.”
Local officials have advocated for the clinic for several months — Interim Police Chief James Baker has been one of its most vocal proponents — but it took some time for officials to settle on a site. The final two choices — Howe Center and the former Rutland Motors at 220 West St. — were subject to a public forum last week.
“I want to reiterate how important it is to our community this service get started,” Huebner said. “At the last meeting, there was a lot of discussion about the proper location, but it was virtually unanimous this was something the community needed.”
Huebner also said people at the meeting almost unanimously preferred the Howe Center location to the West Street one.
Mayor Christopher Louras said he approved of the choice even if he differed on the best location for the clinic.
“I’ve been saying from the get-go, the planned office park zoned area near the hospital would have been the best location, but this is a suitable location,” he said. “The process was followed. It was an appropriate process. ... The state and the providers listened to the community and came to a proper decision and I support their decision.”
Quinn said the lease needs to be finalized and the various partners are still working out staffing and similar issues.
“It’s happening daily and we’re trying to work as quickly as possible to meet the deadlines and the burgeoning community need,” he said.
"I will let yesterday end so that today can begin"
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