Newest Opioid Treatment Hub Opens in St. Albans
Vermont’s sixth and newest regional treatment center for people with opioid use disorders began providing services today. The St. Albans-based Hub, located on the Northwest Regional Medical Center campus at 10 Crest Road, opened its doors on Thursday following approval from federal and state regulators.
The Crest Road location is temporary. A permanent facility is under construction on Main Street and is expected to open by early fall 2017. The Medical Center worked with state officials to host this temporary facility so that area patients can get local services as soon as possible.
Deputy Health Commissioner Barbara Cimaglio called the Hub’s opening wonderful news for improving access to critically needed treatment services in the northwest part of the state. “The St. Albans Hub has been a missing link in our system of care,” said Cimaglio. “With the opening of this facility, we are removing a barrier to treatment for hundreds of Vermonters who need it, and easing the burden on both patients and families who have had to travel long distances, sometimes every day, to receive services.”
The St. Albans facility expands Vermont’s Hub and Spoke system, formally known as the Care Alliance for Opioid Addiction. The Care Alliance is a statewide partnership of treatment centers (hubs) and clinicians (spokes) for Vermonters who are addicted to opioids. The Hub and Spoke model ensures patients receive effective and coordinated care. Medication-assisted therapy – which can include methadone, buprenorphine or Vivitrol – is supported by clinicians, nurses and counselors who also work to connect each person with community-based support services. As of April 2017, there were 3,271 people receiving treatment services through the state’s Hubs.
Jason Goguen is regional director of operations for BAART, which was awarded grants by the Health Department to operate the new hub, along with the Newport, St. Johnsbury and Berlin treatment sites. “We are grateful to our partners at Northwest Medical Center for their cooperation and help to quickly establish this temporary location,” Goguen said. “Now that we have all the approvals in hand, our staff can begin the important work of providing people with the comprehensive treatment services they need.”
Goguen said all the clients who live in the St. Albans area that are enrolled in the Newport clinic will be the first to have their treatment services provided at the new facility. Starting on July 1, St. Albans patients who now travel to the Chittenden County clinic will begin to transfer over.
The new Hub will be able to serve 250 clients. Once it is completed and certified for operation, the permanent site can accommodate nearly 700 clients.
“Access to treatment is a vital part of addressing our opiate crisis and it has been a significant need for this community, so I am very pleased to see this temporary location open today,” said Governor Phil Scott. “More work must be done to get the permanent location open, but I appreciate the efforts of my administration and our partners in getting this temporary location open to provide this important service.”
To learn more about Vermont’s efforts to prevent and treat opioid use disorder, including Hub and Spoke census and wait list data, visit http://www.healthvermont.gov/response/alcohol-drugs
For more information about the Care Alliance for Opioid Addiction, visit http://www.healthvermont.gov/response/alcohol-drugs/treating-opioid-use-disorder
For health news, alerts and information, visit healthvermont.gov
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