Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Facility: Frequently Asked Questions

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After a thorough review process and extensive financial and organizational “due diligence” research, the Vermont Department of Health has announced a decision to contract with OAS LLC, to open a new inpatient treatment facility for Vermont. Once open, this new treatment facility will primarily serve women and adolescents who need intensive treatment for alcohol and drug dependency. Currently, about 300 Vermonters travel out-of-state each year for these services.

OAS plans to lease and operate the building that is currently occupied by Brookside Nursing Home in Bradford, which has been for sale for the past two years. The new facility (Valley Vista) will provide state-of-the-art treatment services under contract with the Vermont Department of Health.

What is inpatient substance abuse treatment?

Inpatient treatment means that patients live at the facility during their treatment. They are not permitted to leave the grounds during their stay. They receive a variety of treatment, based on an individualized treatment plan. The therapy may include one-on-one counseling, group counseling, family therapy, parenting and other skill building education, and linkage with 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The length of stay and intensity of treatment is determined by the severity and complexity of medical, psychological, and substance abuse issues of patients. Once treatment is complete, patients will be discharged - and return to their home communities. There will be no outpatient services.

How will the inpatient treatment program impact the Town of Bradford?

Converting the nursing home to a substance abuse treatment facility will keep jobs in the area and meet a critical health need for Vermonters. The new owners will continue to pay property taxes to the town, will employ about 125 people (an increase of about 50 percent over the current 80 employees of the nursing home), and will buy local goods and services.

When will the Brookside Nursing Home in Bradford close?

As of mid-December, no closing date has been set. Residents and family members will receive at least 90 days notice in advance of closure. During that time, the state Department of Aging and Disabilities will be working very closely with the nursing home staff, residents and families to help find new housing for the current residents and to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Will jobs be lost?

Although the new facility will employ more staff than the nursing home, the mix of staff will be different. There may be a loss in some types of positions but an increase in others such as substance abuse counselors and social workers. OAS plans to give preference to former nursing home employees and will facilitate retraining where necessary and feasible. It is anticipated that most non-professional support staff will be employed at the new facility.

Will the Senior Center site be lost?

Plans call for use of the building that currently houses the Senior Center to be used as administrative offices. Since this may not be needed until early 2005, the senior center will be given sufficient notice and time to find a new suitable location.

Will the new facility tax local police resources?

No. The program will not admit patients who are a danger to themselves, other patients or the community. In addition, patients are not permitted to leave the grounds during their stay. Patients will be monitored by staff and a two-person security staff will provide coverage from early evening until early morning. The security director will work closely with local and state law enforcement to ensure that the facility does not place a burden on local resources.

Who will open the new facility? What is their background?

The new program will be operated by OAS, a new corporation formed by two executives who previously worked at Conifer Park, a 225-bed alcohol and drug rehabilitation hospital in Glenville, New York. Both have extensive experience in the treatment field. Jack Duffy, former CEO of Conifer Park has 16 years of administrative experience in substance abuse treatment. Rick DiStefano, former VP of Marketing for Conifer Park, has 18 years of clinical and management experience in the substance abuse treatment field. Conifer Park, under the direction of Mr. Duffy and Mr. DiStefano, has an excellent reputation for quality care. The facility will have a professional staff that includes physicians, psychiatrists, advanced practice nurses, counselors, and social workers.