Two local drug treatment programs receive $4M

Grants part of $20.8M distributed across West Virginia

CHARLESTON — Two “substance use disorder programs” in Parkersburg — St. Joseph Recovery Center LLC and Westbrook Health Services Inc. — have been awarded funding totaling $4 million to develop and expand residential drug treatment services, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday.

The St. Joseph Recovery Center LLC, to be located at St. Joseph Landing campus in the former St. Joseph’s Hospital, 1824 Murdoch Ave., Parkersburg, has been awarded $3 million from the state for drug treatment services.

Westbrook Health Services Inc., 2121 Seventh St., Parkersburg, has been awarded $1 million from the state for drug treatment services.

The two local grants announced Monday are part of the $20.8 million in funding that has been awarded to nine substance use disorder programs to expand residential treatment services across West Virginia, said W.Va. DHHR. The funding is supported by the Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund as part of a comprehensive statewide plan to combat the opioid epidemic, said DHHR.

Christie Mallett of Wood County owns Discovery Ridge LLC, which owns 50 percent of St. Joseph Recovery Center LLC, Mallett said Monday evening. St. Joseph Health Center LLC owns the remaining 50 percent of the for-profit company, said Mallett, managing partner and CEO.

The long-term residential treatment facility with education and post-recovery components will be located in some of Building B and all of Building C at St. Joseph Landing, which is owned by Siltstone Resources.

Mallett hopes St. Joseph Recovery Center can open 90 days after construction begins on the facility. With the upcoming Christmas holiday, construction might not begin until the New Year, she said.

Mallett is unsure how many beds will be available in the new St. Joseph Recovery Center as rules on funding reimbursement from Medicaid have been changing.

The $3 million from the state will go toward start-up costs of the residential treatment center and working capital for the first six months to a year of operations. After that, the two companies involved will fund the treatment center, she said.

“It is a one-time grant,” she said.

She is still working on a program to employ those in the treatment program at the detoxification, rehabilitation facility in a manufacturing type facility, Mallett said.

There will be no time limit on how long a person can stay at the facility, Mallett said. “It will depend on the person,” she said.

Mallett said she is putting together a management team to run St. Joseph Recovery Center and then will begin the hiring process.

Other tenants at St. Joseph Landing include the YMCA of Parkersburg Discovery Academy for young children and Milestone Senior Living center.

The substance abuse center will be in a separate building from the children’s center, with its own entrance and elevators, Mallett said. The drug treatment facility will be closed off from the other businesses, she said.

St. Joseph Landing campus has six buildings spread over 840,000 square feet.

St. Joseph Recovery Center will be able treat people from anywhere in West Virginia, Mallett said.

Mallett has been working on this project for more than 1 1/2 years.

She said she wanted to thank Delegate John Kelly, R-Wood, who made this substance abuse treatment facilities funding possible through his sponsorship of House Bill 2428.

According to the DHHR news release, Westbrook Health Services Inc. will receive $1 million to provide a drug and alcohol-free residential, long-term treatment environment for recovering consumers while they build the life skills necessary to reintegrate back into the community. Westbrook officials were unavailable for comment Monday.

“As West Virginia fights this battle against addiction, these projects will allow for continued expansion of treatment beds and improved resources across the state,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch in a news release. “We are pleased to support these grantees as they work to address the substance use epidemic on a community level.”

The Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund, also known as House Bill 2428, was passed by the West Virginia Legislature during the 2017 regular legislative session. This legislation mandates that DHHR identify need and allocate additional treatment beds in the state to be operated by the private sector, the DHHR said.

These beds are intended to provide substance use disorder treatment services in existing or newly constructed facilities.

The grant recipients were selected by DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy based on a scoring procedure measuring public health indicators by region. A total of 23 applications were received.

“As this fight is far from over, West Virginia plans to continue to explore additional funding sources from the federal government to complement these projects,” Crouch added. “We anticipate the additional treatment beds added to be sustained by DHHR’s Medicaid Substance Use Disorder waiver, which will cover the long-term cost of treatment for Medicaid enrollees.”

West Virginia has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate. The state reported a record 884 overdose deaths last year, up from 735 in 2015.

Others receiving funding were:

Region 1: Living Free Ohio Valley; Wheeling: $3,000,000; provide a recovery program focused on underserved female populations.

Region 2: Mountaineer Behavioral Health, PLLC; Martinsburg: $3,000,000; provide both residential addiction treatment plus step-down continuing outpatient care using a long-term treatment model.

Region 4: Valley HealthCare System, Inc.; Morgantown: $3,000,000; expand number of short-term treatment beds and create long-term beds.

Region 4: West Virginia University (WVU) Research Corporation; Morgantown: $1,000,000; open a residential treatment facility as part of Chestnut Ridge Center and WVU Medicine.

Region 5: Marshall University Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.; Huntington: $2,825,406; provide trauma-informed residential treatment services for pregnant and post-partum women through the Marshall Recovery Center for Families.

Region 5: WestCare West Virginia, Inc.; Culloden: $1,000,000; develop a new substance use disorder treatment facility.

Region 6: Southern West Virginia Treatment thru Recovery Continuum, a collaboration between FMRS Health Systems, Seneca Health Services, and Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center; Beckley: $2,999,927; expand the availability of substance use disorder treatment beds, partner with existing programs and improve the occupancy rate of available beds in the region.

“As this fight is far from over, West Virginia plans to continue to explore additional funding sources from the federal government to complement these projects,” Crouch added. “We anticipate the additional treatment beds added to be sustained by DHHR’s Medicaid Substance Use Disorder waiver, which will cover the long-term cost of treatment for Medicaid enrollees.”

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