The Mountain Times

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West Ridge Center for Addiction Recovery to serve Rutland community

RUTLAND - On Friday, June 7 Rutland Regional Medical Center and the Vermont Department of Health announced that they had finalized the contract to establish a multi-faceted addiction treatment center in Rutland.

The West Ridge Center for Addiction Recovery will be located in Building 10 of the Howe Center, and is scheduled to open in October 2013. The program will provide medication assisted treatment (methadone or buprenorphine) to 400 opiate addicted Vermonters primarily from Rutland and Bennington Counties. This start up phase of the project will be financed largely by the State and will entail a complete renovation of the space. Once in operation, the funding will come primarily from Vermont Medicaid and the State will offer grant funds to cover those patients who are uninsured.

"I believe this is a service that is critical to our area. The program and treatment center will prove to be very beneficial not only for patients and their families, but also for the community," said Tom Huebner, President of Rutland Regional.

Currently it is estimated that up to 100 patients per day travel up to three hours a day outside of Rutland County to receive services and treatment needed to manage their addiction. A patient's vow to their recovery and proper management of their addiction is a 365-day a year commitment. Providing them the necessary resources and expertise within their own community is essential to their success and overall well-being. The goal of the West Ridge Center is to help make treatment services fit into the patient's life so that they can fulfill other obligations such as taking care of their family or holding down a job.

"The establishment of the West Ridge Center for Addiction Recovery provides a critical hub for the treatment of opioid addiction in Rutland and surrounding counties. Individuals struggling with opioid dependence will now be able to access a centralized, local, program which will provide comprehensive treatment prioritizing sobriety, personal health, and citizenship - key components of successful Recovery from addiction," stated Dr. Gordon Frankle, Medical Director of Psychiatric Services at Rutland Regional.

Rutland Regional collaborated with the Howard Center in Burlington to develop the new treatment center model and program. Open seven days per week, 365 days a year the West Ridge Center is expected to treat close to 300 Vermonters a day. Rutland Regional will be hiring more than 20 staff including Therapists, Substance Abuse Counselors, Nurses, Case Managers, Security Officers, and Administrative positions necessary to support opiate addicted patients in their recovery.

Dr. Jeff McKee, Director of Psychiatric Services, stated "The growing problem of untreated opiate addiction has had a significant impact on almost everyone who lives in our community.  Access to medication-assisted treatment has been shown to be a critical component of community wide efforts to combat opiate addiction. We are very excited that after many months of discussion and planning we now have a firm plan to create these high quality treatment options for patients that previously did not exist in our community."