HVCS Takes On New Housing Program in Lower Hudson

July 5th, 2018

Recently, the New York City Department Of Health  approached HVCS with a request to take over the Tri-County Ryan White Part A Housing Program (in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties) based upon our outstanding history of serving HIV-positive homeless and unstably housed individuals. We agreed and are happy to announce the program is officially up and running under the watchful eye of Program Supervisor, Veronica Ingram-Henry, and Housing Specialist, Jessica Noble. The program can assist eligible HIV-positive clients with short-term rental assistance, utilities and telephone service, and moving expenses to secure or maintain stable housing. Eligibility is based upon HIV status, residency, and income. For more information, please contact Program Supervisor, Veronica Ingram-Henry at (845) 247-5735 or vhenry@hudsonvalleycs.org.

The HomeStarter program is also available for Rockland County residents.

Naloxone Co-Payment Assistance Program Available from NYS

June 12th, 2018

As a result of the opioid epidemic, the Surgeon General issued an advisory to emphasize the importance of expanding the awareness and availability of naloxone. Opioid overdose deaths have been on a steady incline in New York State (NYS) and have increased by 180% from 2010 to 2016.1 Knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life.

Within NYS there are over 2,100 pharmacies that can dispense naloxone with a standing order. Additionally, NYS has implemented the Naloxone Co-Payment Assistance Program, (N-CAP). N-CAP provides co-payment and cost-sharing assistance to people with prescription coverage as part of their health plan to cover co-payments and cost-sharing for naloxone up to $40, providing lower or no out of pocket costs.

Key elements of accessing naloxone at pharmacies include:

  • Individuals can get naloxone at a pharmacy with a standing order and do not need a prescription. They ask for naloxone at the pharmacy counter and present their insurance information and an N-CAP palm card.
  • Individuals are not required to enroll in N-CAP.
  • Individuals who cannot access naloxone through a pharmacy can access naloxone through registered opioid overdose prevention programs, including individuals using naloxone in the line of duty and people who are uninsured. For a directory of Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs, please click here.
  • Pharmacies eligible for co-payment reimbursement for naloxone must participate in the NYS AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
  • N-CAP promotional materials are available to order; we encourage you to display these and share them with your clients.

We play an important role in addressing this public health crisis. I am asking for your support to save lives from fatal opioid overdoses by encouraging people to carry naloxone. Thank you for the work you do to maintain the health of all New Yorkers.

If a pharmacy you work with is interested in a standing order, or have other questions, please contact: naloxonepharmacy@health.ny.gov.

Otisville PACE Team Holds Food Drive for HVCS

June 1st, 2018

These are photos of a recent food and toiletry drive held for HVCS. The surprising part? The drive was organized by members of the Otisville Correctional Facility’s Prisoners for AIDS Counseling and Education (PACE) program. Instead of holding a walk-a-thon and asking fellow inmates to donate cash, they collected these non-perishables. They were so dedicated to their annual PACE Walk that they held it in heavy rain on May 19th! Thanks to the PACE team at Otisville–you’re inspiring!

New Sullivan Co Helpline Ad Features HVCS Employee Frank Barone

May 21st, 2018

Frank BaroneFrank Barone, HVCS’ Syringe Exchange Program Prevention Specialist, recently recorded a public service ad for the Sullivan County Helpline. In less than a minute, you’ll get a sense of Frank’s past and why he’s so passionate about his work here at HVCS.

Frank has been a panelist and speaker at several recent conferences and town halls about the opioid epidemic, with more speaking engagements to come.

Thanks to the Sullivan County Health Department for sharing this with us, and for partnering with HVCS to reach more people with addiction disorders in Sullivan County.

Please take our Spring 2018 Donor Survey!

May 11th, 2018

We want to hear from you. Please take our 2-Minute Donor Survey.

 Hudson Valley Community Services would love to hear your thoughts on aspects of our fundraising efforts. As a supporter, your insight, experiences and impressions are vital as we tailor our plans for the remainder of 2018.

This 9 question survey only takes 2 minutes to complete, and it’s 100% anonymous. Help us effectively support more of our clients and provide enhanced services by telling us how we’re doing. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Create your own user feedback survey

HVCS Joins the CBHS Independent Practice Association

April 24th, 2018

Hudson Valley Community Services is excited to announce that we have joined Coordinated Behavioral Health Services (CBHS), an Independent Practice Association (IPA). CBHS is an association of Hudson Valley providers which negotiates contracts for services directly with Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). (In case you’re unfamiliar with that term, an MCO is a health insurance company like MVP or Fidelis).

Joining an IPA will potentially allow us to reach more clients and tap into additional revenue streams not available to us otherwise. Participating in an IPA also gives us a lot more visibility within the community and strengthens our connections. Finally, IPA membership will offer us new training opportunities.

“As healthcare systems become more and more aware of how a patient’s home, life and social networks fit into their healthcare, they’re turning to agencies like HVCS,” said Andrea Straus, HVCS’ Executive Director. “We call these factors the ‘social determinants of health.’ Joining CBHS enables us to remain competitive and help more clients reach their full potential.”

Stay tuned for more information as our collaboration with the other members within the CBHS association develops over time.

Photos From Our Kingston Open House

April 13th, 2018

Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate the official opening of our new Kingston office on Thursday, April 12, 2018! We moved our existing Kingston office to a larger, brighter space and combined our staff with those who worked at a former Lake Katrine office. Special thanks to Congressman John Faso for sending a certificate of recognition and Jude McGrath from the office of NYS Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.

Narcan-Resistant Fentanyl Making Its Way Closer to Hudson Valley

March 6th, 2018

This is a bit of old news, but it’s being circulated again in the substance abuse treatment field to make sure users are fully aware of the risks, and so that Narcan carriers know that they may be up against a powerful new drug.

According to Narconon Suncoast:

In Pittsburgh, PA a type of Narcan-resistant Fentanyl has been found in batches of heroin and it’s already causing numerous overdoses and deaths. Apparently, it’s hundreds of times more powerful than morphine and called Acryl-Fentanyl.”

“Acryl-Fentanyl is synthesized, which means it’s artificially created and has no natural origin (remember, heroin’s natural origin is a poppy plant). Not only is it manmade, but it’s being created in China, like most other research chemicals and synthetic drugs and being smuggled into the United States.

DEA Special Agent In-Charge, David Battiste said, “If Acryl-fentanyl is introduced into the population, it can have devastating effects. You would have to reuse Narcan if you are revived from Narcan at all.”

That’s right folks, this stuff is completely resistant to Narcan. Like Special Agent Battiste said, it’s unlikely that Narcan will reverse its effects and, if it does, it will take multiple, multiple doses. We’re already having enough of a problem with the strength of opiates these days. Narcan is struggling to keep up and continue to save the lives of those who overdose. Acryl-Fentanyl is going to make this problem a whole lot worse and this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the devastating effects this drug is going to have on our society.”

Read the full article here.

 

LaShonda Cyrus Appointed to Lead Spring Valley Collaborative

February 14th, 2018

LaShonda CyrusLaShonda Cyrus, HVCS’ Senior Program Manager, was appointed to lead the Spring Valley Collaborative. HVCS’ Rockland County office is located in Spring Valley and LaShonda oversees programs there, in Westchester and in Putnam County.The Spring Valley Collaborative is a group of organizations, agencies, service providers that have agreed to work together to address issues that affect the wellbeing of the Spring Valley community and its residents. LaShonda is also chair of the Steering Committee, which develops action plans to enhance coordination among organizations in the Collaborative. Thanks for all you do for our clients, LaShonda, and all those served by members of the Collaborative!

HVCS Creates New STD Testing Position

February 13th, 2018

Get Tested!Hudson Valley Community Services has responded to the sharp increase in STD infection rates in our area by creating a new staff position dedicated to STD testing. For the first time in our history, we will be able to provide free sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing to anyone who needs it.

Previously we were funded only to provide STD testing to those at high risk or those were had a possible exposure.

“We want to empower everyone to take control of their sexual health,” said HVCS’ Education and Prevention Director, Jennifer Brathwaite. “Our new STD tester allows us to serve more people and connect them to the healthcare and social resources they need.”

We offer urine tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and a blood draw for syphilis, with results in two to seven days. For hepatitis C (and HIV), we perform a finger stick with results available within 20 minutes.

Two common reasons given for the recent rise in STD rates are the widespread use of dating apps, and the advent of PrEP (daily treatment to prevent HIV). Those on PrEP may decide not to use condoms as frequently. Condoms prevent some STDs but not all.

To find out more or to get tested, call Stephanie at (914) 785-8261.