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.

Drag Brunch 2018: Trixie Strikes Back

February 5th, 2018

Drag Brunch 2018

It’s time once again for delicious brunch food, mimosas, drag performers and Match Game! Liz, Dirk and the staff of Gunk Haus in Clintondale invite you to the 2018 Drag Brunch, a fundraiser for Hudson Valley Community Services. Hostess Trixie Starr is sure to sweeten the deal with the always-fun games and spicy banter. Local superstars including JoJo Gerard, Boxxa Vine and Valkyrie Hail will perform classic favorites and pop hits that will get you grooving to music by Superior Sounds. Plus, don your best gender-bending outfit and vie for the Best Audience Member Outfit prize and enter to win great prizes.

Tickets are $30 each and include choice of brunch entree, coffee, tea and juices–plus a donation to HVCS.

Get your tickets today via Eventbrite or Facebook!

HVCS Dedicates Employee-Managed Fundraisers In Memory of Hector Martinez

January 29th, 2018

The Hector Martinez Memorial FundHVCS lost a member of its family late last year when Hector Martinez, our Lower Hudson PRO Supervisor, passed away unexpectedly. His dedication to his work, his rapport with fellow staff members, his passion, and his trademark sense of humor are irreplaceable and will be greatly missed.

We have decided to honor his commitment to helping our clients at their greatest hour of need by renaming what was called the Employee-Managed Fund (which we set up last year and is overseen by a committee of staff members) to The Hector Martinez Memorial Fund.

Currently the Fund is focused on helping clients who face small financial emergencies not covered by our other assistance programs. Clients, with help from their HVCS worker, can apply to receive VISA or store gift cards to help them overcome challenges, such as affording items for a new baby, school supplies, photos or other forms of identification to help with assistance applications, health-related emergencies (like first aid kits and post-operative care), etc.

The Hector Martinez Memorial Fund will also help clients who are homeless or out on the streets stay warm in winter and cool in summer by distributing seasonal care packs.

Thus far, monies in the Fund have come from employee gifts, but if you would like to make a donation in Hector’s name to support the good work of his Memorial Fund, visit our Donate page.

HMM Fund promotional flyer

HVCS’ Frank Barone Speaks At An Opioid Overdose Forum on January 20, 2018

January 22nd, 2018

Our very own Frank Barone, who works in our Syringe Exchange Program, was among the panelists at an opioid overdose town hall held on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the Newburgh Armory. The town hall was organized by NYS Assemblyman Frank Skartados and featured several voices from those impacted by the opioid epidemic and calls for compassionate treatment for people who use opioids.

Thanks to Orie Givens from Spectrum News for this press coverage (video).

“Frank Barone from Hudson Valley Community Services survived his addiction and now helps others dealing with opioid use, working with a syringe exchange program.

“You can read a hundred books and you think that you know about addiction, but until you’ve actually been through addiction and have experienced it, you’re never going to truly understand what it’s like to be a heroin addict on the streets,” said Barone.”