LGBTQ+ Westchester Residents Sought for Focus Group

November 27th, 2017

Do you identify as an LGBTQ person of color between the ages of 25 to 55? Do you live and/or work in New Rochelle, Pelham, or Mount Vernon? If so, we want to hear about your experiences being LGBTQ in Westchester County!

WHAT: An hour-long focus group discussion about being LGBTQ in Westchester county
WHERE: Mt. Vernon (location provided upon RSVP)
WHEN: Wednesday, December 6 at 6pm
WHY: To help local LGBTQ organizations better meet your needs

$25 gift cards and food will be provided!

The LOFT, Center Lane and the Westchester Community Foundation are conducting an LGBTQ needs assessment to learn more what it’s like being LGBTQ in Westchester County, including a series of focus groups to hear directly from LGBTQ community members. Findings will be used to expand and improve services to better meet community needs. Join the discussion and share your thoughts on what’s working in Westchester, what needs to change, and how can we make this county more LGBTQ-inclusive.

To RSVP for the group or get more information, please contact Naomi Kabalkin at (845) 471-0708 x12 or at

St. James Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hyde Park Donates Thanksgiving Dinners

November 21st, 2017

Special thanks to St. James Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hyde Park for donating twelve full Thanksgiving dinners to some of our Health Home clients. It looks like they thought of everything! We are so grateful for your support, and for thinking of our clients at this special time of year.

#GivingTuesday is almost here!

November 15th, 2017

Giving TuesdayGiving Tuesday is a national day of fundraising set for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday). HVCS and many other charities will be using social media to ask supporters for donations to help us carry out our mission, and it ties into our overall end-of-year annual appeal.

This year, Giving Tuesday is on November 28th.

You can help by making a donation to support HVCS’ food and nutrition programs, substance abuse programs, or HIV prevention efforts.

You can also pitch in by creating and sharing Giving Tuesday content on social media.

1) Please print out this sign;
2) Hold it up, give a big smile, and snap a pic;
3) OR, use the “GT_HVCS_Teaser” image provided at right, if you don’t want to take a selfie.
4) Next, post it on your social media profile and use the hashtag #GiveHVCS (you can also include the tag #GivingTuesday). Hashtags work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s also great if you add in a sentence or two about your role at the agency.
5) Add in the link to our donation page:
6) Or, if you’re on Facebook: ask people to visit the Hudson Valley Community Services page and use the Donate button. ***Facebook will MATCH all donations made to us via our Donate button on Nov 28th, up to $1,000 total for the agency!

Friends and family members are welcome to get in on the action too! The more the merrier—and the stronger our campaign.

Sample posts:

Today is #GivingTuesday and I’m asking you to #GiveHVCS. We improve the quality of life for thousands of Hudson Valley residents living with chronic illnesses, and your donation enables us to help more people and provide more services. Use the Donate button on @Hudson Valley Community Services and Facebook will match your donation!

It’s #GivingTuesday & I want you to donate to @HudsonValleyCS. Help us serve more local people w/ chronic illness. #GiveHVCS

Today is #GivingTuesday and I’m asking you to #GiveHVCS. We improve the quality of life for thousands of Hudson Valley residents living with chronic illnesses, and your donation enables us to help more people and provide more services. Please donate today via the profile link at @HVCSNY.

Photos From The Most Important Meal

November 6th, 2017

Thanks to everyone who made our new fundraising event, The Most Important Meal, a success! Photos by Anthony Accomando and Ryan Judge.

NYS Announces New Program for Low- or No-Cost Naloxone Access

October 23rd, 2017

NCAP information

For individuals with prescription coverage through their health insurance plans, this program will cover the cost of co-payments for naloxone up to $40 so there are no or lower out-of-pocket expenses when accessing naloxone at participating pharmacies.  All Medicaid Managed Care Plans cover at least one formulation of naloxone, and the vast majority of private insurance plans also cover naloxone.

There are 2,000 pharmacies throughout the State who dispense naloxone with a physician standing order.  Individuals getting naloxone at these pharmacies do not need a prescription. There is no individual enrollment requirement to use N-CAP.  Maximizing pharmacy distribution increases access to naloxone.

For a directory of pharmacies with standing orders, please access the link below:

This directory is updated monthly.

Individuals who cannot access naloxone from pharmacies will continue to access naloxone through registered programs including individuals using naloxone in the line of duty and people who are uninsured.

Additional information regarding N-CAP can be found at:

Woodlands Community Temple Organizes Food Drive for HVCS

October 2nd, 2017

Woodlands Community Temple in Greenburgh, NY organized a food drive for HVCS’ emergency food closets on Sunday, October 1st. Thanks to everyone who donated and the volunteers who brought a delivery truck full of food to our Hawthorne office!

New Online Donation Methods to Support HVCS

September 21st, 2017

New ways to donate onlineAccording to a recent survey of our supporters, 69% say they prefer to donate to HVCS online. We’ve responded by upgrading our website’s Donate page and by adding a new way to easily donate on Facebook.

Now when you visit our Donate page, you’ll find a more robust online donation box where you can securely make a contribution to us, without jumping to another website or needing to enter any log-in info. And, for the first time, you can set up a recurring contribution–weekly, monthly or quarterly! A recurring donation is an easy, stress-free way to show your support for HVCS’ work throughout the Hudson Valley. (Plus, 10% of you said you’d like to make monthly donations to us.)

We’ve also been verified to receive donations directly through our Facebook page–just click on the Donate button at the top of our page. You can also easily set up your own fundraiser for us and collect donations for HVCS from your online friends. Kudos to volunteer Matt for turning his birthday into a fundraiser for us!

If you have any questions about these new methods, please contact us–we’re here to help!

New Prevention Program for Women of Color Coming Soon

September 21st, 2017
Woman of color

Image by Javi_Indy on Freepik –

HVCS is launching a new infectious disease prevention program this December specifically for women of color. Our new Women’s Services Program will help prevent new HIV, STD, and hepatitis C infections among minority women in Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties. The program aligns with New York State’s “End the Epidemic” plan to increase the number of women who know their HIV/STD/HCV status and increase the number of women linked to medical care.

The Women’s Services Program will use a trauma-informed approach to outreach and prevention, since many women at high risk for these infections live with traumatic pasts or present-day circumstances, including abuse, homelessness, poverty, and immigrant status.

Our initial contract will run for five years, and we aim to serve at least 300 women each year. We look forward to sharing more news about this exciting and important new program in the future.

NYS Becomes 1st in Nation to Offer Low- or No-Cost Naloxone

August 9th, 2017

From a press release issued by Gov. Cuomo on Monday, August 7, 2017


First-in-the-Nation Program Offers Co-Payment Assistance For Medicine to Reverse Opioid Overdoses Beginning August 9, 2017

Expands State’s Aggressive Efforts to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a first-in-the-nation program to provide no-cost or lower-cost naloxone at pharmacies across New York. Beginning August 9, 2017, individuals with prescription health insurance coverage, including Medicaid and Medicare, will receive up to $40 in co-payment assistance, resulting in reduced cost or no cost for this lifesaving medicine. Uninsured individuals and individuals without prescription coverage will still be able to receive naloxone at no cost through New York’s network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs.

“This first-in-the-nation program will help put this lifesaving treatment in more hands and is one more prong in this administration’s efforts to battle heroin and opioid abuse,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is one more step toward a stronger, healthier New York for all.”

Naloxone is a medicine used to reverse opioid overdoses. Reducing the cost of this lifesaving medication builds on Governor Cuomo’s previous action to make naloxone available in pharmacies without a prescription which began in January 2016. Previously, New Yorkers could only receive naloxone with a prescription or through a registered opioid overdose prevention program.

As of August 9, 2017, New Yorkers can find co-payment information at pharmacy counters across the state and at: Individuals should provide this information to the pharmacist when asking for naloxone in order to receive it with no or lower out-of-pocket expense. The Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program is funded by New York State’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program.

Additionally, through New York’s network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs, uninsured individuals and individuals without prescription coverage will be able to receive naloxone at no cost. A full list of these programs is available here.

In the 2017 State Budget, Governor Cuomo invested over $200 million to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic. This unprecedented support is directed at prevention, treatment and recovery programs that address chemical dependency, expand residential service opportunities and promote public awareness and education.

Naloxone Saves Lives

Naloxone is a prescription medication used to reverse the effects of overdoses caused by heroin, prescription pain medication and other opioids. In 2014, state agencies began working together to develop a statewide program to train law enforcement personnel on how to administer naloxone. Since the trainings began, over 10,000 officers have been trained to administer the drug and 3,091 officers have been certified to train other officers.

Trained law enforcement officers across New York are saving lives with the naloxone they carry. Since April of 2014, 2,036 officers have administered naloxone to over 3,100 individuals, saving the lives of nearly 90 percent of the individuals that required assistance.

View a fact sheet on law enforcement naloxone training and usage, here.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “Naloxone is very effective at reversing opioid overdoses. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has taken comprehensive actions to stem the tide of opioid abuse, from increasing the number of treatment beds to making important health insurance reforms to eliminate barriers to accessing substance use services. The new copayment assistance program will make naloxone more available in communities across New York and save lives.”

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “By guaranteeing affordable Naloxone to all New Yorkers, we will save thousands of lives and help repair the damage done to our communities by the opioid epidemic. Saving lives is the ultimate goal of all of our prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives, and with this latest effort, Governor Cuomo is once again establishing New York State as a national leader in the field of addiction care.”

Chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse George Amedore said, “By increasing access to this effective remedy for drug overdoses, we are taking yet another step forward in combatting the heroin and opioid epidemic. I commend the Governor for removing barriers to help establish a stronger, healthier New York for generations.”

Chair of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Linda B. Rosenthal said, “New York’s communities are hard-struck by the heroin and opioid epidemic, and we must turn the tide by preventing more overdose deaths. Governor Cuomo’s plan to expand access to lifesaving naloxone through a new low-cost or no-cost co-payment system will help those struggling with this disease. By increasing access to Naloxone and cutting costs related to this lifesaving medication, New Yorkers in every corner of the state will be better equipped to save lives and help people receive the treatment they need. I look forward to working closely with the Administration to continue expanding access to overdose prevention and greater treatment options.”

Chair of the Senate Health Committee Kemp Hannon said, “The health and well-being of residents is our top priority. I look forward to working with the Governor to bring this treatment to our most vulnerable men and women, so that communities will be empowered to save the lives of thousands.”

Harm Reduction Coalition Medical Director Dr. Sharon Stancliff said, “This program will dramatically increase access to naloxone for people we haven’t easily reached. These include patients being treated for pain, loved ones of people returning from drug treatment or incarceration and people at risk in rural areas. This is a crisis and New York’s copayment assistance program adds to the solution.”


New Substance Abuse Program Coming to Sullivan County

August 9th, 2017

A map of Sullivan CountyHVCS has received a grant from the NY State Department of Health to create what is called a Drug Users Health Hub for opiate users in Sullivan County. This new program, which we are calling the Hub, will help reduce opioid use and overdoses while improving clients’ general health.  The funds will enable us to hire a physician and nurses to write Buprenorphine prescriptions and offer crisis visits, relapse prevention and wound care in our Monticello office.

We are anxious to get to work with new staff positions and resources so that we can reduce the number of opioid overdoses and get more people into treatment. This program is also exciting because it will allow us to provide actual medical care as a stand-alone service, which is something HVCS has never done before.

The Hub will work in tandem with our other substance abuse treatment programs, the Syringe Exchange Program and Project ReachOut.

Buprenorphine–What’s That?

Staff in this program will be able to prescribe Buprenorphine to treat opioid and heroin addiction. It relieves drug cravings without producing the same high as other opioid drugs. The program nurses will also provide relapse interventions and monitor clients so they can access the services they need.