Health Hub Expands To Dutchess County

November 15th, 2021

Thanks to a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HVCS is now able to expand its Health Hub services to Dutchess County. The grant is administered by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.

The Health Hub works with clients who have an opioid use disorder and provides them with prescriptions for buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone. This medication prevents the feelings of withdrawal without causing a “high.” People who are on Buprenorphine are able to avoid withdrawal, reduce their chances of relapse, and engage in healthier decisions. Clients access a medical professional on a regular basis: in this case, clients will meet with a provider from Cornerstone Family Healthcare via telehealth visits.

The regular contact required by the Buprenorphine prescription also allows staff to gain the client’s trust, address other livestyle issues such as food access, housing, HIV and STI testing, and refer them to any other necessary services.

The Health Hub has operated in Orange and Sullivan counties for many years. We are grateful to be the recipient of these funds so that we can expand a successful program with a proven track record of reducing the harm of opioids on another county in the Hudson Valley.

Most Important Meal Raises Funds for Food Closet Program

October 28th, 2021

The 2021 Most Important Meal, presented by Hudson Valley Credit Union, took place on Sunday, October 24th at the Fishkill Recreation Center. We raised nearly $6,000 for our food closet program, which is one of very few HVCS programs not funded by government grants.

Thanks again to our event sponsors and advertisers. View the slideshow from the event here:

Locks That Rock Celebrates 30 Years in Business With HVCS Fundraiser

September 22nd, 2021

Business owner Karen Catalano has been volunteering and advocating for HVCS for years now–she was involved with the Hairdressers’ Disco Ball event a few years ago. Now she’s celebrating her salon, Locks That Rock, and its thirtieth anniversary. The party takes place on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 12 noon at 1552 Route 9 in Wappingers Falls, NY. Karen is collecting nonperishable foods for HVCS’ food pantries. She is also selling special anniversary t-shirts and all sales will benefit us, too. Visit for more info on the party.

Press Coverage of International Overdose Awareness Day 2021

September 1st, 2021

HVCS, TEAM Newburgh and The Center for Recovery organized the Hudson Valley’s commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day for 2021 on Tuesday, August 31st with an in-person event in Newburgh and a virtual event screened on Facebook Live.

NYS Senator James Skoufis, Orange County Commissioner of Mental Health Services Darcie Miller, and Cornerstone Family Healthcare’s President and CEO Linda Muller spoke at a press conference to kick off the event.

Here’s a summary of media coverage in case you missed it on local outlets:

News 12 Hudson Valley

Mid-Hudson News

Here is the virtual event we created for Facebook Live:

Here are a few photos of the press conference.

FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine for COVID-19

August 25th, 2021

On August 23, 2021, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older– further proving that the vaccine is safe and effective. More than 204 million of the Pfizer shots have already been administered, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA approved Covid-19 vaccine, the public can be confident that this vaccine meets the FDA’s gold standard for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality that we require for an approved product,” said FDA Acting Commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock.

HVCS is a proponent of COVID-19 vaccines. If you have not received the vaccinated yet, please do it now. It could save your life and the lives of those you love. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for yourself or your loved one, please contact Cornerstone Family Healthcare at 845-563-8000 or register online at:

Learn more:…/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine

International Overdose Awareness Day: Remembering Those Lost to Opioids

August 24th, 2021

Hudson Valley Community Services (HVCS) and The Center for Recovery, two divisions of Cornerstone Family Healthcare, today announced plans for observances of International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). This day is set for a global remembrance of all those lost to substance overdose and to call attention to life-saving interventions that can reverse overdoses.

The 2021 observance is especially poignant given the widely-reported overdose fatality statistics for 2020, which set records. In the United States, more than 93,000 people died from substance overdose.

HVCS and Center for Recovery are partnering with T.E.A.M. Newburgh to hold two events: one in-person resource fair in downtown Newburgh, and a virtual event on Facebook Live. Both events will feature personal experience speakers, memorials, Narcan trainings, and harm reduction information related to substance use.

Narcan is a pharmaceutical intervention that stops overdoses. HVCS distributes Narcan kits with two nasal (inhaled) doses to those who complete the full training, whether taken in person or via video.

The in-person event will take place on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm in the lobby at 280 Broadway in Newburgh.

Organizers are also debuting a video observance on Facebook Live that same day from 6:00 to 6:45 pm. Viewers can log on to Facebook and it will be available there for repeat viewings.

“International Overdose Awareness Day is even more important this year than previous ones,” said Jennifer Brathwaite, Vice President of Community Education and Prevention at HVCS. “Overdose deaths are rising because of the increased presence of fentanyl mixed into other substances.” In the Hudson Valley, in 2020, 137 people died from heroin overdoses and 464 succumbed to opioid painkiller overdoses, including fentanyl.* During the same year, 2,031 lives were saved thanks to the administration of Narcan on people who were in the throes of overdose. Brathwaite also explained that since fentanyl is much stronger than other opioids, it may take additional doses of Narcan to revive and save a victim. “This is why it’s critically important to train more people and distribute Narcan kits to all who need them,” she concluded.

Vaccine Hesitancy: “Wait and See” Group Continues To Shrink

May 7th, 2021

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report, 3 in 10 of those who have not been vaccinated say they don’t know if they are currently eligible to get a vaccine in their state. The share that is uncertain is highest among Hispanic adults (45%), those under age 30 (39%), with annual household incomes under $40,000 annually (37%), and those without a college degree (35%).

Vaccine appointments used to be trickier to get, but it’s getting easier. View our COVID-19 info page for links to Hudson Valley counties’ health departments’ pages. You can also get a vaccine from Cornerstone Family Healthcare: use their Vaccine Contact Form to request an appointment.

If you live in Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan or Ulster counties and don’t have transportation, HVCS may be able to book you a free cab ride to a vaccine appointment. Contact us for more details.

COVID-19 Update: CDC Says Vaccinated People Can Unmask Outdoors

April 28th, 2021

As of April 27, 2021, CDC updated its Guiding Principles for Fully Vaccinated People, including the use of masks in outdoor settings. People are considered fully vaccinated if they are two or more weeks past their two-shot vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) or their one-shot vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).

According to the CDC: “Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.”

Key points of the updated guidelines are:

Outdoor visits and activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people themselves or to those around them.

Small, private gatherings and visits to public indoor spaces likely represent minimal risk to fully vaccinated people. Therefore, the level of precautions taken should be determined by the characteristics of the unvaccinated people present, who remain unprotected against COVID-19.

Although the risk of COVID-19 infection may be minimal to the fully vaccinated person themselves, vaccinated persons should be mindful of the very low potential risk of transmitting the virus to others if they become infected, especially if they are visiting with unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or visiting with unvaccinated people who have people at increased risk for severe disease in their own households.

In indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitted mask, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance.

Fully vaccinated people should not visit or attend a gathering or visit public settings if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status of the other people at the gathering.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to follow any applicable state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

Although the risk of COVID-19 infection among fully vaccinated people is likely low, the following could increase risk:

  • A moderate, substantial, or high level of community transmission
  • Settings with a higher percentage of unvaccinated people (including children) present or people at risk of severe COVID-19 disease
  • Visits to indoor settings especially with poor ventilation
  • The length of the visit, especially if indoors
  • Crowding or when there is a decreased ability to maintain physical distance
  • Activities that involve behaviors such as singing, shouting, physical exertion or heavy breathing, inability to wear a mask, or inability to maintain physical distancing

We will provide more information as it becomes available. For specific questions regarding your health and vaccine safety, please contact your health care provider (and if you need one of those, talk to us, or give Cornerstone Family Healthcare a call). Plus, get more COVID-19 info here.

Ginny Schneider, VP of Client Services, Featured in DOH Newsletter

April 22nd, 2021

NYSDOH AID BCSS April newsletter featuring Ginny Schneider

Virginia “Ginny” Schneider, who is HVCS’ Vice President of Client Services, was featured in the April issue of the Bureau of Community Support Services’ newsletter. BCSS is part of the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute. BCSS oversees many of our contracts with NYS. Congratulations, Ginny!

COVID-19 Vaccine Waiting List at Cornerstone Family Healthcare

April 14th, 2021

CFH staff with vaccines

Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine waiting list at Cornerstone Family Healthcare here:

Cornerstone holds its vaccinations at its Kaplan Family Pavilion at 147 Lake Street., Newburgh.

Here’s the process once you sign up for the wait list:

  • You add yourself to the wait list
  • Cornerstone receives shipments of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines weekly. Upon receipt of each shipment, Cornerstone will send a text message to people on the list.
  • You will be prompted to respond with a Yes/No if you still want the vaccine.
  • If you respond Yes, Cornerstone’s COVID-19 vaccine team will call you to make a first appointment.*
  • Staff will schedule your second dose at your first visit (21 days for Pfizer, 28 days for Moderna.)

*As of April 13, 2021, Cornerstone Family Healthcare has suspended its Johnson & Johnson vaccine delivery in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Get more COVID-19 news and resources here.