State Announces Award of Bid To Develop New Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2003
News media contact:
Linda Dorey
Vermont Department of Health

BURLINGTON – Following a thorough review process, Agency of Human Services Secretary Charlie Smith and Health Commissioner Dr. Paul Jarris today announced that a bid for a planned new inpatient substance abuse treatment facility has been awarded to OAS Corporation. OAS plans to lease the building that is currently occupied by Brookside Nursing Home in Bradford, and to convert it to an inpatient substance abuse treatment facility.

“Now that we have selected a highly competent and experienced provider, we are beginning to work closely with Bradford community leaders to make sure that this project fits well in the community,” Jarris said.

The planned new substance abuse treatment facility will be staffed by trained medical professionals including physicians, psychiatrists, advanced practice nurses, counselors, and social workers. It will provide state-of-the-art substance abuse treatment including intensive medical and psychiatric care and addiction therapy. There will be no outpatient services provided at the facility.

“This new facility is good news for a number of reasons,” Dr. Jarris said. “It will help meet Vermont’s growing need for additional substance abuse treatment options, it will bring jobs and economic benefits to the Upper Valley, and it will keep Vermonters, especially adolescents, from having to go far from home and family for the treatment they need.”

Some 300 Vermonters currently travel out-of-state for substance abuse treatment. The new treatment facility will primarily serve women and adolescents who need intensive treatment for alcohol and drug dependency, according to Dr. Jarris.

Over coming months, the Vermont Department of Aging and Disabilities will work closely with nursing home staff, residents and families to find appropriate new care for the 65 current Brookside residents. No official closing date has been set at this time. “There appear to be good alternatives in the surrounding area for most of the residents, and we’ll be focusing most of our efforts on finding the right care for those few patients who will need more intensive services,” said Vermont Aging and Disabilities Commissioner Patrick Flood.

“The governor has placed a high priority on addressing Vermont’s drug problems,” Secretary Smith said. “This new facility will help those efforts substantially while at the same time providing approximately 125 quality jobs for Vermonters.”

OAS is headed by Jack Duffy and Rick DiStefano, formerly executives at Conifer Park, a 225-bed facility in Glenville, New York. The project will be funded by a mix of state general fund and Medicaid and other federal dollars, at an annual cost of approximately $4.5 million.