[Press Release] Partnership Brings Technology-enabled Relapse Prevention to SI PPS Network

CHESS Health Partners with Staten Island Performing Provider System and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo to Address Substance Abuse Epidemic

Partnership Brings Technology-enabled Relapse Prevention to Alliance Network

CHESS Health, a leading technology provider serving addiction treatment and relapse prevention, today announced it has partnered with Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS), an alliance of clinical and social service providers serving Medicaid and uninsured populations of Staten Island residents, and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. The partnership was struck to leverage CHESS Health’s A-CHESS Platform, including the Connections smartphone app, to enhance drug prevention and substance abuse treatment programs in SI PPS’s partner network across the borough.

The A-CHESS Platform including the Connections smartphone app, uses relapse prevention tools and condition-specific content to enable patients and their care team, including peer specialists, to connect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This facilitates proactive, continuous engagement and faster intervention.

“We are delighted to join SI PPS and Borough President Oddo in their efforts to fight substance abuse in the Staten Island area,” said Hans Morefield, chief executive officer at CHESS Health. “One of the biggest obstacles to treatment success is relapse shortly after treatment. A-CHESS gives patients the tools to avoid relapse, right in their pocket.”

“We see the A-CHESS Platform as an integral part of our substance abuse treatment strategy,” said Ashley Blauvelt, director of project management at SI PPS. “Preventing relapse is essential to providing high quality care and avoiding preventable hospital admissions and readmissions” SI PPS is one of 25 systems across New York State that receives funding through a Medicaid redesign grant via the New York State Department of Health for the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program. DSRIP is an initiative with a goal to reduce preventable hospitalizations by 25% by 2020, and one that leverages technological innovation to improve outcomes for populations with chronic conditions like substance abuse disorders.

“Our partners enthusiastically embraced the concept of the CHESS platform” said Joseph Conte, PhD Executive Director of the PPS. Victoria Njoku-Anokom Director of Behavioral Health programs added “We see this as a compliment to the Peer programs and resource and recovery centers that the PPS supports, these initiatives have significantly reduced preventable ER utilization and dramatically increased the number of individuals initiating and sustaining recovery.”

“Our office is determined to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic on Staten Island,” said Borough President Oddo. When my staff presented their research highlighting the effectiveness of the A-CHESS Platform and corresponding smartphone app, it became clear that this tool could be a game- changer for the borough’s treatment community. Of course, we turned to one of our most dependable partners, the SI PPS, to jointly fund this pilot effort which we anticipate will save lives.”

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New initiative to develop borough-wide data strategy in battle against opioid epidemic

On Friday, February 9th, BP Oddo announced that his office is taking steps to develop a borough-wide data strategy to combat the opioid epidemic on Staten Island. The 90-day initiative, which will include public engagement and the convening of an expert panel, will yield a data roadmap that can be used to monitor progress and shape further efforts.

The goal of the effort is to take a comprehensive look at the opioid crisis on Staten Island and develop a focused data strategy that will enable an accurate assessment of the progress made to date, and help identify priority issues where more work is needed. The Office worked closely with Northwell Health on ensuring that both the clinical and non-clinical needs of the Staten Island community impacted by the opioid crisis would be addressed.

“The core of it is a call to action,” said Joseph Conte, Executive Director of Staten Island PPS. “Everybody’s doing a lot of things and should continue doing that. But you need to get your hands around a core group of things that are top priorities that people will apply resources and measures to so you can have the biggest impact.”

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Between November 2016 and November 2017, Warm Handoff peer counselors engaged 1,049 patients at Richmond University Medical Center

The Warm Handoff began as a six-month pilot program in November 2016 at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) and staffed a peer counselor in the emergency department around the clock.

The peer counselors are people in long-term recovery who engage patients who have suffered an overdose or come to the emergency department inebriated to see if they are interested in treatment.

Should they accept, they are escorted to the treatment facility that has been set up for them by a social worker.

“Addicts don’t want to listen to doctors — we feel judged by them, they don’t know what we’re going through. We will listen to other addicts because they know our struggle, they know how bad it is,” Cristina B. told the Advance when asked about a peer counselor program.

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HOPE Program’s First Year Helped More Than 250 People

The Heroin Overdose Prevention & Education (HOPE) program, re-directs individuals with little or no criminal history charged with misdemeanor or lower drug-possession crimes to community-based treatment programs where they can receive an assessment and treatment.

From the programs launch on Jan. 17, 2017 to January 30th, 2018, 291 people have signed up for the program, and 263 have successfully completed the program, and had their cases withdrawn giving the program a 90% success rate.

“We are continuing our battle to lock up the dealers who put this poison on our streets but too often in our criminal justice system, individuals suffering from substance abuse disorder find that treatment or services are too far out of their reach or offered too late in the process to have meaning in their lives,” District Attorney Michael McMahon said in a written statement.

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