Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory has secured $220,366 in funding for Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services to continue its hospital emergency department Project Connect program with Northwell Health System.
The program, instituted in 2017, provides advocacy and recovery coach services to Suffolk County residents who have overdosed on drugs and are brought to either Huntington or Southside hospitals for care.
Upon entering the emergency department, the Central Nassau Guidance Advocate/Recovery Coach would be contacted immediately and dispatched to the facility to provide counseling regarding treatment programs and resources that are available to victims and their families.
Presiding Officer Gregory said that having a program that provides assistance when a patient is in crisis can be enormously helpful. “That is the time when they are desperately in need of support. It can make the difference between life and death; relapse or recovery.”
Since its inception, Project Connect has seen 130 patients at Huntington and Southside hospitals with an engagement rate of 47%; much higher than the 10% national average of similar programs.
The $220,366 in funding secured for 2019, will mean the program will continue in its mission and ensure that all patients have an opportunity for treatment.
Jeffrey Friedman, CEO, CN Guidance and Counseling Services, said, “On behalf of all Suffolk County families whose lives have been impacted by the epidemic of addiction, we thank Presiding Officer Gregory and the Suffolk County Legislature for restoring funding for Project Connect. Presiding Officer Gregory’s efforts, leadership, and responsiveness to our call for action will directly result in preventing deaths among addicted individuals. With this support, we are now better equipped to help reverse a preventable epidemic.”
Caption for above photo: Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, center, presents a check to Jeffrey Friedman, CEO, and Mary Silberstein, Division Director, Integrated Counseling & Recovery Services for Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services, for the Project Connect program which assists with drug overdose victims who enter the Emergency Department at Southside or Huntington Hospitals.