Palladia Inc. is 1 of 13 Treatment Programs Selected for National Drug Treatment Quality Improvement Program

Submitted by: 01/24/2005

Palladia, Inc., one of New York City's largest and most innovative human service agencies with 26 programs and over 500 employees, has been selected to participate in Paths to Recovery, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Palladia is one of 13 community-based addiction treatment organizations to receive funding to participate in a unique "learning collaborative" to improve access to and retention in addiction treatment.

The collaborative - Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) - is a partnership between Paths to Recovery, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's Strengthening Treatment Access and Retention (STAR) program, and a number of independent addiction treatment organizations.

As one of the 13 treatment organizations joining the initiative across the country, Palladia will learn how to make improvements in its day-to-day practices to better serve its clients more efficiently and appropriately based on their individual needs. The sites selected are located throughout the country, ranging from rural to urban communities and serving a variety of clients.

Jane Velez, president of Palladia Inc., will serve as the executive sponsor and Debbie Pantin, vice president for Centralized and Out-Patient Services, will serve as the change agent for the project. With this grant award, Palladia hopes to create seamless transitions for its clients addicted to drugs or alcohol and help them benefit fully from treatment.

"Palladia is committed to making the changes and improvements in the way we deliver treatment services to clients that streamline the steps to accessing care and supporting clients' treatment decisions. Our participation in this learning collaborative is consistent with our goal of defining best practices in the field and shaping the national conversation on quality drug treatment," says Velez.

"The goal of the collaborative," according to Victor Capoccia, RWJF senior program officer, "is to improve the quality of treatment services received by admitting people in a timely fashion and providing quality care for an appropriate amount of time. We do that by redesigning systems that get people into a program early and allow them to stay longer, which increases the probability that recovery will occur."

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 19 million Americans are in need of addiction treatment each year. Fewer than one in four people addicted to alcohol or drugs receive treatment with as many as half of those who do access services either abandoning their programs or being turned away before the full benefits of medical treatment can be realized.

"We've found that often the real issue keeping patients from treatment is the way that services are delivered," explains David Gustafson, director of the NIATx initiative. "Between the patient and care lies a canyon of paperwork and burdensome processes that get in the way. This is the issue being addressed by each organization participating in the NIATx initiative."

Using customer-focused business practices, the NIATx collaborative has succeeded in reducing wait times and no-show rates and increasing admissions and continuation in treatment. By using peer networking and education to promote a customer-focused culture in treatment programs, NIATx collaborative organizations have achieved dramatic results. Among participating organizations, the average time to assessment was cut 72 percent, time to treatment was cut in half, and patient retention (through four sessions) increased 123 percent.

For more information about the NIATx project and the selected substance abuse treatment sites, please visit

PALLADIA - Founded in 1970, today Palladia, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit, multi-service agencies in New York. With more than 30 years of experience, Palladia programs and services have proven to be effective in helping individuals and families whose problems stem from substance abuse, homelessness, HIV disease, mental illness, criminality and/or domestic violence. Palladia, formerly known as Project Return Foundation, offers its wide range of services along a continuum of care-from outreach, prevention and treatment through supportive, permanent housing. Palladia operates apartment buildings and scattered site units through New York City, providing hundreds of adults and children with homes and support services. These services are designed to promote independence and responsible living.

NIATx is a national initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) designed to strengthen the addiction treatment field's ability to significantly and continuously improve the care processes that facilitate patient access to and retention in treatment programs.

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