Sinnissippi Centers Awarded Federal Substance Abuse Treatment Grant

Submitted by: 10/17/2003

 Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has announced that Sinnissippi Centers will be part of the Strengthening Access and Retention (STAR) Program, a three year treatment initiative through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

"We are honored to be included in the STAR Program, which will help individuals struggling with a substance abuse problem," explained James Sarver, President/CEO of Sinnissippi Centers. "Addiction treatment can only be effective when patients remain in treatment long enough to make it down the difficult road toward recovery and a productive life."

"This program will support efforts to get people into treatment and help them stay in treatment until they successfully complete their program. Our aim is that anyone who calls in with an addiction problem will have an initial assessment within 24 hours and be placed into treatment within a week or less," said Sarver.

U.S. Representative Lane Evans was pleased to hear that a constituent agency in his 17th District had been included in the STAR Program of SAMHSA.

"As a nation, we continue to face the challenge of curbing substance abuse. The STAR Program will help ensure that drug treatment and early intervention programs are available to help citizens overcome their addictions," stated Congressman Evans. "I applaud the initiative and hard work of Sinnissippi Centers and its staff in obtaining federal funding to assist citizens with substance abuse problems."

The STAR program will allow Sinnissippi to implement administrative and clinical practices using quality improvement methods such as performance monitoring. Practices to be strengthened include first requests for service; client intake, assessment and placement systems; and therapeutic engagement.

"Clinical and administrative practices can affect whether patients seek treatment and how long they remain in treatment," said Randy Hayes, who is Sinnissippi's Director of Quality Assurance and Project Director of the local STAR Grant. "We need to reduce the time between referral to treatment and admission, as well as ensure that the immediate needs of the patient are addressed first. Only then will people engage long enough to begin a new life without drugs."

"Another exciting aspect of the grant is that we will be working with other treatment providers across the nation in a 'learning collaborative.' Sinnissippi and the other organizations will be able to share experiences with one another as to what has or hasn't worked in improving consumer access and retention," added Hayes.

Founded in 1966, Sinnissippi Centers is a behavioral health care agency serving Carroll, Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties. With over 160 employees, Sinnissippi provides crisis and assessment services, addictions treatment for adults and adolescents, child and family evaluation and counseling services, and comprehensive outpatient services for those with a mental illness. Sinnissippi Centers also provides supervised living services.

For more information about programs and services, call Sinnissippi toll-free at 1-800-242-7642. Sinnissippi has office locations in Dixon, Mt. Carroll, Oregon, Rochelle and Sterling.

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