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Alice Peck Day hospital opening addiction treatment center for mothers, kids

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/19/2022 9:45:29 PM
Modified: 4/20/2022 11:56:07 AM

LEBANON — Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital’s campus is slated to become home to a new residential addiction treatment center for mothers and their children, according to an online announcement.

The Lebanon hospital has signed a letter of intent with Families Flourish Northeast, a nonprofit founded in late 2020 by a group of clinicians at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with the aim of giving women in the Upper Valley and the North Country who are struggling with addiction a treatment option to suit their needs. Families Flourish’s leaders said in early 2021 that they were looking for space to accommodate 14 women and as many as 30 children under the age of 12.

Now Families Flourish is slated to occupy the 11,000-square-foot Homestead building, which was APD’s original cottage hospital. The Mascoma Street location is less than a mile from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Moms in Recovery outpatient program in the Rivermill Complex on Mechanic Street and convenient to public transportation and medical services at APD.

“As we celebrate APD’s 90th anniversary, it is fitting and appropriate that we will be able to return the Homestead in a way that honors its past use,” Dr. Sue Mooney, APD’s CEO, said in the announcement.

The announcement of the treatment center’s planned location comes as the Twin States continue to report high numbers of drug overdose deaths. New Hampshire has seen more than 400 such deaths every year since 2016, while Vermont — which has less than half the population of its neighbor — set a record for overdose deaths in last year with at least 215.

The Families Flourish project recently garnered $500,000 in the $1.5 trillion federal funding package President Joe Biden signed into law last month, but the nonprofit still needs to raise additional funds to renovate the building.

“Our board has been working tirelessly to push our vision forward while dealing with the challenges of cost increases and supply chain issues,” Families Flourish board member Tom Sullivan, of Sullivan Construction in Bedford, N.H., said in a March 11 news release in which Families Flourish announced the federal funding release.

So far, the organization has $1 million of its $5 million goal in hand, Courtney Tanner, Families Flourish’s board president and Dartmouth Health’s director of government relations, said in a Tuesday email.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., visited APD last Thursday to celebrate the federal funding for the project, which came through the community project funding request process for the 117th Congress.

APD and Families Flourish also held two virtual meetings with neighbors in advance of Thursday’s public announcement of the treatment center’s planned location.

Mary Davis, a neighbor who lives a couple blocks from APD’s campus, attended the first of those meetings and said in a phone interview following that meeting that she has concerns about safety.

“What happens if their abusive boyfriends … come looking for them?” Davis said of the women who might receive treatment at the proposed facility.

She also expressed concerns that, as a new nonprofit, Families Flourish has no history of running such facilities.

“It sounds good on the surface,” Davis said. “These people have never done it before.”

Given the amount of money yet to be raised for the project, Davis said, “We’ll see what happens.”

Tanner said that by being located on a hospital campus, there will be “built-in security” for the facility. She also said they will be “mindful of confidentiality” of the residents. While the organization has not yet operated a treatment center, Tanner said the board comprises 11 community members with “extensive nonprofit leadership experience.”

“We’re looking forward to certainly utilizing nonprofit governance best practices to move this ship forward,” she said.

The program is to be modeled on the University of North Carolina’s Horizons program, which provides care for women and their children and aims to help the parents and children to build relationships with each other.

For now, Armistead Home Care rents the first level of the Homestead building and APD Integrated Medicine currently occupies the third level, said Kelli Pippin, an APD spokeswoman. Those groups will be moved to “other locations, as yet to be determined,” when Families Flourish moves in, Pippin said.

Tanner said the hope is to open the new facility’s doors in early 2024. But Pippin said the timeline for Families Flourish to occupy the building is “to be determined by many factors beyond APD’s purview, including permitting, fundraising, and licensure requirements.”

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.




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