LIRA Newsletter 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Long Island Recovery Association
PO Box 262 Franklin Square NY 11010-0262

Winter 2009-2010

and energy helped make this event a huge success

BarbaraAbrams & Jaci Best (Suffolk County
As LIRAprepared to mark 10 years of service to
Division of Community Mental Hygiene)
Patricia Fulton (Nassau County Dept of Mental
the LI recovery community, we felt the need to
Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental
take time out to celebrate the thousands of men and
Disability Services) Eugenia Karahalias (Unleash
women, who having received the help they needed,
Your Full Potential Now) Ed Olsen (Town of
are now in recovery and leading productive lives
Babylon DeptAlcohol & Drugs) Jeff Reynolds &
as hard working husbands and wives, mothers and
Roseanne Slattery (LICADD)Anthony & Grazia
fathers, tax payers and good neighbors.
Rizzuto, Dick and Nancy Becket Lawless and
As a result LIRAjoined with many local partners to
Leo Hurley (Seafield) Mary Silberstein (Pederson
host our Rock N Recovery celebration on October
Krag) Claudia Ragni (Kenneth Peters Center)
10th at the Deer Park Community Center. Close
MillieAndino (CK Post) Mary Callan, Gene Foley,
to 200 men and women enjoyed a delicious home
Bruce Till, Richard & Doreen Buckman and Patricia
cooked buffet, danced for hours to music that
Feehan (IMASAAM)
rocked the room and applauded DeborahArch-
Bennett, the recipient of the FirstAnnual Recovery
Community ScholarshipAward.
Many thanks to our committee and supporters
In October 2008 President Bush signed the Paul
whose names you will find on our Scroll of Honor
Wellstone and Pete Domenci Mental Health Parity
insert. The money raised for the evening paid for
andAddiction EquityAct. This Law builds on the
the event, the scholarship award, and helps support
1996 passage of a bill sponsored by theses same
our ongoing advocacy activities. We are looking
legislators that prevented lower annual and lifetime
forward to a bigger and better event next year.
limits for mental health treatment.

LIRAworked diligently on this front for many years

and we are thrilled to see more obstacles removed

and another cornerstone of progress in place for

those seeking recovery from addictive illnesses.

Each year > 54 millionAmericans need help for a

mental health/addiction issue and we are pleased

that more treatment access will become available.

The law took effect October 9. 2009 and insurers

must have been in compliance by Jan 2010.


January 2010 makes 10 years of service for LIRA
LIRAEvent Committee members with award
to the recovery community on Long Island. Our
recipient DebraArch-Bennett (center)
ongoing advocacy efforts are made possible by

member donations and community contributions.
LIRAwould like to acknowledge the following
Please consider making a 100% tax deductible
individuals/agencies whose commitment of time
donation to help us continue our work
LIRA IN ACTION 2008-2009
During the fall of 2008 LIRA held our annual
National Recovery Month event at Nassau Community College. The Recovery Movement,
“Into the Light” featured presentations focused on recovery related developments in NY
State and on the national level. The program highlighted major areas of interest to our friends including pending recovery related legislation, community organizing and social networking. Thanks to our well informed presenters Deirdre & Thom Forbes (FAVOR-
West), Beth Brockland (LICAN), Pat Taylor (FAVOR) and Melissa Shore (The Second Rd)
The 2nd Brooklyn Bridge Recovery Walk (2009) sponsored by A&E television was a big success that drew 10, 000 people and featured a performance by Motown legend Smokey Robinson and personal appearances by Gov. David Paterson and A&E interventionists
LIRA members at the Brooklyn Bridge lending support to LICADD friends with OASAS Commissioner, Karen Carpenter-Palumbo.
With the creation of the OASAS Recovery
Services Bureau came a stirring of interest across New York as upstate met downstate and the Recovery Implementation team was formed to guide the movement of recovery services. LIRA members were among the initial invitees who met and outlined key initiatives.
LIRA & OASAS coordinated the first ever
Recovery Focus Groups to solicit input from
members of the recovery community and their families regarding essential needs. Data was also accumulated from focus groups in other regions of the state and will be used to inform recovery community decision makers.
The 1st ever statewide Recovery Conference was held in Albany in September 2008. Over 400 people attended to celebrate the miracle of recovery and to further outline areas of need.
The first NY State OASAS Recovery Center Grants were awarded. In a competitive process, LIRA came up just a little short according to feedback from OASAS. The grant reviewers indicated we had a very strong proposal for the single downstate award. We respect the work and reputation of the many fine treatment programs in NY and we maintain that recovery centers should not be operated by treatment entities rather by genuine grassroots recovery community organizations
LIRA veered from our annual tradition of educational programming in recognition of National Recovery Month and joined with many local partners to launch the 1st ever Rock N Recovery Dance & celebration. 200 people turned out to dance, dine and socialize on a sober stage in Deer Park. LIRA created the 1stAnnual Recovery Community Scholarship Award and presented a certificate and check for $500 to Deborah Arch-Bennett, who is seeking to become an addiction counselor. We thank all of our supporters who made this event a huge success. (Donor list enclosed)
The ongoing efforts of LIRA, LICAN and the Quality Consortium led to the invitational meeting of the Sober Living Network of Long Island. More than 40 invitees attended with 15 distinct entities applying for membership. Our housing team is continuing to conduct on site home inspections, as the next step in the
process to approval and full membership status
The OASAS Residential Needs Workgroup continues to meet with LIRA playing a key role in delineating the specific needs of Long Island’s recovery community in the area of alcohol and drug free housing options.
A major victory on the insurance front came when the Paul Wellstone/Pete Domenici Mental Health & Addiction Equity Act became law. The law will require that all insurance policies that provide addiction treatment coverage do so in a way that is similar to other covered medical conditions, eliminating the discriminatory practice of higher deductibles, increased co-pays, and greater out of pocket costs to folks in need of addiction treatment
Over the summer LIRA members met with the new Senate Healthcare Committee Chairman Thomas Duane. In a spirited meeting Senator
Duane and his staff promised to work closely with us to create and advance legislation in the coming session. It has been quite awhile since we have had a true friend of recovery in a position to help exact significant change and we are excited about the prospects.
In Feb. 2010 LIRA members attended a rally in Albany with our friends from FOR-NY and then we met with legislators to discuss our issues.
We believe that treatment authorization decisions should be in the hands of the addiction treatment professionals and not insurance companies. To that end we support legislation similar to our neighbors in Pa. where ACT 106 permits authorizations and referrals for treatment by healthcare professionals.
We support the establishment of an involuntary addiction treatment law similar to Kentucky’s
Matthew “Casey” Wethington Act.
LI Senator Brian Foley introduced Denise’s Law which mandates detox for young people.
We applaud Suffolk County for the recent 10 point plan to combat opiate addiction among our young people.
LIRA seeks repeal of the Uniform Policy
Provision Laws (UPPL) that allows insurers to not pay for necessary medical care for injuries sustained while “under the influence”. This creates major conflicts because hospitals
and medical professionals may not address a potential alcohol problem due to concerns about not being paid for services rendered.
We support the creation of an inpatient addiction treatment mandate in New York.
LIRA business members met with the Attorney
General’s office to address discriminatory treatment authorization practices.
Claudia Ragni was honored at the Annual Veritas Villa Dinner dance.
Jeff Reynolds and Gene Foley were elected to the LIRA Board of Directors
Congratulations to our dear friend Bruce Till on his 3rd annual retirement.
Mary Callan responded to a community need and has been volunteering at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal in Wyandanch as they continue to recover from a devastating fire.
Debra Arch-Bennett the first ever recipient of the LIRA Recovery Community Award.
Congratulations to these outstanding Long Island citizens and true friends of recovery.
LIRA Tidbits
Thank you and best wishes to LICAN organizer Beth Brockland, who will be moving on to lead a Manhattan based IAF affiliate organization.
In Jan 2010 LIRA and Seafield hosted a 5 Day OASAS Recovery Coach Training which produced a pool of well schooled recovery coaches that can assist people in early recovery to navigate roadblocks and help these new folks to strengthen their recovery roots.
LIRA is the Long Island voice for the Recovery Community and we are represented on many community boards, tasks forces, advisory boards, commissions and panels on Long Island and at the state level.
LIRA proudly acknowledges the dedication and commitment of these founding LIRA members, each of whom has served as a LIRA board member, and have stayed the course for 10 full years in service to Long Island’s Recovery Community.
Congratulations & Thank You!
Richard Buckman--Mary Callan--James Devine--LeoHurley Bert Johnson--Claudia Ragni--PeterSchweitzer--Bruce Till
Departed founding members: Stu Astor and Mary Quinn

You Might Also Like


Most Popular

Like us on Facebook