LIRA Newsletter 2013

Sunday, September 01, 2013

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

Spring 2013

baseline floor in treatment for mental health
On October 29, 2012 Long Island and our
disorders and for those with co-existing
neighboring region was hit hard by super storm
addiction and mental health issues. LIRA was
Sandy bringing destruction never before seen
an executive committee member of the
in our area. Thousands of cars and homes
Timothy’s Law Campaign.
were damaged and or destroyed, businesses
The passage of the Mental Health Addiction
were shuttered, schools were devastated and
Parity Equity Act in December 2008 helped to
12 step meeting places were rendered
address discrimination in insurance coverage’s
inaccessible in low lying coastal regions.
for those with mental health and addiction
In Long Beach some of our friends recognized
issues. LIRA brought together 23 different
the need to act quickly and rallied together
groups and organizations in NY State to
donating time, skills, labor and resources to
galvanize the regional movement. The law now
rebuild one local gathering space. The local
requires that these illnesses be treated and
team effort included the mitigation of mold,
covered equally, the same as other
demolition and debris removal, painting and
physical/medical conditions, without arbitrary,
the purchase and installation of a new floor,
discriminatory, deductibles and co-pays
ensuring that those in need would have at least
We await the final rule from the Obama
one useable place to meet. This location
Administration so that enforcement of the
became the sole functioning meeting place in
Parity Act guidelines can be exacted.
town for more then 30 various 12 step

meetings and helped to provide a much
Continuing the progress was the rollout of the
needed outlet for those in recovery.
Affordable Care Act (Healthcare reform) that
This action for those familiar with the story of
will ensure treatment is available (with parity)
folks on the Salerno Beachhead once again
for millions more folks nationwide. As it stands
reinforced that individuals in recovery possess
>5 million Americans have medical insurance
the ability to stay the course clean and sober
that does not provide alcohol/other drug
while remaining committed to helping others
treatment coverage. Another 30 or so million
under very trying circumstances.
people have coverage that does not offer
treatment coverage that is equal to their
coverage for other medical surgical conditions
Historically recovery advocates have expended
and there are yet another 27 million folks
great energy identifying all that needs to be
uninsured altogether, who will soon be covered
done and in recruiting supporters for the
by Medicaid with full parity; bringing the total of
various causes. Although several significant
those with new or improved coverage for
tasks remain it is helpful to pause and reflect
addiction treatment to > 62 million people. This
on how much has actually happened in recent
represents a full 20% of our nation’s population
years thanks to the collaborative efforts of
and the positive impact of this legislation on
many dedicated individuals, groups and
addiction treatment coverage is enormous.
organizations on Long Island, statewide and
Responding to the federal health homes
across the country.
initiative the New York Medicaid redesign team
Beginning with the passage of Timothy’s Law
committees included representatives from
in December 2006; this legislation codified a
LIRA and FOR-NY representing the recovery
community in the behavioral healthcare discussions, helping to ensure that prevention, treatment and recovery services are included in the Essential Health Benefits of the developing NY State Health Exchange. Thanks to our friends at the Legal Action Center for spearheading the pro-active EHB efforts.
LIRA continues to be represented on the LI area Behavioral Healthcare Organization (BHO) team and our folks sit on the advisory board and several related sub-committees.The emergence of Friends of Recovery New York (FOR-NY) at the state level combined with the extended reach of Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) on the national landscape has contributed mightily to the recognition and presence of the recovery community. Recovery coaching has become a respected, accepted and reimbursable adjunct to individual recovery efforts. Locally there have been improvements in the sober housing community, an increase in available treatment beds for adolescents, creation of drug specific task forces, the forming of the Communities of
Solution coalition, emergence of the Prevention Resource Center, passage of the Good Samaritan Bill and the I Stop legislation. For the past few years the emergence of Narcan trainings and access to these life saving treatments have reversed overdoses and saved over 100 lives. A renewed commitment to advocacy by the LI Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence under the guidance of
Jeff Reynolds has made a significant impact.
LIRA’s annual Rock N Recovery Celebration has become a local tradition celebrating recovery along with over 200 other National Recovery Month celebrations. The two consecutive Brooklyn Bridge Recovery walks in 2009-2010 drew more then 25,000 participants, including the governor other politicians and celebrities, helping to raise the visibility of the recovery community.
Clearly there is much to be grateful for as we continue to press forward seeking to level the playing field for individuals in recovery, their family members and those still in need of help.
As we all work together again to address the next great challenge of discrimination in
treatment coverage, let us also take time to pause and recognize the many milestones we have reached together along the way.
LIRA Members: Anthony R, Joan P, Nicole C, Jeannie A, Debbie T, Bruce T at the 4th Annual Celebration.
LIRA hosted our 4th Annual Rock N Recovery celebration at the Deer Park Community
Center in September 2012. Over 200 attendees partied into the night at our free event, while enjoying a sumptuous hot Italian buffet and celebrating National Recovery
Month. More then $1000.00 in door prizes were given away thanks to many donors. LIRA presented our Friend of Recovery Award to Nancy Beckett-Lawless Director of Provider relations at Seafield. Nancy is a long time
LIRA member and avid supporter of individuals and families in recovery.
Once again the LIRA board opted to present two separate recovery community scholarship awards of $500.00 each to Lisa S & Jeff R.
Congratulations to these well deserving recipients chosen from the pool of nominees.
2010 Recovery Community Scholarship Award recipient Henry D presents one of our two 2012 Awards to Lisa S
Many supporters donated funds, goods, door prizes or resources; valued from $50 - $500.00 and all were acknowledged on our scroll of honor throughout the evening.
You can see the complete 2012 scroll of honor donor list on pages 7-9.
We would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their time and energy, helping to make our annual event a huge success:
Tina Bruzzo, Richard Buckman, Nicole Carey, Jean Fessenden, Gene Foley, Larry Gise, Eugenia Karahalias, Ed Olsen, Joan Phillips, Anthony Rizzuto, Craig Sehlhoff, Bruce Till and Debbie Turkel-Nardozzi,
We had a major contribution from other students in the Chemical Dependency CASAC studies program at Suffolk Community College. Thanks to Kirk Kaplan for encouraging students to join LIRA and participate in our events and advocacy efforts.
SAVE THE DATE! Our Rock N Recovery V celebration will take place on Friday evening
September 27th 2013 at the Deer Park Community Center. Plans are already underway and will once again include our annual recovery community scholarship award(s) and our Friend of Recovery Award.
STUDENT CORNER by Nicole Carey
The challenge and concern of many students heading into the addiction field is how can we be effective as counselors? Much of our job involves helping others discover a healthier way to live to become productive members of society. We learn that many of these people do not have their own resources to accomplish this, and need help. This is why I became a part of LIRA. As students, there is plenty of training in our daily routines, but for me the real impact came from participating in this organization and learning more about how the dynamics of the government and legislation can impact our career, and the individuals and families we strive to help so much. A lot goes into learning how to deal with chemically dependent people, but there is not enough attention paid to how important advocacy is for them. In my opinion there is a growing need
for families to exercise their full range of insurance benefits to access treatment and to have resources accessible to guide them in doing so. In this growing field however, few students take an interest in this area, which is unfortunate because it is something that they can have a tremendous impact and influence on. I believe part of our responsibility as aspiring addiction counselors is to give a voice to a population that is not yet able to speak for themselves. Most of our clients do not know how to navigate systems or to verbalize their needs which is why they need people like us to help advocate and spend time working on bringing their needs into public view. I believe coursework should be mandatory for this.
Advocacy is a huge part of our responsibly as counselors. Our work is not finished after a session ends.
RECOVERY 2012-13
Friends of Recovery New York (FOR-NY)
Hosted the annual statewide Recovery Advocacy Day in Albany. A busload of LIRA members traveled to Albany on a frigid
February morning to join in the festivities and meet with legislators. Our Long Island contingent included 16 CASAC students from Suffolk Community College and the Outreach
Training Institute who participated in advocacy training and also shared powerful personal stories with their representatives about the impact of addiction on their families.
OASAS Commissioner Arlene Sanchez-Gonzalez & FOR-NYPresident Laura Elliot Engel with SCCC CD students & others
FOR-NY is the new coordinating body for
Recovery Coach training in NY State. The web
site lists all upcoming training’s and will soon feature additional components for coaches to interact with each other and for access to individual peer to peer services. Best wishes to FOR-NY founding Board member Betty Currier who relocated to North
Carolina to be near family. Thank you for many years of service and meaningful contributions to the recovery community in New York.
The Suffolk Oversight Board continues to meet aiming to help make improvements in housing conditions for individuals in recovery. After several set backs the enhanced rate RFQ for quality housing operators was approved for 46 beds in Suffolk. This pilot project has roots in the groundwork we did years back and is one of the recommendations we suggested to the
Suffolk County Welfare to Work Commission.
OASAS recently issued a housing request for proposals under the Medicaid Redesign Team recommendations. The RFP grant comes with funds for case managers and reasonable per bed unit funding. This is a rare and welcomed initiative and we hope Long Island operators are represented when the funds are awarded.
State Senator Lee Zeldin of Islip proposed legislation (S4697) to create oversight and certification of sober homes in Suffolk. The bill gives responsibility to NY State OASAS for certification and oversight. It remains unclear whether this bill will become law as questions remain regarding several of the far reaching provisions. LIRA remains concerned about the right to privacy for individuals in early recovery living in the community and the bill language that calls for a public listing of the residences.
The location of homes should not become public knowledge as residents would then be labeled by identification as a resident. These vulnerable folks deserve to have their identities protected which should be a primary concern for lawmakers too. We enthusiastically support oversight which was one of our original goals!
After groundwork by LI area providers with Assemblyman Saladino set the stage, State
Senator Kemp Hannon introduced legislation
(S4623) that would give treatment authorization decision making ability to
Qualified Healthcare Professionals (QHP). Assembly members Cusick and Saladinohave co-sponsored a same as bill (A7003). For far too long dollar driven insurance companies have denied access to sorely needed treatment contributing to countless tragic deaths and a depletion of vital economic resources. This legislation is a long time coming and we urge everyone to be vigilant and responsive when asked to lend your energy and enthusiasm to support the bill. LIRA also supports (A4799) introduced by Queens Assemblyman Dendekker, which would prohibit discrimination by government employers against people in recovery because of a past problem with alcohol or other drugs.
We will need an all out and persistent effort across the state, matching local efforts in order to put an end to insurance company abuses regarding addiction treatment. Giving decision making authority to addiction professionals will save countless lives and millions of dollars and help to eliminate both blatant and veiled discrimination that has gone on for too long.
Congratulations to Freshman State Senator
Phil Boyle of Babylon appointed Chair of the Senate Alcoholism and Drug Committee. Having a local leader of this committee should be helpful as many of our local groups seek to address a myriad of addiction related issues.
Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to State
Senator Tom Duane who retired from the
Senate after many years of public service. Tom was our biggest ally and well known for his impassioned pleas on the Senate floor. He had served as Health committee chair and was a relentless advocate for New Yorkers affected by addiction and mental health issues, gay and lesbian rights and those impacted by HIV & AIDS. His presence will be sorely missed.
Since 2001 FAVOR has been our national leader and the nationwide voice of the recovery community. With our friend Pat Taylor at the
helm FAVOR has accomplished so much to put the recovery community on the map and ensure that we are represented in all matters related to our people and issues. LIRA has worked closely with FAVOR having co-hostedseveral trainings. Pat and other FAVOR staff have been presenters and trainers and have participated in LIRA Recovery month events on several occasions. We applaud the FAVOR efforts and pledge our ongoing support.
More then 23 million Americans are in recovery. Recent survey results from FAVOR in conjunction with researcher Alexandre Laudet supports prior evidence that when people recover the negative impact on various systems improves dramatically saving millions of dollars in costs to society. Some highlights include enormous reductions in emergency room use and criminal justice involvement. You can see the full findings of the report on the web site
It is more important then ever that America invests in recovery as we continue to focus on eliminating discriminatory practices.
ARCO The Association of Recovery Community Organizations is another nationwide initiative, FAVOR launched ARCO which has held two leadership summits. LIRA is a proud charter member and we were represented at the nationwide ARCO Summit in Philadelphia in November 2012. We look forward to continuing to grow this group of more then 75 organizational members.
Patrick Kennedy Co-Sponsor-Federal Parity Bill, RichardBuckman-LIRA & Pat Taylor- Faces & Voices of Recovery at ARCO Leadership Summit at PRO-ACT in Philadelphia.
LIRA MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Ed Olsen was recently named Program
Director with Bridgeback to Life in Bethpage
Anthony Rizzuto was honored by NASW Nassau Division as citizen of the year.Eugenia Karahalias was recognized with an
Unsung Hero Award at the Caron Breakfast.
Joan PhillipsCraig Sehlhoff Nicole Careywere all elected to the LIRA Board of Directors.
Joan Phillips & Jean Fessenden landed positions with Project Hope providing disaster assistance to those impacted by Tropical Storm Sandy. Congratulations to these dedicated LIRA members.
Eugenia Karahalias with her “Unsung Hero” Award
Thank you to Jim DevineBert Johnson and
Gene Foley for past service on the LIRA board. We appreciate your contributions.
Kudos and best wishes to LIRA supporter Jaci Best formerly of the Suffolk County Division of
Community Mental Hygiene as she begins her new journey as a LI Regional Office Director for NY State OPWDD.
Congratulations to our long time friend and treatment pioneer Jim Cusack who celebrated 60 years of sober living in October 2012. Wow!
Thank you and a belated farewell to our friendBarbara Abrams formerly of the division who came out of retirement to present a proclamation at last years Rock N Recovery! Best wishes to past Friend of Recovery Award winner Mary Silberstein who has taken her passion west to a new position as Program
Director at Central Nassau Guidance Center.
A big shout out to this talented group of LIRA supporters, all honored at the Caron Awards Breakfast for outstanding contributions to “the field”. Gary Butchen, Ken Lavery, Kirk Kaplan and Jeff Reynolds. Way to go guys!
LIRA is a community partner in the upcoming
Families in Support of Treatment (FIST) event to be held on June 7, 2013 at St Frances De Chantal Church in Wantagh. This event is focused on increasing access to treatment for those in need. Please save the date and join the FIST groups on Linkedin and Facebook. This initiative has roots in the well attended event “The Fallen” that took place in
Huntington last September. A crowd of more then 700 people attended the gathering. LIRA and dozens of community programs had resource display tables, provided materials and answered questions at the event, paying tribute to young folks who lost their lives to addiction. LIRA members participated in the Statewide Call to Action Summit, Long Island Region, held in October 2012. FOR-NY,NYSAM, and
ASAP collaborated to address regional community concerns about escalating prescription drug addiction, related criminal justice issues, and the need for increased prevention and improved access to treatment.
LIRA members facilitated two of the breakout sessions covering the Science of Addiction Recovery and Recovery Coaching.
LI Call to Action Summit: Presenters Ed Olsen, Pam Mizzi (Prevention Resource Center) & Richard Buckman
At the summit Massapequa Assemblyman
Joseph Saladino first shared his intention to
sponsor legislation authorizing addiction treatment professionals to certify the need for treatment, the type of treatment needed and the duration. In nearby Pennsylvania, Legislative ACT 106 has been a law since 1989. The law authorizes physicians and psychologists to certify and quantify addiction treatment, not the dollar driven insurance companies. The time is now for New York State to take similar action and empower addiction treatment professionals to help save lives. We implore our state lawmakers to make this law a reality.
Did you now that in 2008 The St. Lawrence ATC in upstate NY was granted a waiver by the OASAS Commissioner to provide inpatient treatment for pathological gambling? This is the only facility in New York that has such a waiver. To make a referral call315-393-6602.
On Long Island help for problem gambling is available at the Thomas Kenny Gampro Program at Pederson Krag call 631-920-8053
LIRA does not receive any funding or grants and all of our work is done by non compensated volunteers including our dedicated board of directors, members of the community, affected families and individuals in recovery. In essence LIRA’s good work is made possible only with the support of our members and friends through various donations. Please consider supporting LIRA by making a 100% tax deductible contribution. Please make checks payable to Friends of Recovery LI and mail to FOR-NY LI Chapter
PO Box 262 Franklin Square NY 11010-0262Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue our educational and advocacy efforts.
Please remember to join us for the FIST event at St Frances De Chantal in Wantagh on Friday June 7th 7PM-9:30 and at our Rock N Recovery V celebration at the Deer Park
Community Center on Friday September 27thfrom 7PM-11. Additional details are available by accessing the Facebook and Linkedin pages.
Rock N Recovery Scroll of Honor Donors-2012
Seafield Services, Inc.
Bridge Back to Life
The Kenneth Peters Center
John Buckman
Joseph Ortado
2000 Computer Solutions
The Friends of John Kennedy Jr.
Employee Assistance Professional Assoc
J Cornell
Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Mary & Joseph Callan
Rodan Inspection 12-06
Madonna Heights Services
LI Federation of Labor AFL-CIO
Veritas Villa Foundation
Richard & Doreen Buckman
Quality Consortium of Suffolk County
Kathleen & James Devine
Patricia Fulton
Elba & Robert Marmo $ 60.00
Peter Schweitzer $ 50.00
Deborah M. Petry $ 50.00
Gene & Beth Foley $ 50.00
Eugenia E. Karahalias $ 50.00
Sheila A. Rettaliata $ 50.00
Gay & Bill Hartigan $ 50.00
The YMCA of Huntington $ 50.00
Bruce & Lois Till $ 50.00
Kathleen & Paul Lanzillotta $ 50.00
Adele Sacks
$ 50.00
Anthony & Grazia Rizzuto $ 50.00
Mary Kate Schuster $ 50.00
$ 50.00
Kings Park of the KNOW $ 50.00
Ken Lavery $ 50.00
Trios Jours Boutique, Inc $ 50.00
Lisa Crawford $ 50.00
Clarie & Ed Olsen $ 50.00
Bill Solz
$ 50.00
The Bug Stops Here, Inc- Steve Free $ 50.00
Maggie Bloomfield $ 50.00
Maria Morales- Prieto $ 50.00
Larry & Edie Gise $ 50.00
Lori K. Nicastro $ 50.00
Ricky Mann & Roger Taylor
$ 50.00
Kelly Pfeiffer
$ 50.00
Heather L. Sanderson
$ 50.00
Richard L. Lawless
$ 50.00
Eric J. Sokolowski
$ 50.00
Nicole & Benjamin Carey
$ 50.00
Debbie Turkel- Nardozzi
$ 50.00
Joan C. Phillips
$ 50.00
Steven Rose
$ 50.00
Kalli Kontos
$ 50.00
Jeremiah J. O’Riordan
$ 50.00
Timothy Reid
$ 50.00
Gee Wellikero
$ 50.00
Margery Bloomfield Gari
$ 25.00
Ellen Cooperperson
$ 25.00
Kirk Kaplan
$ 25.00
Jeannie Appleman
$ 25.00
Paul & Barbara Guida
$ 20.00
Tiffany O’ Reilly
$ 20.00
A heartfelt Thank You to all of our supporters!

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