Ulster County and Ellenville Regional Hospital Partner to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Through the work of the High Risk Mitigation Team, Ulster County and Ellenville Regional Hospital will leverage over 3 million dollars in grant funding to better understand overdoses and establish preventative measures to reduce overdoses and related fatalities throughout the County 

Ellenville, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan joined by President and CEO of Ellenville Regional Hospital Steve Kelley announced a new partnership that will expand Ulster County’s High Risk Mitigation Team to the City of Kingston and strengthen its reach into other parts of Ulster County. Through this new effort, Ellenville Regional Hospital will fund two Care Managers to serve communities outside the City of Kingston and the Ulster County Health Department will fund one Care Manager to focus on Kingston along with assisting the program in reviewing all county overdoses and connecting the many treatment facilities. 

“As County Executive, combating the opioid epidemic has been one of my top priorities. We know that the pressures created by COVID-19 have led to an increase in opioid overdoses and fatalities in Ulster County,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “In light of this, we must double down on our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. I am confident that these initiatives⁠—the High Risk Mitigation Team along with our strong partnership with Ellenville Regional Hospital—will help to save lives.”

“This innovative approach is the first true prevention program to monitor and respond to events that predict overdoses,” President and CEO of Ellenville Regional Hospital Steve Kelley said. “We are thrilled to work with County Executive Pat Ryan and our many dedicated partners at this critical moment to help individuals and families struggling with opioids. This effort will undoubtedly help our most vulnerable and save countless lives.”

The High Risk Mitigation Team will take a population health approach and work closely with those struggling with addiction to ensure they receive comprehensive, personalized support and services. The team will carefully follow their treatment so they don’t slip through the cracks in existing systems. Services will include: linking to peer services, treatment, harm reduction measures, medication assisted treatment, OUD prevention education, and recovery services.

Last week, County Executive Ryan signed a resolution accepting $501,853 to help combat the opioid epidemic in Ulster County. The funding is part of a $2.5 million grant through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Columbia University is administering, coordinating, and executing the study, which is designed to assist counties in reducing opioid fatalities. The funds will be used over a three year period and will help deliver a comprehensive intervention package that will prevent use of opioids, treat addiction and promote recovery. 

In addition, Ellenville Regional Hospital has received the Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic grant from The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for $635,000 to develop an overdose response and fatality review team serving rural communities in Ulster County. Ulster County was also awarded $216,000 from the New York State Opioid Data to Action (OD2A) grant funding to provide linkage to care, and improve provider and health systems support.