Port Jervis mayor posts update on methadone clinic
Meeting with clinic provider's chief operating officer reveals details on several subjects


January 22, 2018
Port Jervis, New York


       Following tonight's common council session the Port Jervis mayor immediately dispatched a Facebook post detailing a meeting he and other Port Jervis representatives had with top administrators from Cornerstone Family Healthcare, a medical services company that intends to open a methadone clinic in Port Jervis.   Among the highlight's included in the post was that Cornerstone acknowledged the controversial 123 Pike Street location for a methadone clinic that raised many concerns among local residents was "problematic."   Port Jervis, whose 12771 zip code has between 50 to 80 methadone clinic clients, would be the smallest city in New York where Cornerstone provides thoses services.  A Port Jervis clinic would be expected to have between 200-250 client '"slots.'"  Because it would be a Federal Health Center that accepts Medicare/Medicaid, the clinic must be available to individuals from other states such as neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania from which Cornerstone is not yet credentialed to receive Medicare/Medicaid payments.   If a clinic was to open it wouldn't be until January 1, 2019.  In the interim Cornerstone indicated it would meet with the the city and try to hold a community forum.   No formal hearings or formal discussion on this issue are currently planned.

        Related news revealed that Cornerstone will likely vacate its facility at 140 Hammond Street and is looking at other locations including, at some point, the anticipated "medical village" proposed for Bon Secours Community Hospital whose development by Westchester Medical Center Health Network was described as "'not really moving" and "at least 3-4 years out."

What follows is the mayor's Facebook post in its entirety.  Also see 1/12/18 Proposed Methadone Clinic in Port Jervis Prompts Mayor To Respond In A Facebook Post  

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2018 Jan 22 – Update on potential Methadone/Suboxone Clinic in Port Jervis.

Friday, I along with Councilwomen Maria Mann and Lisa Randazzo, Police Chief Worden, Building Official Dave Rivera, and Corporation Counsel Bill Bavoso met with David Jolly COO and Michael Limperopulos Chief of Staff of Cornerstone.

In a Nutshell: 123 Pike Street is problematic to them anyway. They have “heard” the community and want to work with us. We asked 67 prepared questions that Dr. Jolly gave answers to many but will give us further information and answers to questions he did not have answers too. Dr. Jolly stated that before they do anything they “will try to host a community forum” and that any decisions “are some time off but we will certainly meet with the city before moving forward once a decision is made by the company to move forward.” They are a business, non-profit, and they believe the Port Jervis area is best for them.
We began the meeting by first discussing the Primary Care Service take over of MCHC. Cornerstone did NOT buy and will most likely vacate the building at 140 Hammond Street. They are actively looking for other locations, in Port Jervis, to put these services. The services they want to continue or add are WIC, Pediatrics, Family Medical, Behavioral Health, and Dental. Although down the road there may be a consolidation of services in the medical village. Currently Dr. Jolly said that the “medical village is not really moving.”

So, in a series of 67 questions covering many concerns, here are some highlights.

Why Port Jervis? The 12771-zip code that includes Port Jervis, Deerpark, Greenville, and Minisink has had as high as 80 participants in the program and as low as 50 and it moves within those parameters. When asked about other Orange County Municipalities we were told that there are other municipalities with higher numbers but they are looking at an east west location in the county rather than centralized even though we discussed that it would be easier and cheaper to have 50-80 clients from Port Jervis transported to a centralized location instead of transporting 180-200 clients here.

Mobile Clinic cannot support methadone treatment. DEA regulations limit that.

Other locations that have clinics: Newburgh, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Peekskill, and Binghamton all much larger cities than Port Jervis.

As a Federal Health Center they cannot discriminate on stopping or limiting people from coming to a clinic based on geographic location.

Asked if the Methadone Clinic could go in the Medical Village: The plans with WMC/Bon Secours only shows primary care and it is at least 3-4 years out.

Currently they are not credentialed for PA or NJ Medicaid or Medicare but not to say that they won’t seek those clients.
In Newburgh they have 450 “slots” which permit patients. They would look in this area for 200-250 “slots” and it is basically first come first served which means they cannot discriminate or hold positions for Port Jervis people in need. If they are full and a Port Jervis resident needs treatment they will have to go somewhere else. They can sometimes do courtesy visits for locals that are in another clinic farther away, but not often.
Glinton Building: Dr. Jolly said he did meet with the real estate agent. Cost for space was to high and there is no core plumbing although he will go back and see if he can meet again and said the building has some good attributes.

He explained the types of treatments: Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivatrol which are all dispensed by Cornerstone. There is no cure although Vivatrol is an opiate blocker which means that from the shot to 30 days if an opioid is take they will not feel the effects of the opioid. Clients on Vivatrol must go through detox first. They dispense liquid form Methadone that can only be refilled in the office and they do send home doses with eligible clients.

Length of Treatment: Varies and would defer to his Chief Medical Officer but treatment can be 10 years or longer as it depends on each individual.

When ask why do you think you know our community? He said he does not know our community but wants to work with us. He is aware of the petitions that are circulating and have seen the posts on social media as well as the articles and television broadcastings.

We discussed other locations, in other cities, that demand more service. Again we were told that they were looking to have facilities in Orange County east and west. We also discussed options for a clinic location just outside the city.

We discussed parking and agreed that it is a major issue here in the city.

Hours of Operations: They currently operate 6 days a week in Newburgh from 6:00am – 2:00pm although they have other programs there that they wouldn’t intend to bring here. He said that most would be done by 9:00am

Regulators are the DEA, OES and NYS Department of Health. They county is very minimal in regulatory participation.

We discussed percentages that Dr. Jolly didn’t have answers too and that he will get information to us. Questions ranged from treatment and work, continued narcotic use, overdose, deaths, and sales.

We discussed transportation which is currently done and paid by New York State, if the client is eligible. New York State has a call center in Syracuse who sets up transportation
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We discussed hanging outside the facility and smokers: He did say this is a big one for them. They have a waiting room that the client is suppose to stay in until picked up. They are not allowed to smoke on or near the property so they do wander to smoke.

We discussed criminal element: He said they work very closely with the police and the district attorney’s office and that they have security guards. He said they would be open to discussion of having police officers there should they come here.

He said he understands the fears of our residents and business owners and wants to work with us not against us, hence having a public forum soon to talk about the issue.

I told him that I know that there are county officials that have encouraged and are pushing to put a clinic here in Port Jervis. He did say that he did talk to a county official just yesterday (Thursday, January 18th) and did say that their reasoning for opening a clinic here in Port Jervis was based on county recommendation and consumers.

When asked what could be the earliest date that a clinic could open IF they were to open here and Dr. Jolly stated January 1, 2019.

The city will certainly stay on top of this issue and keep the citizens appraised of the situation if it changes or needs their participation.

As of now there will be no formal hearings or formal discussion on this issue.

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