HOPE for the Southern Tier – from OTHER Corners of New York

I was blessed to be able to attend an event yesterday hosted by NYS OASAS in Albany.
 
I want everyone to know, the things we have been asking for in the Southern Tier, the things we have said and have been mocked for, ridiculed for, told we don’t know what we’re talking about… the things we have gone ahead and picked up and started doing ourselves – they’re happening in other areas.
 
On one hand, this may sound upsetting or disappointing… but, honestly, hearing all of the things other people are implementing GAVE ME HOPE.
 
We were right all along.. we were right to work on stigma. We were correct when we said people should have IMMEDIATE access to an evaluation 24/7. We were right when we said we need to give police a place to take people OTHER THAN JAIL. We were right when we said people need to be offered compassion. We were right when we said hospitals need to get involved. We were right when we said OPIOID addiction is DIFFERENT. We were right when we said this is AN EMERGENCY. We were right when we said the system is fucked up. They all said the same things WE have been saying…
 
Remember in February when we released our dream for Broome County – to become the first fully integrated harm reduction county in New York… welp, we missed the boat on being the first! Bummer. HOWEVER, how exciting is it to hear that others are doing this!?!? They are doing exactly what we outlined!!! Independent evaluations available 24/7, drug user health hubs, harm reduction models, meeting people where they’re at, providing MAT with no hoops and loops to jump through! It’s happening folks!!
 
It’s happening in other areas. I heard it with my own two ears! I teared up so many times hearing this amazing news! There is hope. I feel like we have to double down, we have to work ever harder now to make these things happen in the Southern Tier. We cannot give up hope. And apparently, this still will need to come from the grassroots movement because there has been NO progress with the County. Yes, I’ll be hated again (or still) for saying that, but look, truth is truth. I heard Jason Garnar say in his interview with Susan Arbetter yesterday that we lost 30 people so far this year.
 
That is 30 too many.
 
Health Care Crisis means Health Care Crisis. It means all hands on deck. It means, TAKE ACTION, TAKE RISKS, SAVE LIVES. It means NOW.
 
I was also asked at the meeting yesterday by a Southern Tier professional, “What does BOAC even do?” Good question.
 
Come join our #Rainmakers let’s keep making progress. Let’s change our system. Let’s get help in the Southern Tier. Let’s KEEP saving lives. 
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2016 – A Year of Rainmaking!

So, “what,” you ask “does a Rainmaker do?”

What does Truth Pharm do?

Well, Rainmakers are change-makers, game-changers, powerhouses, people who refuse to accept no for an answer. They are optimistic, driven and produce results. Despite current negative conditions, they work to overcome. When a challenging problem exists with no apparent or clear solution – a Rainmaker will find and create solutions! They will take action.

That’s a Rainmaker – and that is what Truth Pharm is made up of. People who will create change and WILL have an impact on this epidemic.

Per our mission:  Truth Pharm works to raise awareness, reduce the stigma, educate the public and advocate for policy and law changes surrounding substance use and treatment.

And here is a summary of how we went about creating change in 2016!

Awareness and Outreach Events:

  • Hosts for Hancock Awareness Event – 2/11/16 – 70 attendees
  • Guest Speaker for Bainbridge Guilford Afton Awareness event hosted by Lourdes and Senator Akshar 3/9/16 – 350 attendees
  • Tabled at Children’s Wyoming Conference Home Event Binghamton NY – 3/10/16
  • Mind and Magic 3/11/16 – 40 attendees
  • Tabled at The Forks 15 Run Chenango Forks NY – 3/20/16
  • Hosted Walton Awareness Event – 4/13/16 – 140 attendees
  • 1st Annual Jamison Turkow Memorial Walk – 5/7/16 – 300 attendees
  • Hosted Awareness Event Sherburne Earlville – 5/23/16 – 150 attendees
  • Free Hugs Event – 8/5/16 – contact with over 300 people
  • Trail of Truth – International Overdose Awareness Day Walk – 8/31/16 – 350 attendees
  • Illuminating Truth – First Friday Art Walk – street painting, recovery awareness, community resources, recovery celebration, building projection during LUMA – 9/2/16 – 400 attendees
  • Trail of Truth Redo due to county removing our memorial – 9/7/16 – 80 attendees
  • Tabled at Clinton Street Business Fair Binghamton NY – 9/10/16
  • Tabled at Apple Fest Endicott NY – 9/17/16
  • Tabled at Mural Fest Binghamton NY – 9/17/17
  • Presented to Jenny F. Snapp PATS committee regarding parent education Truth Pharm could provide – 10/4/16 – 25 attendees
  • Trunk or Treat – family trick or treating and Awareness event – 10/15/16 – 150 attendees
  • Tabled at 5th Annual Chocolate Festival by Addictions Center of Broome County – 11/6/16
  • Alexis Pleus served on panel of speakers for Roosevelt Institute at Binghamton University to unveil the Binghamton Blueprint – 11/14/16
  • Tabled at the Thankful Jam – 11/22/16
  • Alexis Pleus spoke at New York State SEFA Luncheon about Truth Pharm and the Epidemic – 12/1/16 – 35 attendees
  • Total 2390 attendees reached through awareness events + countless individuals at tabling events

 

Education:

  • Provided 4 hour PAARI Angel Training Oxford, NY – 2/27/16 – 45 attendees
  • Hancock NY – Understanding Signs, Symptoms and Behaviors of Substance Use Disorders – 3/10/16 – 45 attendees
  • Alexis Pleus Keynote speaker at Genesee County Victims Week Conference 4/12/16 – 200 attendees
  • Developing empathy and understanding for people suffering from Substance Use Disorders, Otego, NY – 4/19/16 – 15 attendees
  • Walton NY – Roundtable event – 5/25/16 – 30 attendees
  • Sherburne Earlville NY – Roundtable event – 6/21/16 – 25 attendees
  • Garden of Hope – Monthly education meetings for families – May-Dec. 2016 – 20-50 attendees each event
  • Alexis Pleus speaker for District Attorney’s SAFE Families Program – 8/11/16 – 50 attendees
  • Alexis Pleus speaker for Oxford Community Conversations on Drugs and Use in the Community – 10/20/16 – 50 attendees
  • Hosted John Barry of Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP) to discuss Safe Injection Sites – 11/17/16 – 35 attendees
  • Total 640 attendees provided in-depth education.

 

Naloxone Training:

  • Hancock NY (STAP) – 2/17/16 – 45 attendees
  • Otego NY (STAP) – 4/19/16 – 15 attendees
  • Walton NY (STAP) – 4/20/16 – 35 attendees
  • Turkow Walk (STAP) – 5/7/16 – 15 referrals to training
  • Binghamton NY (STAP) – 5/26/16 – 25 attendees
  • Walton NY (STAP) – 6/1/16 – 20 attendees
  • Sherburne Earlville NY (STAP) 6/16/16 – 20 attendees
  • 20 families referred directly to STAP for training
  • Total 200 people trained on Naloxone use
  • 9 overdose reversals, 9 lives have been saved using Naloxone kits obtained through sessions hosted by Truth Pharm

School Events:

  • High school assembly in Hancock NY 8th – 12th graders – 5/13/16 – 150 students
  • High school assembly in Oxford NY 9th – 12th graders – 5/18/16 – 150 students
  • High School Assembly in Oxford NY 9th-12th graders – 12/23/16 – 80 students
  • Total 380 school students educated

Community Response Action Plans:

  • Hancock NY – Results: 3 events hosted, a open recreation time for youth created, counselling offered by local pastor – January – March 2016
  • Walton NY – Results: 4 events hosted, a family support group formed, police carrying Naloxone, Police Chief and Mayor developing programs for the county for Substance Use Recovery Supports – March – May 2016
  • Sherburne Earlville NY – Results: 3 events hosted, local company to host corporate education, a family support group created, a lasting branch of Truth Pharm created, Mayor writes letter of support to County for PAARI Program, Police support addition of prescription drop box and sharps disposal in the village – April–June 2016
  • Delhi NY – Results: 2 community events hosted – July–Oct. 2016
  • Total of 4 communities in 3 counties empowered, educated and with long-lasting impacts

National/Federal Involvement:

  • Teleconference with Michael Boticelli – 2/2/16
  • Placed on Facing Addiction Action Committee – (monthly meetings) Feb 2016
  • Attended Hill Day June 2016
  • Alexis Pleus attended “Addiction, a White House Discussion”, White House, DC – 6/7/16
  • Alexis Pleus invited to SAMHSA to provide input on materials to be produced for families who have lost a loved one – 10/27/16

Police & Criminal Justice Outreach:

  • Laid the ground work for Broome County Sheriff’s Office to start a local PAARI Program – 2015
  • Provided program outline for treatment and Vivitrol program at Broome County Jail – 2015
  • Collaborated with Oxford Police to create Oxford Road to Recovery Program, provided volunteer training, host Facebook page, assist with placements, rides and troubleshooting program – Feb.-Dec. 2016 – Placed 28 people in treatment in 2016
  • Assisted District Attorney Cornwell’s SAFE Program Feb.-April 2016
  • Meet with Chenango County to discuss Oxford, NY program – 3/17/16
  • Met with Walton NY Police to discuss carrying naloxone and reducing stigma – 4/5/17
  • Met with Sherburne Earlville Village Police to discuss naloxone and reducing stigma – 7/7/16
  • Met with Binghamton Drug Court, Judge Pellela – 7/22/16
  • Presentation for Penn Yan Heroin Task force on PAARI programs and how to create one in their community – 10/26/16
  • Met with Chenango County Sheriff’s Office to explore options to institute a PAARI Program – 11/15/16

Jail/Incarceration Outreach:

  • Visited two people in Broome County jail to discuss their future and desire to obtain treatment.
  • Assisted three families in advocating for their loved ones while incarcerated at Broome County Jail to be evaluated and then transferred directly to treatment at Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services.
  • Assisted three people and their families to seek and obtain placement in Drug Court to reduce incarceration.
  • Assisted several families to successfully advocate or their loved ones to be place in treatment instead of jail.

Obtaining Treatment, System Navigation, Family Awareness and Education:

  • Assisted more than 50 people in navigating the treatment system and to obtain treatment. Paid for many flights, months of sober living, treatment fees, bus tickets, etc.
  • Assisted more than 200 families through direct contact in understanding their loved ones’ substance use disorder, how to communicate with them and now to navigate the system to obtain help or treatment.

Corporate Education:

  • Provided Employee sensitivity and awareness training for VOA Men’s home – 3/2/16
  • Provided employee sensitivity and awareness training for Sidney Federal Credit Union – 5/17/16
  • Met with Frontier Communications to educate them on the epidemic and what they can do as an employer – 9/21/16

Collaboration Projects:

  • Assisted District Attorney Cornwell’s SAFE Program Feb.-April 2016
  • Seat on Tioga County Community Task Force for Addiction Epidemic (monthly meetings)– 2016
  • Senator Akshar’s Heroin Task Force (quarterly meetings) – 2016
  • Joined JUST – Justice and Unity in the Southern Tier (monthly meetings) – May-Dec. 2016
  • Participated in forum hosted by Assemblyman Al Stirpe to discuss resources to address Substance Use Disorders in NY – 9/22/16

Media:

  • Interview on WIX Radio – 2/3/16
  • Interview with WICZ 2/4/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16, 8/9/16
  • Participated in WSKG Community Conversation on Opioid Epidemic 2/9/16
  • Kingfisher Project Radio Interview 2/15/16
  • Press & Sun Bulletin Interview 2/16/16, 3/30/16, 7/19/16, 7/28/16
  • WNBF with Roger Neal 3/3/16
  • The Guardian, Chris Arnade – 3/13/16
  • Alexis Pleus has article published in The Fix 2/17/16
  • Kingfisher Project 4/5/16, 5/2/16, 5/9/16, 5/16/16
  • WNBF with Bob Joseph – 8/12/16

Advocacy:

  • Invited to speak at NY Senate Heroin Task Force in Penn Yan – 2/23/16 – 150 attendees
  • Advocated in Albany, met with over 60 Assemblypersons and Senators on a total of 13 visits between February and June 2016
  • Spoke at Governor Cuomo’s Heroin Task Force event at Binghamton University – 5/31/16 – 60 attendees
  • Attended Broome County Legislature meetings to advocate for appropriate spending for opioid epidemic – 10/13/16
  • Met with City of Binghamton to explore ways they can help with the epidemic – 11/9/16

Training:

  • Attended Rotary Luncheon with Jill Halford-Hammit as speaker 2/23/16
  • How communities can work together Webinar – 3/23/16
  • NYCON Board member training Webinar – 3/24/16
  • 8 hour training course – Core Principles Substance Use Treatment – Broome County – 3/30/16
  • NYCON marketing Webinar – 4/21/16
  • All about AA support – ATTC Webinar – 4/21/16
  • Obtained Certification as Naloxone Trainer NY Health Dept. at Tioga County – 4/25/16
  • SAMHSA Chronic Pain Management Webinar – 4/26/16
  • SAMHSA webinar – 4/27/16
  • NYCON Webinar – 4/28/16
  • Attended SAMHSA Hill Day – 6/6-6/7/16
  • Attended Medical Assisted Treatment Training – Broome Co. Drug Court – 8/10/16
  • Mental Health First Aid training – MHAST – 9/20/16
  • Attended Media Summit training for nonprofits by RVSA – 9/23/16
  • Attended NYCON Camp Finance on scholarship – 10/6-10/7/16
  • Attended the Harm Reduction Conference on scholarship 11/2-11/6/16
  • Attended the unveiling of the Surgeon General’s Report on Addiction hosted by Facing Addiction 11/17/16
  • Attended Integrative Harm Reduction Therapy – 24 hour training by Andrew Tatarsky – 12/2-12/4/16

Grants & Fundraising:

  • Applied for $5k for Constitution Pipeline Grant for Naloxone outreach to EMS agencies – awarded $2k for purchase of kits only
  • Applied for $5k for Community Foundation of South Central NY Grant for Tioga County Community Response Action Plans – awarded $2,500
  • A total of $31,910 raised through fundraising events and individual donations
  • Total Year Budget = $36,410.

*2016 was the first year of our 501c3. Since we did not have nonprofit status in 2015, no fundraisers were hosted, no donations were accepted or EVER collected. ALL efforts in 2015 were financially supported and provided by Founder and Director Alexis Pleus.

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The Rainmakers’ Report 2/1/16 – 2/14/16

2/1/16 – Alexis attended the Community Foundation of South Central, NY grant workshop.

2/3/16 – Received our formal letter from the IRS approving our 501c3.

2/4/16 – Met with Pat Raube, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Endicott regarding the rectory that may be vacated soon. Pat is interested in utilizing the house for something the community needs. We discussed the idea of the Flight House which she was excited by the prospect of. She will be performing a community needs assessment and will also be discussing with church members.

2/4/16 – Very excited a volunteer, Donna Wood-Craig has officially accepted the position of Truth Pharm’s Angel Volunteer Coordinator for the Oxford Police Department’s Road to Recovery Program.

2/8/16 – Had a phone interview with Michael King, Director of Outreach for Facing Addiction, the national organization for a position on their national outreach committee.

2/8/16 – Truth Pharm Board of Directors Meeting – Penny Stringfield, Rusty Griffiths, Tom Jackson and Alexis Pleus in attendance.

2/8/16 – Truth Pharm Volunteer meeting with 16 in attendance to discuss news, fundraising, grants and Amy Cruz’s “The Wings Project” proposal.

2/9/16 – Contacted by District Attorney Steve Cornwell to assist with this new Operation SAFE Program. He’s in need of volunteers to make calls for treatment placement and would like to partner with Truth Pharm.

2/11/16 – Dataflow donated all the printing services for our awareness event in Hancock.

2/11/16 – Amy Cruz attended Yvonne Lucia’s open house for her creative grief works open house.

2/12/16 – Several Truth Pharm Rainmakers attended the training session at District Attorney Steve Cornwell’s office to be trained in making phone calls for treatment placement through Operation SAFE.

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Political Advocacy (harvesting results):

2/2/16 – Alexis participated in a live teleconference with Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House and Richard Frank, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding Obama’s announcement earlier in the day of $1.1 billion in 2017 budget.

2/2/16 – Blog post regarding our visit with Donna Lupardo and our plans to work together. Donna Lupardo has stayed in touch over the past two weeks sending us articles we may be interested in.

2/4/16 – Interviewed by WICZ to comment on the NY Bed Availability Dashboard announced by Governor Cuomo 1/31/16.

2/9/16 – Met with Michal Kirsch, retired pediatrician to discuss my idea of requesting an executive order of the president and governor. He believes my assessment of the current situation is accurate and he is willing to proof read and help provide supporting data.

2/9/16 – Wrote to Governor Cuomo’s office regarding the Bed Availability Dashboard and the inaccurate information provided in addition to the fact that it is not being updated.

2/10/16 – Assemblyman Cliff Crouch attended our Awareness Event in Hancock, NY. Thank you Assemblyman Crouch!

2/11/16 – Received exciting news from Senator Thomas O’Mara’s office that we have been selected to provide oral testimony at the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction Roundtable in Penn Yan on 2/23/16.

plant_seedsEducation & Awareness (planting seeds):

2/1/16 – Met with Hancock representative from the Mayor’s office, Police Chief, Fire Chief and Director of Ambulance Services to discuss systems in place. Police are carrying Naloxone. Ambulance services is an advanced life support agency, so they have it as well. The fire department is currently working on registering and carrying. The police chief has inquired in the past about having a prescription drop box and offered that he would look into it further. We suggested they might want to contact Walgreens which is moving into the Rite Aid store soon because they are supposed to have prescription drop boxes to let them know there is a need. The Mayor’s office offered to provide a robocall regarding our event next week. We’ll send them the data. It was suggested we contact the Hancock Telephone Company to have an announcement played during the weather.

2/1/16 – Directed an Oxford woman to free Naloxone training at STAP via an email inquiry from her and she got trained and got a kit.

2/3/16 – Interviewed by Don Mathisen of WIOX radio an NPR station in Roxbury, NY. The program will air next week.

2/5/16 – Met with Sarah at the Volunteers of America shelter in Binghamton. She would like Truth Pharm to provide awareness education for her staff.

2/7/16 – Met with Kim Myers to present our Best Practices for Hospitals and Medical Providers. Kim will be presenting this to the CEO and members of the board of directors at Lourdes. We also discussed The Flight House and Kim is interested in assisting with fundraising if we move forward with the project. She asked that we prepare a program outline, determine zoning requirements, get insurance quotes and operating expenses.

2/8/16 – Wrote “Framing an Overdose” about a boy, Dajen Edwards who died of an overdose in Binghamton on 2/6/16.

2/9/16 – Alexis, Dannielle Swart and Al Roberts attended the WSKG community Conversation on the Heroin Epidemic.

2/10/16 – Rainmaker Dannielle Swart attended the Community Awareness event in Sidney, NY.

2/11/16 – Held our first Awareness Event for our Community Response Plan in Hancock, NY. Was very well received with about 70 people in attendance and excellent media coverage including the Kingfisher Project, WICZ, The Walton Reporter and the Hancock Herald. Assemblyman Cliff Crouch surprised us and came and spoke for a short time to give a summary of his efforts on this issue.

2/11/16 – News story by WICZ about the Awareness Event in Hancock, NY.

2/12/16 – Met with Melissa Martin at the counseling center at SUNY Broome to discuss ways we can partner together. She will invite us to provide some awareness information at upcoming common hour programs.

36 facebook posts of news articles, research reports, political advocacy, 8 awareness or fundraising events, 1 Memorials to lost loved ones, 3 stories of recovery, 7 pictures or blog posts, 2 memes. Over 87,000 people reached through posts. Over 800 shares. Now 2443 “Likes” on public facebook page. 135 followers on Twitter. 11 loved ones added to the Map of Lost Loved Ones.

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Treatment Access, Recovery and Support for Individuals and Families (growing recoverees):

2/3/16 – Helped send a gal to long term treatment out of the state.

2/4/16 – Visited a 20 year old young man at the Broome County Jail per his family’s request and because he is a friend of our family to see if he’s interested in treatment. He is, so we contacted the District Attorney. We also told the family to write letters on his behalf to the judge, the DA and the Public Defender.

2/4/16 – A mother contacted us 2/2/16 – she took her daughter to Binghamton General after learning she was a heroin addict and she (the daughter) wanted detox. The hospital did not keep her. Sent her home after a couple hours and suggested he call New Horizons for an evaluation which would take several days to get. 2/3/16 we emailed her and let her know to take her daughter for a fast track appointment (She was never told about this possibility). She could not get her daughter going until late morning – New Horizons told her it was too late for a fast track appointment. The same day she had extreme anxiety and pain as she was trying to detox herself at home. The mother took her to the ER again and again they sent her home. 2/4/16 Truth Pharm got long term treatment lined up out of town young woman (20 years) who was willing and anxious to go. The mother took her to the New Horizons fast track evaluation hoping she could at least get detox until she went to long term treatment. New Horizons discouraged the daughter from leaving the area for long term treatment and instead offered her 14 days of inpatient treatment and suggested afterwards, she could attend New Horizons outpatient treatment while staying at Fairview. The daughter accepted the offer.

2/9/16 – Spoke to a young man about his options. He had a warrant for his arrest. He decided to turn himself in and we told him we would contact the DA for him which we did. The DA said he will advocate for drug court for him and to have his mom write to his assigned counsel and the ADA and ask for the same. We explained to the DA this young man truly needs long term treatment to start. He said that can be arranged and for the family to advocate for it.

2/10/16 – Helped a 22 year old Broome County gentleman get a bad at Syracuse Behavioral Health. He was not able or willing to leave the area for treatment, so opted for local. We checked the bed availability dashboard which listed 5 beds for medical detox at Syracuse Behavioral Health. They did a phone screening and said he qualified for treatment, but then told him it would be a three week wait. We contacted them to ask why a 3 week wait when the Dashboard listed 5 beds. We were contacted shortly after and told a bed ‘opened up’ and he could be admitted the next day. He planned to go for as long as they would keep him. Once he got there they said actually, insurance won’t cover your stay because ‘it’s elective’ to be detoxed, so you’ll have to pay $400 per day out of pocket. He decided to stay anyways. He stayed 26 hours and said the staff had such bad attitudes and treated everyone like second class citizens, he could not take the mistreatment and left. He said 90% of the people there are court mandated and the staff treat the patients poorly.

2/11/16 – Received an update from a Syracuse mom who originally contacted us 1/17/16. Her son was notified he is 1 – 2 weeks away from a bed at St. Christopher’s. Almost 4 weeks’ wait time for treatment because he does not have private insurance.

2/12/16 – Got treatment lined up for gentleman who was housed with Opportunities for Broome who requested help with the District Attorney’s program, but they could not find treatment for him quickly enough. Discussed with volunteer who was working on placement from DA’s side as well as the DA who said to go ahead and start a fundraiser and the DA’s office would help spread the word. 2/12/16 started the fundraiser for 55 year old gentleman to go to treatment, lined up detox for him in Long Island. 2/13/16 picked the gentleman up and took him to the bus station to go to Long Island to be admitted into the medical detox program there.

2/12/16 – Had several rainmakers attend the District Attorney’s call for help meeting for his SAFE Program.

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Broome County Losses:

2/6/16 – We learned of a 22  year old young man who had just finished New Horizons inpatient treatment and was staying at Fairview who relapsed and was to return to ACC. He chose not to go in and overdosed that night. He did not make it. Rest in peace young man.

2/11/16 – A 26 year old young man lost his life to an overdose. He was a father of two children.

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Rainmakers’ Report 1/17/16 – 1/31/16 – It Even Rains in Winter!

1/17/16 – Our website was updated with many improvements including Jeremiah Lindeman’s Celebrating Lost Loved Ones Map.

1/17/16 – Our first blog post – The Rainmakers’ Report.

1/19/16- Met with Jack Juran, Coordinator, Tioga County Drug Court – we met to get an overview of Tioga County’s Drug Court process and we are VERY impressed! Jack also invited us to prepare a presentation to give at their weekly meeting which will include the Tioga County District Attorney, Public Defender, Tioga County Sheriff, Head of Probation and Drug Court Coordinators.

1/19/16 – Attended our first TCCASA meeting for their Tioga County Addiction Task Force. We were offered a seat on this task force and have accepted. We will be assisting them with many of their efforts in the future. We were provided an update of what they have done to date. We were also offered the opportunity to write a summary about Truth Pharm to be included in their next news letter.

1/19/16 – We’ve received the final list from Assemblyman Crouch’s office of which EMS agencies are carrying naloxone and which are not so that we can start our outreach to them.

1/19/16 – Our 501c3 Application was submitted.

1/19/16 – Asked to be on panel of planners for Genesee County’s Crime Victims Assistance Week and to be one of the speakers for their conference. Also asked to coordinate Chief Campanello’s attendance and speaking engagement. Working on that.

1/19/16 – Asked to speak at Afton Awareness event on March 9 as “Parent Affected”.

1/20/16 – We met with Jeanette Tolson who is a private practice social worker. We discussed Jeanette’s experience in the addiction and recovery treatment world and Truth Pharm’s Core Values and areas of focus. We decided Jeanette’s and our core values are quite inline! Jeanette has graciously offered her professional training services for our upcoming Angel programs and is also willing to be a speaker at awareness events. This is an exciting partnership!

1/20/16 – We met with Tom Jackson and Benjamin Bergman. They have offered some legal expertise to us in addition to some ideas we’ll be working on together! They have also joined our board of directors which is a very exciting announcement.

1/20/16– Executive Committee Meeting

1/24/16 – Received commitment from Refabulous Furniture they will donate furniture for Oxford Police’s Community Recovery Room.

1/25/16 – We had our Rainmaker Meeting with 18 in attendance! Plans for our trips to Albany were discussed. Dannielle Swart provided a nice concise presentation on how laws are made in Albany and an overview of how to lobby to advance policy.

1/26/16 – Alexis Pleus, Michelle Ericitano and Daniel Rippe provided interviews and a response to the New York State Assembly Minority Task Force’s report on the Heroin Epidemic.

1/26/16 – Met with the Oxford Police and three volunteers interested in possibly running our Angel Program for the Oxford Police. It was a fantastic meeting and they have accepted! Sarah Francis, Donna Wood-Craig and Connie Barnes are going to be our Angel Program Leaders for the Oxford Police Department!

1/26/16 – Truth Pharm and the Oxford Naloxone training and the Angel Program featured in an article in The Daily Star newspaper.

1/26/16 – Truth Pharm and the Oxford Naloxone training and the Angel Program featured in an article in The Evening Sun newspaper.

1/27/16 – We provided a resource table at the Windsor High School Awareness event.

1/28/16 – We participated in a nationwide conference call to form committees to plan the next Facing Addiction Rally in Washington DC.

1/28/16 – Attended a webinar training to use SBIRT with Teens.

1/28/16 – Co-Hosted a community Naloxone training in Oxford, NY with the Oxford Police Department and Southern Tier Aides Program. 47 were in attendance. WICZ provided news coverage.

1/29/16 – We met with the new Broome County District Attorney, Stephen Cornwell. We listened to his ideas and plans for the future and heard his beliefs about addiction and the criminal justice system. We felt his values are well aligned with ours! He told us about many of his future plans, most of which we cannot discuss openly yet, but we are very excited about them. We told him about some of our plans and offered to partner on future projects. We also established that we will have an excellent working relationship with him in the future.

1/29/16 – We met with Donna Lupardo and provided our List of Changes Needed in New York State, our Core Values, Strategic Areas of Focus and provided our comments on the Assembly Minority’s Heroin Task Force Report. She was excited and thankful to have the data. She will use it to make connections and discuss with her colleagues. We discussed the ties of the heroin/opioid epidemic to the affects on children in New York which is a topic she champions. We would like to have members of Truth Pharm follow up on this with her some more. She provided a legislative session calendar and suggested dates for us to be most effective in Albany. She also offered to send us a list of people we should target seeing while we are there. She stressed that making appointments ahead of time is imperative.

1/30/16 – Alexis, Amy Cruz and Kim Myers met to discuss several ideas. This was an exciting meeting. Amy is putting together a proposal for an idea she has which will be an amazing and compassionate service to those impacted by deaths due to substance related causes. More to come in the future on this. We all discussed current issues with access to treatment. We also discussed our need for The Flight House.

38 facebook posts – Awareness Events, Naloxone Events, Informative Articles, Memorials to lost loved ones, stories of recovery. Over 30,000 reached. Now 2342 “Likes” on public facebook page. 108 followers on Twitter.

Treatment Access, Recovery and Support for Individuals and Families:

  • We talked a family through accessing treatment in New York State. They called Conifer who had no open beds, but gave them a list of other facilities. He was promised medical detox at St. Peter’s in Albany. The family took him, he was admitted and released 2 days later with a referral to AA meetings and an evaluation potentially for outpatient. He begged the facility to keep him and reported he was not ready to abstain without further inpatient help. Truth Pharm offered help with placement out of state, family declined.
  • A Rainmaker’s son was admitted at Conifer for their 28 day inpatient treatment, but was only kept for 3 days due to insurance denying the claim for further treatment. He was sent home. We recommended filing a complaint with OASAS and the Attorney General. She called OASAS and they told her he was lucky to get that because they’re doing away with detox in New York soon anyways.
  • The son’s (referenced above) girlfriend was admitted to Conifer for their 28 day program, but was only allowed 7 days of treatment.
  • We assisted a family in advocating to the DA, PD and Judge to have their daughter held in jail rather than released from court until they could find treatment for her. They were successful in having her held in the Broome County Jail. Unfortunately, he was locked in her cell while in severe withdrawals, had a seizure, fell, gashed her head and was hospitalized. We helped the parents communicate with CARS to see about placement with them, but their waiting list is 4 deep. New Horizons said the girl may be able to go there, but no commitment to any specific length of time. It will be based on what insurance will pay (typically 10-11 days). Parents are currently working with Truth Pharm to have her placed in treatment out of state. The Judge and District Attorney are helping with the arrangements. Truth Pharm is also raising the funds to send her.
  • 1/29/16 – Received an update from one of our gals placed in treatment through Truth Pharm and Matty in November in long term treatment in Arizona. She just received her 90 days of sobriety coin! She thanked us. She is our inspiration
  • A Rainmaker took a gal who needed help to the ACC 1/25/16. She did not last 24 hours there.
  • A Rainmaker took a friend to ACC for detox, they were provided 9 days and transferred to YMCA afterwards, but only lasted 3 days before using again.
  • Referred a gentleman to a local suboxone doctor. He said he has three professional friends addicted and not knowing where to turn for help without the risk of losing their jobs.
  • 1/24/16 – One of our Rainmakers with 23 months of sobriety celebrated getting his first apartment in sobriety! Another of our Rainmakers pulled together donations of furniture, household items and groceries and two Rainmakers picked up and delivered these items to him.
  • 1/30/16 – A special mom who is a Truth Pharm Rainmaker and is raising her granddaughter was given some grocery and gas gift cards from a special friend of Truth Pharm’s just out of love and concern.
  • Provided two people in Ohio the Naloxone Program Locator tool.
  • Provided a Broome County woman with a list of suboxone doctors per her request.
  • Referred an individual to STAP for Naloxone training and they made an appointment.
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Rainmakers’ Report 1/1/16 – 1/16/16 – It Feels GOOD to Make Rain!

1/1/16 – Assemblyman Crouch is diligently working to determine the best plan of action to require EMS agencies in New York State to carry naloxone.

1/14/16 – Executive Committee Meeting

1/6/16 – Meeting in Hancock with group of concerned citizens regarding opioid epidemic. Truth Pharm provided a proposal for a series of events and requested they create a small committee who will handle logistics. Everyone agreed to move forward with the proposal which includes An Awareness Event, A Naloxone Training, A Follow-Up Event, a High School Assembly and creating a community action group either an extension of Truth Pharm, or whatever they would like to create.

1/7/16 – Meeting with the Oxford Police and the Community Foundation for South Central New York to discuss potential funding of the Oxford Police program and discussed potential funding for other Truth Pharm projects as well.

1/7/16 – Finalized schedule with STAP for two upcoming Nalaxone Trainings – 1/28/16 in Oxford, NY at 5:30pm and 2/17/16 in Hancock, NY at 5:30pm.

1/8/16 – Interview with WICZ to discuss the number of deaths in Broome County as reported by Dr. Ryan with the Broome County Health Department.

1/9/16 – Volunteer and Committee Organizational meeting between Susan and Alexis

1/11/16 – Outstanding Rainmaker Meeting – made plans to meet every other week, discussed endeavors, rainmakers signed up to help with awareness events coming up.

1/13/16 – Meeting with Broome County Sheriff’s Office, Truth Pharm, Broome County Social Services, Broome County Mental Health, Fairview, ACC and UHS Behavioral Health to discuss the Angel Program for Broome County Sheriff’s Office. In summary – The program was developed as this: If a person reports to the BCSO for treatment, an Angel Volunteer will be called to come and do the intake paperwork with the person. They person will be asked if they would like to get long term inpatient treatment out of the area or if they would prefer going to the ACC and utilizing local treatment providers. If they want local treatment: If they have come in between 8am and 4pm, we will call New Horizons and see if a rapid access assessment can be performed. If not, the person will be taken to the ACC which is offering 2 beds dedicated to the program and if those are full will dedicate 2 more beds. From that point, ACC may perform the evaluation or coordinate with UHS and Attempt to get the person inpatient treatment at New Horizons. If they cannot get inpatient treatment at New Horizons, ACC will find them residential or other treatment elsewhere.

If they want out long term, inpatient treatment out of the area, no facility locally is willing to allow them to stay there until they leave. As of now, the plan is that the person will be allowed to go home and the Angel will work to find treatment ASAP and travel arrangements will be made. This is how Cooperstown is running their program. We are still working on this issue, but for now, we are pleased that we are at least able to still move forward.

1/13/16 – Meeting with the Lost Dog owners and Robert Riddel who have all offered to help us with a fundraiser. We will call the fundraiser “A Night of Mindreading and Magic” it will be March 11th from 6-9pm. Tickets will be $35 each. We’ll be able to sell 75 tickets. More details will follow as we fully develop the program and plans.

1/13/16 – We’ve received the initial list from Assemblyman Crouch’s office of which EMS agencies are carrying naloxone and which are not so that we can start our outreach to them.

1/14/16 – Rusty and Alexis met with our attorney regarding 501c3 regulations and our application and things are moving forward. In addition to discussions regarding insurance, the attorney is also going to provide us with a waiver we can use when helping people find treatment to protect our organization.

1/14/16 – Meeting with the Oxford Police Department and a physician who is willing to help us with trying to get other local physicians onboard with being reputable suboxone and vivitrol providers that will accept insurance. He is also willing to help us with outpatient suboxone assisted detox for persons willing and scheduled to leave town for inpatient long term treatment.

1/14/16 – Meeting with Hancock folks to discuss plans with the Pastor of the Church who manages the Messenger Hall where the events will take place. He is very much onboard with our plans and we may find him to be a serious partner in our efforts in Hancock. He is interested in creating a recovery support group in Hancock and we suggested we make a call for donations at the Awareness Event that will be used to fund this effort so we are leaving the community with a lasting and impactful resource. We have the dates set for their events: Awareness Event 2/11, Naloxone Training 2/17, Follow-up Event 3/10. Pat Simmons has made contact with the school and provided me with their contact information to plan a high school assembly which sounds like they are all onboard with.

1/14/16 – Oxford School Superintendent is interested in having us provide an event for them. We provided a proposal and outline for a possible assembly.

1/16/16 – Alexis, Sarah and Laurie attended the 5 hour EASE Volunteer training in Oneonta, NY to learn how to be a support person to someone in the early stages of opiate withdrawal.

Treatment Access for Individuals: A Broome County 22 Year Old young man flew out for long term inpatient treatment. We raised the funds to help a 22 year old young woman from Otsego County fly out for long term inpatient treatment. A Broome County young man got a bed in New York State 28 day treatment facility. Discussed methods of advocacy with the parents of a young woman in the criminal justice system. Discussed methods of advocacy with a family member who wants to advocate for their loved one in the criminal justice system.

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