With the hiring of Kelley Story as the director of substance abuse inpatient rehabilitation and acquisition of the Teen Challenge building, Samaritan Health Services is moving forward on its commitment to establish an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program for the region, said SHS President/CEO Larry A. Mullins.
“This is part of a comprehensive approach to mental health and social services needs for the area that encompasses our partners in the public and private sector and will address multiple health determinates relating to the entire population,” Mullins said. “We are very pleased to have Kelley, who has an extensive background in rehabilitation and homeless issues, join our team.” She began her new position earlier this month and is helping to design the organizational infrastructure for the program.
Samaritan is also completing the purchase of the former Teen Challenge building site in Lebanon and will build a new facility to house a 16-bed adult residential treatment program. The building, which is currently vacant, previously served as a treatment facility for teens as well as a regional headquarters for the national Teen Challenge organization.
Story previously served as clinical director at Corvallis-based Community Outreach, Inc. (COI). In that role, she oversaw COI’s alcohol and drug treatment services, outpatient mental health and domestic abuse intervention program. Previously, Story directed COI’s women’s program and has more than 20 years’ experience in residential and outpatient treatment programs related to addiction, mental health and domestic violence.
“We were very fortunate to have someone with Kelley’s background and expertise here in our community,” said Marty Cahill, CEO at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital and the administrative leader for the program. “She already knows many of the key partners, and it will help our program get off to a strong start.”
With these key elements in place, the plan is to work with other regional stakeholders to create a residential treatment program early next year, once the building renovations are completed and employees are hired and trained. Efforts are also underway to hire a medical director for the program.
“The program will be open to all those in need, including those served by Medicare and the Oregon Health Plan,” Cahill said.
The lack of residential treatment options for alcohol and drug addiction, especially for low-income clients, has long been identified as a high priority need in the region, and local leaders praised the decision to develop a program.
“This program will fill a long-standing, gaping hole in the behavioral and physical health resources in our region,” said Frank Moore, Linn County health administrator and mental health director. “The addition of this resource will have far-reaching impacts, greatly increasing timely access to services and reaping long-term benefits for our overall community.”
Building renovations are expected to take six to eight months with total project cost including acquisition to be estimated at $2 million, Cahill said.