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Klemanski sees Helio’s new Clay facility as a community asset

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

Syracuse–based Helio Health on Feb. 12 formally opened a $14 million residential-treatment facility at 4567 Crossroads Park Drive in the town of Clay. The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports contributed the funding to renovate the building. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

CLAY — Jeremy Klemanski, president and CEO of Syracuse–based Helio Health, calls it a “community asset.”

“[It’s] a facility that is going to be a place that provides an opportunity for an awful lot of people … people who have dedicated their lives to working with folks with substance-use disorders, but also to the folks that may be experiencing that in their life and are looking for support and care and a place to live while they begin their recovery journey,” Klemanski said in his remarks describing a new residential-treatment facility.

Helio Health on Feb. 12 formally opened the $14 million, 75-bed residential treatment facility in the town of Clay. The program — called Elements of Central New York — is located at 4567 Crossroads Park Drive. 

The residential program is a multi-level of care approach to treatment for substance-use disorders, offering three levels of care. They include stabilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration, Helio Health said. 

“This is a really important day because after today when we all leave for 20, 30 … years to come, at different times of the day, people will come here to get a healthier start on their recovery journey,” Klemanski added.

The 44,000-square-foot residential program includes 55 stabilization and rehabilitation beds and 20 reintegration apartments. It will be staffed by 28 people.

Salina–based Parsons-McKenna Construction Co. handled the renovation work on the building. 

When Helio Health was looking for a site for this facility, the nonprofit looked “high and low and far” to find a place that could accommodate a program “of this magnitude,” according to Klemanski. 

“When we approached the Town of Clay, I’ll never forget the first experience because we had a work session with some of the town board [members] so they could explain to us the processes and we could explain to them what this is all about … They couldn’t have been more receptive, open to this,” he added.

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) contributed $14 million for the renovation of the building and is providing more than 

$1.1 million in annual operational funding for the new facility, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a separate news release.

OASAS has worked with Helio Health for a “very long time” now and this facility really represents “the next step in this important leadership,” Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, commissioner of OASAS, said in her remarks at the event.

“This new 75-bed facility will provide stabilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration services together all under one roof, letting people enter treatment at the level that is most appropriate for their specific needs and move them through the treatment process at the speed that is right for them,” said Gonzalez-Sanchez. 

Gonzalez-Sanchez co-chairs the governor’s heroin-opioid task force with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who also spoke during the formal-opening event. Hochul noted how addiction has impacted her own family.

“I only wish that a place like this had been available five years ago when my nephew had reached rock bottom with his addiction started by a doctor prescribing opioid-based drugs that led to heroin on the streets and led to a very different life than our family had expected for this bright young man. He overdosed after seeking treatment facilities. There just were not enough beds for him,” said Hochul. 

Helio Health provides health services and support for individuals in detox, inpatient rehabilitation, integrated outpatient treatment and a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, residential services, and housing.

Helio Health also provides substance-use disorder assessments 24/7 at its Regional Open Access Center for Addiction at 329 N. Salina St. in Syracuse in addition to its peer outreach Center of Treatment Innovation at 610 N. State St. in Syracuse to meet the needs of the opiate epidemic.   

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