Helping addicts get access to care with Open Access Clinic

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – A small office space in an old building is hoping to have a big impact on the Rochester community, particularly those plagued with addiction. Open Access Clinic is a new place for addicts to get help and access to treatment.

The Clinic at 1350 University Avenue in Rochester plans to be open 24/7 in the coming months. Currently, the clinic is open seven days a week from 4:00-10:00 p.m.

“We've been able to get almost 50 percent of the people who have come through our doors, in the limited hours we've been open so far, into inpatient treatment in 24 hours,” said Carl Hatch-Feir, president of Recovery Net and president and CEO of Delphi Alcohol Council. “We've developed a relationship and we've got partnerships with people. We've been able to cut through some of the red tape and accelerate that process incredibly.”

Hatch-Feir said the number of organizations working together at this clinic is how they are able to help people quickly.

“Nobody's ever done a collaborative Open Access Clinic. We didn't have a lot of information as we started; we're kind of building the plane as we're flying,” said Hatch-Feir.

This clinic is the first of its kind to have collaboration, but it’s the third Open Access Clinic in the state.

It received a $500,000 grant from The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) for renovations and operational costs.

“What I like about this is it's not one provider, it's a collaborative, like eight providers from the community - that's the kind of networking we're going to need if we really want to make a difference in the lives of people,” said Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, Commissioner, NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services.

But there are still issues with care. Open Access Clinic isn't adding beds to the community.

“There is not enough capacity, there's no question about that,” said Hatch-Feir.

It’s why Hatch-Feir says it’s so important to get the clinic to open 24/7.

“If we're here all night, we can make them comfortable, we can provide that support until that bed opens up at 8:00 a.m. that next morning,” said Hatch-Feir. “We don't expect a lot of people coming in at 3:00 or 4:00 o'clock in the morning. Because if they walk out the door, they're not going to show up at 8 o'clock the next morning, they're going to do what they need to do to deal with their illness.”

They plan to add weekend daytime hours at the end of the month and to hope to be open 24/7 in the next several months.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off