Shaheen Highlights New Federal Grant to Establish Family Treatment Drug Court Pilot Program in Sullivan County
**On Friday, Shaheen led the NH Congressional delegation in announcing this funding for the Family Treatment Court pilot project, which will enhance services to Sullivan County families experiencing abuse and neglect and those impacted by substance use disorder and/or mental illness**
NH 5th Circuit Court Judge John Yazinski: “Our families don’t have consistency in their treatment because service providers come and go. We’re going to be addressing those issues through this grant… The better the parent does in treatment, the better their commitment is to healing. We will be able to have that wrap around programming we haven’t had.”
Senator Shaheen speaks about the significance of the Family Treatment Court pilot project in Sullivan County. A video recording of the virtual roundtable can be heard here.
Later: Shaheen Calls for Additional Resources for Northern NH Health Care Providers during Virtual Briefing with Androscoggin Valley Hospital
Audio of Senator Shaheen’s briefing with Androscoggin Valley Hospital can be heard here.
(Washington, DC) – This morning, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on the $1.75 million federal grant awarded through DOJ to the New Hampshire Judicial Branch to establish a new family treatment court program in Sullivan County. The event follows Shaheen and the New Hampshire Congressional delegation’s announcement of this funding, which will fund a Family Treatment Court (FTC) pilot project in Sullivan County to help enhance access to services for children and families experiencing abuse and neglect, and those impacted by substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental illness. This will be the state’s first FTC and serve as a pilot program for potential additional FTCs in other counties throughout the state. Senator Shaheen has encouraged DOJ to expand this program in recent years.
During the event, Shaheen was joined by Claremont Mayor Charlene Lovett, mental health providers, local stakeholders involved in developing the FTC pilot program and members of the New Hampshire Judicial Branch, who highlighted the positive impact the new program will have on Sullivan County families. Judge John Yazinski of the state’s 5th Circuit Court in Claremont underscored the widespread prevalence of substance use disorder in the abuse and neglect cases he oversees and emphasized how the FTC will allow more families impacted by substance abuse and mental illness to get connected with the help they need.
“The substance use disorder epidemic has taken a tremendous toll on New Hampshire, with no community in our state untouched by its devastating effects. Substance misuse isn’t just an individual problem – it impacts entire families,” said Shaheen. “By increasing early, effective interventions and expanding access to critical services that parents and their children need to heal from substance misuse and mental illness, the Family Treatment Court program will provide second chances for Sullivan County families. This FTC’s outcomes will shape more response options in other regions throughout the state, which is especially crucial now as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the substance use disorder crisis. I want to thank today’s participants for their tremendous work on the front lines of this crisis and for their feedback this morning. I’ll continue to fight for more funding opportunities to help Granite Staters who are struggling, and for their families who are fighting by their sides.”
Later, Shaheen hosted a virtual briefing with Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin. Androscoggin Valley Hospital is a major health care provider in New Hampshire’s North Country. However, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the facility and other providers in the region, leading to health and financial concerns as they continue to grapple with COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Additional federal support is needed to ensure health care providers are able to maintain operations and serve their communities during this public health emergency. During the event, Shaheen heard more from facility staff on the impact of COVID-19 on the hospital and other northern New Hampshire health care providers, and highlighted the urgent need to provide additional resources to providers in COVID-19 relief legislation.
“Today’s briefing highlighted the critical role that rural health care providers like Androscoggin Valley Hospital have played on the front lines of this pandemic, providing lifesaving medical care and COVID-19 testing to the people of Berlin and North Country communities. However, as I heard from facility leadership this morning, our rural providers continue to face significant health and financial challenges as a result of this crisis that threaten their ability to keep their doors open and deliver vital medical services to New Hampshire families. They need relief and they need it now,” said Shaheen. “I’m committed to fighting for COVID-19 relief legislation that meets the urgent need of all Granite State health care providers and helps them serve their communities and save lives.”
Throughout the pandemic, Shaheen has repeatedly fought to provide more resources and funding to New Hampshire health care providers. Following calls from Shaheen, the legislation signed into law last month to keep the government funded through December 11th included a key provision to significantly modify the recoupment period on loans to health care providers under the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments (AAP) program and to lower the interest rates on the loans. To date, New Hampshire providers have received $689 million in upfront payments through this program to mitigate the economic shortfall caused by the pandemic.