CAReS plans open house

The Council on Addiction and Recovery Services will host an open house at its new treatment center for women next month.

WESTONS MILLS — After years of paperwork, meetings and plans, the Council on Addiction Recovery Services’ new women’s treatment facility is finally ready to be showcased during an open house in November, followed by an expected opening for clients on Dec. 2.

CAReS executive director Michael Prutsman said Monday the new facility, called Willow House, at 1355 Olean-Portville Road, will host an open house for the community 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 21.

“This is finally coming,” Prutsman said of the opening. “It’s been a long road and I’m grateful it’s finally coming to fruition. It’s been a lot of work and a lot of advocacy on the part of a lot of people to get to this point.”

He said the end result is that the facility will be a “great asset” to the community.

“It will be able to serve a population not only in Olean, but really in the Southern Tier which has not been served before” locally, he said. “It’s a significant milestone (and idea) going back a decade or longer than that.”

As for the opening date, Prutsman said he is hopeful the facility will welcome clients in early December.

“I think we’re pretty solid on the start date, too, but there are a couple of things on the state level that could impact that in terms of approval,” Prutsman said regarding the opening date. “If it ends up having to move back, we’ll just let the community know.”

He noted referrals of clients to Willow House will be made by outpatient or inpatient facilities.

As for the staff, Prutsman said the Olean-based CAReS agency is interviewing applicants.

“The response has actually been pretty good and we’ve had quite a few applications come in, which is a good thing,” Prutsman continued. “Obviously now we’re in the process of vetting them … and those are things we have to do prior to hiring.”

Prutsman said staff, who will include the residential director, health manager, clinic director and registered nurse, will be on hand during the open house.

The two-story Willow House, located behind the existing 16-bed Weston’s Manor home for men with drug and alcohol addictions, operates under a license from the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, or New York State OASAS.

The front facility for men has been renamed Hawthorne House, while the entire campus for both homes is now called Enchanted Mountain Recovery Campus.

CAReS officials were first informed in January 2017 that the state would provide funds needed for the $1.9 million women’s treatment center. The new two-story annex is expected to primarily house women with substance abuse issues who haven’t received adequate treatment in the area because of the lack of beds.

The treatment facility will offer three levels of care, which are for stabilization, rehabilitation and reintegration for residents. Clients can be in treatment for 30 to 90 days and sometimes as long as six months.

Services will include counseling, medical treatment, medication and assisted treatment.

Funding for the treatment will be provided by private insurance companies as well as Medicaid managed care.

Prutsman said the community of Westons Mills has been supportive and helpful.

“That’s why we want to get this out there publicly so people can come and see what’s being built and developed in their backyard, and see the nature of this,” he explained.

Officials have reported that when the annex is opened, the entire complex will have 23 staff members on the premises, many of whom will be in the medical profession.

Prutsman has stated clients will receive 24-hour monitoring by staff in the house.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)