Liberation Programs Supports Harm Reduction at New Haven Police Department

Joanne Montgomery, Chief Clinical and Outreach Officer at Liberation Programs, spoke at the New Haven Police Department Harm Reduction Press Conference on February 6, 2020.

New Haven Police has become the first police department to provide harm reduction kits to individuals with substance misuse disorders in hopes of keeping them alive.

Joanne Montgomery spoke of her personal experience with harm reduction techniques.  “All of the people I had met through the years, through the harm reduction efforts out in the streets — I knew right away who I could call and where I could go, and I actually went to Liberation Programs, where I now work.”

Pictured above (L-R): DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Joanne Montgomery, Liberation Programs President & CEO John Hamilton

Watch video from the Press Conference Here

Read more about New Haven’s Harm Reduction Efforts and Watch the Full Press Conference Here

John Hamilton speaks at the Greenwich Retired Men’s Association

Liberation’s President and CEO John Hamilton presented as part of the Greenwich Retired Men’s Association’s weekly speaker series at First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.

John Hamilton at the GRMA

Photo: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

The presentation, How to Strengthen Resiliency in Families, included topics such as addiction potential of substances, parent/child communication, and brain development stages.

John’s presentation was highlighted by and reported in the Greenwich Time:

[John] encouraged parents to lead by example and to exhibit healthy mood-regulation during times of stress. Parents should refrain from judging their children and remain open, nurturing and responsive when their youngsters approach them about these issues, Hamilton said.

“You here in this room could be that consistent, supportive, loving person in the child’s life… [a]nd that could make a difference for everything else going on in their life.”

Click here to read the article by Social Services Reporter Tatiana Flowers in the Greenwich Time and to learn more about John’s presentation How to Strengthen Resiliency in Families.

Join us at the Fathers’ Forum Kick Off Breakfast and Presentation on October 12!

Dads, join John Hamilton for a morning of coffee, conversation, and family at the Greenwich Father’s Forum Kick Off Breakfast and Presentation on Saturday, October 12!

Fathers' Forum Greenwich kicks off on October 12 at 7:45AM!

 

In partnership with Greenwich United Way and the YMCA of Greenwich, join Liberation Programs President and CEO John Hamilton as he leads the Fathers’ Forum Greenwich Kick Off Breakfast and Discussion on Saturday, October 12 at 7:45AM!

Visit the YMCA of Greenwich’s website or contact Maggie Young at 203-810-5202 or maggie.young@liberationprograms.org for more information. See you there!

Liberation Programs celebrates National Recovery Awareness Month with the grand opening of the Pelletier Wellness Center

Over 100 state partners, local providers, and community stakeholders who collaborate to address the opioid crisis celebrated the grand opening of the Pelletier Wellness Center in Bridgeport on Thursday Sept. 19, an event that coincided with National Recovery Awareness Month. Ninety-eight percent of Liberation Programs’ 750 clients in Bridgeport participate in Medication Assisted Recovery related to opioids. In Connecticut, there are at least two opioid-related overdose deaths each day.

The Pelletier Wellness Center, named for Liberation Programs board member Sallyan Pelletier and her husband Steve Pelletier, is a state-of-the-art outpatient treatment center providing Medication-Assisted Recovery, individual and family therapeutic counseling, and support services to people seeking treatment for substance use and mental health issues in Fairfield County. The couple supports the holistic approach to health that the Pelletier Wellness Center will provide for our community.

Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Pelletier Wellness Center

Ready to cut the ceremonial ribbon are Maggie Young, MSW, LADC, Chief Recovery Officer; State Representative Andre Baker; Roberta Cohen, Board Member; Bridgeport Councilman Ernie Newton; Maritza Bond, MPH, Director of Health and Social Services, City of Bridgeport; Tom Pelletier; Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim; Steve Pelletier; Ali Milne, Board Member; Sallyan Pelletier, Board Member; Mort Lowenthal, Board Member; Joanne Montgomery, Chief Clinical Officer; John Hamilton, President and CEO; Bonni Hopkins, PhD, Chief Operating and Innovation Officer; Omar Garro, Chief Financial Officer; Wayne Cafran, Board Chair; Cini Shaw, Board Member; John Bassler, Board Member – Photo by Regina Madwed, Capitol PhotoInteractive

Click here for more photos

“Addiction kills,” said Sallyan, addressing the crowd. “My husband and I, like so many others, have been affected by this horrible disease. Liberation Programs has been on the front lines, combating opioids and fentanyl through medication maintenance and therapy, supporting folks from our community long before heroin was a headline story. I want to thank John Hamilton, the CEO of Liberation Programs, and the amazing staff. We have so many well-seasoned and compassionate, enthusiastic team members supporting our clients here in this community and throughout Fairfield County.”

Nancy Navaretta, Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) said, “I’m here representing the Commissioner, who is so pleased to see expansion and innovation, like the van. Liberation has always been ahead of the curve, and we (DMHAS) are happy to support them. They are a lead addiction services provider and now a leader in the behavioral health services continuum of care. I believe that our clients and people that we serve deserve beautiful buildings like this, just like the private sector. This is a fabulous model for the state.”

Guests were given tours of the center at 399 Mill Hill Avenue that offers on-site primary medical and dental health services through a partnership with Southwest Community Health Center. Visitors, including Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, had the opportunity to try auricular detox (ear acupuncture), a protocol to treat behavioral health, addiction, and emotional trauma. A number of Liberation Programs’ staff members are trained as Auricular Detox (acupuncture) Specialists, thanks to a grant from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) to the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS).

“Your physical plant, process and caring culture are all married in a way to offer dignity, support and care,” said Rockman Ferrigno, MD, Chair, Emergency Medicine, and Associate Chief Medical Officer at Bridgeport Hospital. “Visiting with your team has been a lasting highlight for me. I was energized, educated and humbled.”

Liberation Programs’ President and CEO John Hamilton said, “We have this beautiful building, but it pales in comparison to the staff, our dedicated, compassionate staff, that every day work in the trenches, that treat individuals with dignity and respect. That’s what makes the difference.”

Guests were excited to see Liberation Programs’ new Mobile Wellness van, which sports the organization’s phone number, 1-855-LIB-PROG, and is brightly appointed with “Peace, Love, and Liberation” and “Meeting People Where They Are Since 1971” in vintage lettering, produced by A to Z Signs. The van will be used to expand access to Medication Assisted Recovery treatment, as well as support loved ones and the community at large through lifesaving connections. The van made its first official public appearance Friday, Sept. 20, at the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) first annual Stomp Out Stigma walk at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, and will be stationed at the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery’s (CCAR) 20th Annual Recovery Walk in Hartford, Saturday, September 21 at Bushnell Park. Before the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sallyan shared, “My husband and I are not just putting our names behind this building. We are putting our hearts, our minds, and our prayers behind all those clients who use our programs.”

Sallyan is former Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing Execution, and Americas Region Head of Marketing for UBS, and her husband, Steve, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Businesses for Prudential. Sallyan Pelletier served on the board of Liberation Programs since 2014, and as the agency’s Board Chair from 2015-2016, contributing her expertise in business and global marketing to raise awareness about lives unnecessarily lost to overdose and the evidence-based treatment Liberation Programs provides.

The event featured catering by the legendary Bridgeport restaurant, Ralph-n-Rich’s, and guests enjoyed reminiscing with co-owner Ralph Silano and his wife Sarah.

Click here for News 12 coverage of the Grand Opening on YouTube

Click here for more photos from the Grand Opening

Record Funds Raised at 12th Spirit of Hope Gala Support Recovery Coaching & More

All of us at Liberation Programs would like to thank our event sponsors, committee, donors, partners and guests for helping to make the 2019 Spirit of Hope Gala a wonderful success. Because of your support, we raised a record $440,000 to continue to provide lifesaving treatment, programs, and services to people in need in Fairfield County.

Proceeds from this year’s Spirit of Hope will make our Recovery Coaching initiative a reality, bringing hope and guidance to people when they need it most – and meeting people where they are – at what may be the very beginning of their journey toward a meaningful life in recovery.

Please click here to see photos from the event.
To join Liberation Programs’ community of supporters, click here to make a donation.

Read our press release below:

Liberation Programs 12th Annual Spirit of Hope Gala A Success
Published on Friday, 14 June 2019
Written by Laura Roberts

On Thursday, June 6th, Liberation Programs held its 12th Annual Spirit of Hope Gala at Woodway Country Club in Darien. The spectacular event, attended by nearly 400 of the community’s most philanthropic residents, was hosted by the organization’s President and CEO, John Hamilton. The evening raised over $400,000, providing critical funds for the life-saving treatment Liberation Programs provides for recoverees, and the outreach work it does to prevent substance use disorders in our community.

Senator Richard Blumenthal kicked off the program, stating “Liberation Programs is the gold standard, and I am proud of the work that you’re doing to break the stigma of substance use disorder.” Later adding, “They are breaking down barriers, and providing new kinds of help for people when they are most vulnerable.”

The evening honored some of the nation’s leading addiction experts, each having raised the standard of care in substance use treatment and recovery. Awards were presented to Gary Mendell, Founder and CEO of Shatterproof, The Lighthouse Sober Living and The Lighthouse Recovery Coaching 365 Program, and the organization’s own Maggie Young, MSW, LADC, Liberation Programs Chief Recovery Officer.

“I never dreamed I’d be standing before you as a Spirit of Hope honoree,” said Young, who was a client of Liberation Programs herself some 27 years ago. “Ever since my treatment stay in 1992, I wanted to be present for others like me, who needed help and support.”

Michael Pollard, Stamford’s Chief of Staff, attended the event and noted afterwards, “I am honored to know Maggie, all the people she helps are a testament to the great work of Liberation Programs, and her amazing title of Chief Recovery Officer represents the extraordinary work Liberation Programs is doing saving lives.”

Additional highlights of the evening included moving performances by singer Daphne Willis, as well as a touching vocal performance by the nationally acclaimed Darien High School Tudor Singers. Video presentations showcased the tremendous impact the organization is having on our community, and guests competed for exciting raffle prizes.

Additional donations to the event are still welcome. Please visit LiberationPrograms.org/Donate to make your contribution today.

Liberation Programs would like to thank its dedicated gala committee led by co-chairs John Bassler, Debra Hertz, PhD and Cynthia J. Shaw, as well as its generous corporate sponsors, Atlantic Diagnostic Laboratories, First County Bank, KPMG, The Lighthouse / Recovery 365, Mountainside Treatment Center, Pitney Bowes, Stamford Health, and Yale New Haven Health.

The organization has been a pioneer in the field of integrated behavioral health services in lower Fairfield County for nearly fifty years. Liberation Programs provides services for youth, adults and families that include two inpatient treatment programs, outpatient and intensive outpatient services, health education for older adults and people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses, treatment and resources for adolescents and their families, education and prevention efforts in the community, and permanent supportive housing for families. In operation since 1971, the agency has sites in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport and serves more than 2,000 adults and youth each year. To learn more, or to make a donation, visit www.liberationprograms.org or call 203-851-2077.