From Father Martin’s Ashley:
Father Martin’s Ashley, the nationally recognized private, non-profit alcoholism and drug addiction treatment center, today announced the opening of Skip’s Hall for Integrated Addiction Treatment, a new $20 million, 44,000-square-foot building on its Chesapeake Bay-side campus outside of Baltimore, Maryland. The Skip Viragh Foundation bestowed $13 million to support the construction of the facility – among the largest gifts ever given to a non-profit addiction treatment center.
Skip’s Hall for Integrated Addiction Treatment creates dedicated space to deliver innovative programs and services to treat the evolving needs of the 21st century addiction patient. The new structure houses a Wellness & Fitness Center, Admissions and Nursing and the Pain Recovery Program.
“Thirty-two years ago, Father Martin’s Ashley began an unparalleled legacy of commitment to recovery when we opened our doors to patients for the first time. Our co-founders committed to offering the best possible care in a uniquely beautiful and tranquil setting on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Since then, Ashley has treated tens of thousands of chemically-dependent people and their families with dignity and respect,” said Fr. Mark Hushen, O.S.F.S., president and CEO for Father Martin’s Ashley. “Skip’s Hall for Integrated Addiction Treatment builds on this legacy of excellence and reinforces our commitment to recovery by treating the whole person – the biological, psychological, social and spiritual health of each patient.”
Skip’s Hall for Integrated Addiction Treatment allows Ashley to treat a total of 100 patients at a time, offering primarily single or double-occupancy rooms for privacy and comfort. This capability responds to the challenges of the 21st century patient who may require a 24/7 certified nursing assistant or special consideration when dealing with co-occurring medical or psychological conditions.
“Increasingly, we see patients who are addicted to multiple substances and struggling with complex medical challenges. For example, we treat people who have moved from a dependence on prescription pain medications to heroin addiction. They must have access to a multi-disciplinary approach that offers integrated, individualized treatment options designed to address co-occurring disorders, both physical and behavioral,” said Bernadette Solounias, M.D., vice president of treatment services at Father Martin’s Ashley. “The field of addiction treatment has changed dramatically in the last decade, but one thing will always remain constant: Everything we do at Ashley is focused on recovery. Skip’s Hall for Integrated Addiction Treatment offers modern treatment approaches that empower us as we persist in our mission to heal.”
Heroin use among people dependent on prescription pain drugs has increased considerably in recent years, causing overdoses to soar. In a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths quadrupled between 2002-2013.
The design of the space streamlines the admitting process for patients and their families – seamlessly transitioning from admissions to medical assessment to residence. This reduces the stress often associated with a person’s decision to seek treatment. Additionally, Skip’s Hall will allow patients to move easily from one treatment modality to another, maximizing their time in active therapies and as a cohesive therapeutic group.
The new facility will enable a stronger therapeutic alliance between the patient and his or her treatment team. As an example, multiple nursing stations will allow for faster and easier distribution of medicines to accommodate today’s patients who often require multiple medications at more frequent intervals.
The Skip Viragh Foundation’s gift of $13 million toward the creation of the new facility enhances Ashley’s ability to help those suffering with the disease of addiction and their loved ones find a path to recovery. One of the hallmarks of Skip Viragh’s legacy has been his commitment to philanthropic support of medical research, education and charities that assist families and children.
“Historically, large gifts are given to health issues other than addiction. A gift of this magnitude signifies a deep understanding of addiction as our nation’s most serious public health crisis and further supports Ashley’s approach to addiction treatment,” said Hushen, O.S.F.S. “Addiction is the source of many of our society’s problems and this new facility will enable Ashley to make a larger impact on stemming the addiction epidemic in our local region and beyond.”
A total of $20 million was required to complete Skip’s Hall for Integrated Addiction Treatment. Ashley named the fundraising effort, “The Father Martin Legacy Campaign” to honor one of the organization’s founders and addiction recovery pioneer. In addition to establishing Ashley with co-founder Mae Abraham, the late Father Joseph C. Martin is considered instrumental in changing the face of addiction treatment through his “Chalk Talk” videos, which are still used around the world.