The Mobile Medication Unit is available six days per week, with schedules and locations set in collaboration with partner organizations.
In keeping with their mission of providing vital clinical, mental health, and social services to residents of the Bronx and greater New York City, VIP Community Services launched a new Mobile Medication Unit (MMU) in July. Since then, VIP has received final approvals from federal and state officials, and the MMU is active and serving patients across NYC.
Unprecedented rates of overdose deaths call for innovative programs that expand access to and engagement in overdose prevention and treatment services. With support from the Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS), VIP Community Services is offering medication assisted treatment, initial and annual physical examination, counseling services, peer support services, opioid overdose prevention and education, and referrals to mental health and clinical services through its newly established Mobile Medication Unit.
“Our approach is person-centered, meaning we tailor our treatment to best serve the needs of our clients. The Mobile Medication Unit allows us to meet individuals where they are on their path to self-sufficiency,” said Debbian Fletcher-Blake, President and CEO of VIP Community Services.
“VIP is committed to increasing access to comprehensive treatment services for the most at-risk New Yorkers impacted by the ongoing opioid epidemic,” said Justin Mitchell, Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer of VIP Community Services. “Medications, such as methadone and buprenorphine, are an evidence-based intervention which promotes recovery and saves lives.”
Allegra Schorr, President of The Coalition of Medication-Assisted Treatment Providers and Advocates of New York State (COMPA), stated: “We are thrilled that VIP is the first Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) in New York to gain approval under the new DEA regulations to operate its MMU and deliver full medication-assisted treatment, including methadone and the other two FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder (OUD). Expanding access to lifesaving addiction treatment is essential in our state as we face increasing numbers of overdose deaths. We look forward to supporting VIP – and hopefully other OTPs soon – as they take this innovative next step in providing care to patients right where they are at.”
“Phoenix House is committed to ensuring individuals in need of substance use treatment have access to comprehensive, evidence-based treatment services that not only prepares them to enter back into society but validates their experiences and creates a positive and healthy lifestyle along the way,” said Anne-Marie Foster, President & CEO for Phoenix House of New York/Long Island. “We are proud to partner with VIP Community Services to provide on-site Methadone Treatment Services for individuals in our Long Island City Residential campuses. The ongoing fight to end opioid abuse and save lives is better done together – long lasting change begins with innovative partnerships like this.”
In Fiscal Year 2023, VIP’s OTP served 1,537 patients, with 377 new admissions, predominantly from the Bronx. Notably, 73% of these new admissions were male, and over a quarter were over the age of 55.
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