Serenity Place: State continues to evaluate substance use disorder services and staffing needs

Manchester Ink Link
January 2018

CONCORD, NH – On December 20, 2017, Serenity Place was placed into receivership to ensure that its clients will continue to receive substance use disorder (SUD) services while the organization’s financial situation and programs are assessed. The receiving organization, Families in Transition – New Horizons (FIT), is reviewing Serenity’s programs and client needs while continuing to provide services to Serenity clients. Governor Sununu has been convening with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and FIT leadership.

“I have been receiving regular updates about this transition and I am pleased with the progress made to ensure that Serenity’s clients in greater Manchester continue to receive services for substance misuse,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “FIT officials have done tremendous work over the past two weeks – including through the holiday season – to assess the clinical needs of Serenity clients.”

“In the midst of the opioid crisis, there can be no doubt how important these services, including the nationally-recognized Safe Station program, are for our State and for people in need. I commend the many organizations that have come forward to ensure continuity of services by offering their assistance to FIT and the clients served by Serenity,” said Governor Sununu.

FIT has developed a Transition Plan, currently under review, that proscribes how each of Serenity’s programs will continue to be carried out. Although all services will continue, other providers may carry them out. While the Transition Plan is being reviewed, the Executive Council last week authorized DHHS to approve an emergency line of credit to Serenity in order to pay for employee-related expenses such as payroll and health insurance benefits.

“The funding authorized by the Executive Council is being used to cover payroll and benefits while a Transition Plan is developed and implemented,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers. “I wish to thank the Executive Council for their full support to ensure people served by Serenity will continue to get the SUD services they need.”

FIT is currently evaluating staffing needs to determine clinical supervision and oversight of the Safe Station program, SUD treatment programs, and screening and referral services provided by Serenity. Displaced workers are being informed as to other opportunities within the provider community. The investigation by the Attorney General’s office remains ongoing and a public report summarizing the investigation’s results will be released after the investigation is concluded.

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