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Allies Inc. and Legacy Treatment Services Partner with Salem Medical Center to Offer Integrated System of Healthcare for NJ Residents

Thanks to a partnership between Allies, Inc., Legacy Treatment Services, and Salem Medical Center, New Jersey residents with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) will have the opportunity to receive integrated healthcare that meets a wide variety of their needs all in one location. Allies and Legacy Treatment Services are part of the Woods Services system of care that provides innovative, comprehensive, and integrated health, education, housing, workforce, behavioral health, and case management services to more than 22,000 children and adults in the intellectual and developmental disability, behavioral, child welfare, and brain trauma public health sectors who have complex and intensive medical and behavioral healthcare needs.  

The partnership took flight approximately two years ago, when the Salem Medical Center (SMC) was sold to CHA Partners, a full-service commercial real estate firm specializing in public-private partnerships, healthcare, redevelopment, and adaptive reuse projects. The firm was committed to keeping the hospital functioning to meet the needs of the community it served.

An analysis of Salem county’s geography and demographics identified a clear gap in behavioral healthcare, as well as mental health and addiction treatment services. Legacy Treatment Services was brought in to fill that gap, which aligns with the hospital’s short and long-term strategic vision to develop and incorporate behavioral healthcare resources for the local population.

Roy A. Leitstein, MS, CEO of Legacy Treatment Services, explained, “Legacy has a successful integrated care model with Shore Medical Center and Virtua Health Systems. We’ve already established that we can communicate and integrate effectively into an existing health system, so partnering with SMC felt like a very natural fit.”

Around the same time Legacy was forming their partnership with SMC, Allies, Inc. began serving clients with IDD that had previously been served by Bellwether Behavioral Health. This transition sparked the need for a new day program facility to meet the habilitation needs of the new Allies residents living in Salem and Gloucester counties. The solution – Allies would join forces with Legacy Treatment Services and SMC, and a new state-of-the-art facility would be built that would house both Allies’ structured day habilitation services, as well as Legacy’s outpatient behavioral health, substance abuse and addiction treatment services. SMC would continue offering primary and emergency care as they have for the last 100 years in Salem County, with some new developments planned.

Additionally, Woods was recently awarded a $100,000 capacity-building grant to increase access to primary care for people with IDDs and mental health challenges who experience significant disparities in access to care and health outcomes, specifically in Salem County. With the funding, Woods will establish an integrated and inclusive primary care practice within or adjacent to Salem Medical Center that will serve among others, many of the individuals being supported by Allies and Legacy Treatment Services.  The initiative is funded by an Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant from the Division of Disability Services, New Jersey Department of Human Services, and administered by Rutgers University Bloustein School of Public Policy and Planning. 

Michael Haggerty, President and CEO of Allies, Inc. remarked, “Partnering with SMC and Legacy Treatment Services is a win-win in every direction. We are excited to have the unique opportunity to build a brand new facility from scratch that is custom-designed to meet the needs of our habilitation program participants. At the same time, we’re building, along with Woods and Legacy, an integrated system of healthcare that will give New Jersey residents the services needed to support their physical, mental and behavioral health; along with substance abuse and addictions treatment should the need arise.”  

Legacy is equally pleased with the partnership. Roy stated, “Allies is a one-of-a-kind organization with a history of excellence. Under Michael’s leadership they didn’t just survive as they continued operating during this unprecedented time, they are also expanding their services, which is a brave and necessary move that highly benefits those they serve.”

In addition to filling the need for primary and emergency care, services for behavioral health, substance abuse and addiction treatment, and habilitation services, the union also supports the belief that those with IDDs should be given the same access to medical care and treatment opportunities that those without IDDs have, in the communities of their choice.

“At Allies, we support community inclusion and care for the whole person. We look at an individual in their entirety – their physical and mental health, issues they may be struggling with, their recreation and employment, and the goals that they want to achieve. Our new facility and partnerships with Legacy and SMC will allow us to continue doing this vital work, and we look forward to deepening this collaboration and our offerings in the future,” said Michael.  

As of June 2021, SMC opened a brand new 26-bed in-patient adult psychiatric unit providing 24-hour care. The new unit features open and communal space to promote interaction and reduce isolation, wellness areas, and on-site consulting suites. When the state budget passes, there will be an appropriation for a 5-bed in-patient psychiatric stabilization unit specifically geared for those with IDD.

The building housing Legacy Treatment Services and the Salem Day Center has been completed. Legacy is currently providing outpatient behavioral health, substance abuse and addiction treatment services at this new location; and the Salem Day Center is in the process of being furnished inside. Developments within the Salem Day Center will be featured in Allies’ Keeping in Touch newsletter, on our website at alliesnj.org, and on our Facebook page – “Allies NJ”. 

To learn more about these programs and services:

Allies Day Programs, please email Beth Lopez, V.P. of Vocational Services, at bcarey@alliesnj.org. 

Legacy Treatment Services, please call 800-433-7365 or visit legacytreatment.org.

Woods Services, please call 215-750-4255 or visit woods.org.

Allies, Inc. will soon open a new state-of-the art day program center on the campus of Salem Medical Center in Salem, NJ.

Allies, Inc. is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, meaningful employment and recreational activities to people with special needs in the communities of their choice. To learn more, visit www.alliesnj.org.

“A world where limitation does not distinguish nor define.”

Contact: Nicole Zamerovsky, Director of Communications, Allies, Inc.
Cell: 609-508-6181
Email: nzamerovsky@alliesnj.org

 

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