Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to Host Staten Island Roundtable Discussion on Pain Medication

SIPCW Executive Director Adrienne Abbate to Participate in Discussion about Overprescribing

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (August 8, 2016) – It is a story that has afflicted countless Staten Islanders: following an injury or accident, a person is prescribed and takes pain medication for acute pain that results in opioid addiction. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is working to prevent situations like this across America in the future.

On Tuesday August 9, 2016, Gillibrand will host a roundtable discussion at St. John’s University’s Staten Island campus focusing on U.S. Senate bill S. 2567, the Preventing Overprescribing for Pain Act, which would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue guidelines for the safe prescribing of opioids for the treatment of acute pain. Gillibrand is the cosponsor of this bipartisan legislation, along with Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director of the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness and the project director of the Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) coalition, was invited to participate in the discussion and offer her expertise and insight into this problem.

“We know that opioid dependence often starts with a prescription from a physician,” said Abbate. “Providing prescribers with resources to effectively treat acute pain and screen for potential addiction risk factors is a prevention strategy that we have been advancing at the local level. We applaud Senator Gillibrand for advocating for updated CDC guidelines to bring relief to this national epidemic.“

The CDC’s current guidelines focus solely on chronic pain, and do not offer guidance on acute pain. Many individuals become addicted to opioids after taking prescriptions for acute pain, following common injuries, accidents or minor surgery, such as breaking a bone or getting wisdom teeth extracted.

The bill was included in the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, which the Senate HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) passed unanimously in April 2016. Nonetheless, the bill has not come for a vote on the Senate floor, despite support from a plethora of healthcare and addiction organizations, including Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.

The roundtable will take place at 10am on the Grymes Hill campus.

SIPCW Awarded Take Care New York 2020 Grant for Stapleton and Park Hill Communities

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (Aug. 19, 2016) – The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness (SIPCW) was one of eight organizations across New York City selected to receive a Take Care New York (TCNY) 2020 grant from The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) and the Fund for Public Health in New York, the Department of Health announced yesterday.

TCNY2020 is New York City’s blueprint for giving every New Yorker a chance to live a healthy life, with the goal of improving the community’s health and to make greater strides in groups with the worst health outcomes, so that New York City becomes a more equitable place for everyone. As a TCNY Planning Partner, SIPCW will develop neighborhood health action plans and engage community stakeholders in the health planning process in the Stapleton and Park Hill communities of Staten Island.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to convene community members in Stapleton and Park Hill, and to assist in empowering Staten Islanders to address their most urgent health issues,” said Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director of SIPCW. “We were pleased that DOHMH conducted community consultations across Staten Island to hear firsthand about neighborhood level health issues. This grant will provide needed resources to build on this work with community partners.”

“Borough Hall has been committed to improving the health of Staten Islanders who want to live healthier lives since I took office,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “These grants are an essential step to educating the community and activating additional programs to help people live healthier lives. The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness has been a partner of ours on many fronts and I’m confident in their ability to really foster change.”

SIPCW participated in a competitive request for proposal process in June. Eight community-based organizations were awarded grants of $50,000 to develop health action plans for a different New York City neighborhood with a high burden of poor health outcomes.

While SIPCW will be focused on Stapleton and Park Hill, the organization was pleased to find out that another Staten Island-based community organization, Project Hospitality, was awarded a grant for the Mariners Harbor and Port Richmond neighborhoods, Abbate added.

“Staten Island has some of the highest rates of smoking, chronic diseases and mortality in the city. With no public hospital in the borough, the need for preventive health initiatives is especially acute. This initiative aims to create a community action plan that will improve the health of Staten Islanders, enlisting the expertise of Project Hospitality and the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness,” said Councilwoman Debi Rose. “This grant will enable these groups to build on the good work they do in our borough and further improve the health of the Staten Island community.”

In September, SIPCW and community partner Island Voice will convene community members from Stapleton and Park Hill to prioritize the number one issue impacting health in their neighborhoods. Later in the fall, the groups will reconvene to choose interventions to address the identified health priority and will explore methods for securing resources and steps for implementation.

“This grant is an opportunity to empower neighborhoods to take ownership of health issues and drive solutions collectively,” said Bobby Digi, Founder and Executive Director of Island Voice.

More information about the Take Care New York 2020 can be found at


The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness is a non-profit organization established to promote wellness and to improve the health of the Staten Island community through collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach. For more than 20 years SIPCW has addressed critical public health issues such as obesity, chronic disease prevention and behavioral health on Staten Island. Over the span of the past two decades, SIPCW has successfully convened stakeholders, enabled data-driven decisions and identified evidence-based strategies to collectively approach complex health issues for at-risk communities on Staten Island.

Additional Quotes from DOHMH

“Take Care New York is the City’s blueprint for a healthier city, and these awards will facilitate planning to improve health in neighborhoods that need it the most,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “TCNY Planning Partners will help ensure critical community input as we pursue the TCNY 2020 goals across the city. We look forward to working with these community-based organizations to make every neighborhood a healthy neighborhood.”

“We want New Yorkers to have ownership in developing health initiatives that speak to the specific interests of their community,” said First Deputy Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “This phase of community engagement will help catalyze change by bringing together community stakeholders invested in building healthier neighborhoods.”

Letter to the Editor: Combatting Overdoses in Staten Island Public Restrooms

If you’ve been paying attention, this week wasn’t the first time you saw a tragic headline about a heroin or opioid overdose in a restroom on Staten Island. At Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) we have been following trends and data, and have noted the uptick of (often fatal) overdoses in both public and business restrooms.

Staten Islanders Urged to Include Behavioral Health in their New Year’s Resolutions

Does your New Year’s resolution include dropping a few pounds, exercising, dieting and improving your physical health? You are not alone. Each year individuals ring in the New Year with a promise to take better care of their health. While we hear these physical health resolutions frequently, it is rare, however, to hear a New Year’s resolution about improving your mental health.
This month, the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness (SIPCW) and the Staten Island Paid Provider System (SI PPS) are asking Staten Islanders to think beyond physical wellness by including mental health in their New Year’s resolutions.

Follow SIPCW and SI PPS on Facebook for more information.