Tag Archive for: Adrienne Abbate

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 nyc.gov/tcny2020.


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.

Why Governor Cuomo’s Legislation Matters in Staten Island’s Fight against Heroin

By: Adrienne Abbate

Yesterday, I proudly stood by Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island as he signed new legislation to combat heroin and prescription opioid abuse in New York State. By all accounts it was an historic day in our battle to end the opioid epidemic.

Today, after seeing many comments by Staten Islanders questioning the efficacy of this legislation, I wanted to share why this comprehensive package is important to our borough, to the state and to the entire nation.

Several months ago, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of a statewide Heroin Task Force, comprised of healthcare providers, parents, recovering New Yorkers, advocates and educators. I, as project leader for the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness’s Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) initiative, along with Staten Island District Attorney, Michael McMahon, sat on this task force and gave our recommendations on expanding awareness of opioid addiction, enhancing statewide prevention efforts, increasing access to treatment, and improving support for those in recovery.

I’m proud to say that Governor Cuomo took each and every one of our recommendations seriously and made an important step forward in addressing these critical problems. Here are three reasons why yesterday’s bill signing will make a difference in our community:

1) It Eliminates Insurance Barriers to Addiction Treatment

If you’ve ever dealt with an insurance issue, you know how burdensome the process to obtain approvals can be. For those who are seeking opioid treatment, every minute is critical and can mean the difference between life and death. This legislation requires insurers to cover necessary inpatient services for the treatment of substance use disorders for as long as an individual needs them.
When trying to obtain medication to manage withdrawal symptoms or maintain recovery, patients are seeing similar roadblocks. A prior approval must be obtained to receive this medication, which stops medication access to those trying to get help. This legislation prohibits insurers from requiring prior approval.

We’ve seen great success with naloxone, the anti-overdose spray, which saved three individuals experiencing overdoses in a span of 12 hours by Staten Island first responders earlier this month. This new legislation requires insurance companies to cover the costs of naloxone when prescribed to a person who is addicted to opioids and to family members on the same insurance plan. It also expands the restrictions on trained professionals who can administer the life-saving treatment.

2) It Expands and Enhances Opioid Treatment

Currently, individuals who are looking for treatment are provided with 48-hours of short term help. However, members of the task force felt that 48-hours was far too short to stabilize opioid users and, more importantly, find them long-term treatment options. This legislation will expand emergency treatment to 72 hours, and allocates funding to add 270 treatment beds and 2,335 opioid treatment program slots across the state.

Upon discharge after emergencies, hospitals will now be required to follow-up with individuals with nearby treatment options to provide continuous care. Furthermore, for individuals leaving treatment, the legislation extends the wraparound program to provide services to support long-term recovery. When individuals leave treatment, they are at a great risk for relapse. By providing education and employment resources, legal resources, childcare and peer support groups, we are helping those New Yorkers who finished treatment stay on the path to healthy living.

3) Most Importantly, It Will Help Prevent Opioid Addiction Before it Starts

To prevent opioid addiction, we have to reduce unnecessary access to it. On Staten Island and across the country, we’ve seen a simple prescription for pain medication spiral into heroin addiction. The legislation lowers the limit for opioid prescriptions for acute pain from 30-days to no more than a 7-day supply. If you suffer from chronic pain and other conditions, this will not affect your access.

This legislation will also help educate healthcare providers on opioid addiction. Pharmacists, who play a critical role in the fight against opioid addiction, are now required to provide easy to understand information on risks associated with these drugs. Additionally, all physicians and prescribers will be required to complete three hours of education every three years on addiction, pain management, and palliative care.

As someone who has seen the opioid and heroin problem escalate in our borough, and have witnessed so many of my fellow Staten Islanders seek help to no avail, I truly believe this legislation will aid in the prevention, recovery and support of the addicted. It is my hope that this legislation will be the beginning of the end of this crisis, and that the rest of the nation will follow New York State’s example.

Adrienne Abbate is executive director of the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness. Throughout her career in the public health sector, Ms. Abbate has been a prominent advocate for substance abuse prevention and treatment. She is currently the Project Director of the Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA), a cross sector coalition aimed at leveraging the power of collective impact to improve health outcomes for Staten Island youth.