Stony Brook Medicine Celebrates Opening of New Behavioral Health Facility

Caption - Left to right: New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle; Ann Marie Csorny, LCSW, Director of Suffolk County Department of Health Services Division of Community Mental Hygiene; Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Vice President for Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy, Stony Brook Medicine; New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.; Jarid Pachter, DO, Vice Chair, Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital Leadership Coordinating Council, Medical Director, Quannacut Outpatient Services; New York State Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo; David Cohen, Director, Quannacut Outpatient Services; Paul J. Connor III, Chief Administrative Officer, Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital; Catherine Kent, Deputy Town Supervisor and Councilwoman, Riverhead Town; Richard Rosenthal, MA, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Director, Addiction Psychiatry, Stony Brook Medicine

Riverhead, N.Y., November 20, 2019 – On November 20, Stony Brook Medicine commemorated the opening of its new adult behavioral health facility, Quannacut Outpatient Services, at 905 East Main Street in Riverhead with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours. 

“Quannacut,” the Native American word for “hope” or “rainbow,” defines the facility’s culture and mission in addressing addiction as a treatable disease. The project supports a transformational change within the healthcare system and increases access in services for “at risk” populations across Eastern Long Island.

At the forefront of modern treatment for substance use disorders, Quannacut is uniquely equipped to provide patients 18 years of age and above with all outpatient care in one location. From in-depth intake evaluations to short- and long-term follow-up care plans, it provides access to world-class substance use treatment. The program uses a medical, psycho-therapeutic approach to patient care, specializing in co-occurring disorders. 

As part of the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system, Quannacut has seamless access to all three acute-care hospitals: Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH), Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital (SBELIH) and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital (SBSH). “This facility embodies everything that’s good about building an integrated healthcare system,” said Margaret McGovern, MD, PhD, Vice President for Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy for Stony Brook Medicine.

“The treatment model integrates medicine and psychology with behavioral therapy and counseling,” Dr. McGovern said. “This integration of behavioral health and medicine puts the patient at the center of care and treatment. It recognizes that medical issues often underlie behavioral health concerns, and vice versa.”

“Quannacut offers a unique opportunity to collaborate in a multidimensional way that offers treatment to our patients that will be unmatched by anybody else on Long Island,” said Jarid Pachter, DO, Medical Director of Quannacut. “While medication can be the most vital and lifesaving component of treatment for some patients, full recovery and health cannot be accomplished unless all areas of one’s physical and mental health are addressed. This is where we will excel and serve as a model.”

Quannacut provides highly individualized programs for adults with diverse needs across a wide variety of treatment disciplines. Staffing includes on-site medical and psychiatric physicians and therapeutic staff, with over 85 percent of staff trained at the clinical Masters level and above. Specialists work together to identify, and tailor customized, targeted treatment plans for each patient’s unique dependency profile. Diverse needs addressed include psychiatric, cultural, physical health and criminal justice.

Successful treatment does not take place in a vacuum. Clinicians evaluate patients’ immediate substance use issues, as well as the impact on their support system, family members and significant others. Services include assessment/evaluations, individual group, marital and family therapy, psychiatric evaluations, psychiatric, Medication Assisted Treatment, medication management, primary care medicine and walk-in evaluations. 

The new Quannacut Outpatient Services facility is as unique as the program’s integrated treatment model. Highlights of the new facility include:

  • Facility design supports client care and comfort.
  • All rooms are decorated in neutral/quiet tones to promote calm, with banquette seating throughout.
  • Two segmented waiting areas provide Wi-Fi network access and televisions in each
  • Three medical exam rooms are equipped to perform a wide array of screenings and tests, including EKGs.
  • Therapy spaces are outfitted with audiovisual systems for patient education and vary in size to accommodate one-on-one, small and large groups in private settings. Educational materials are digitized and shared on 65-inch flat-panel televisions in therapy spaces.
  • A staff conference room is equipped with video teleconferencing for staff training and communication among providers at all three hospitals.

Quannacut combines with SBELIH to provide a comprehensive array of inpatient and outpatient services, including Inpatient Addiction Intake/Rehab/Detox Services at SBELIH in Greenport:

  • 10-Bed Detoxification Unit
  • 23-bed Inpatient Psychiatry Unit
  • 20-Bed Rehabilitation Unit

The Quannacut expansion was made possible by The New York State Department of Health, which awarded Eastern Long Island Hospital (now Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital) a $1.6 million grant to support and improve its Substance Use Disorder and Primary Care Services. Quannacut Addiction Services at SBELIH in Greenport has for years been one of the few facilities in Suffolk County to offer a full range of behavioral health services for individuals with addiction and mental health issues. 

Of the new facility, New York State Senator Kenneth LaValle states, “I congratulate everyone involved in this new expanded facility of the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system. Quannacut Outpatient Services will provide our residents with critically important treatment and counseling together at one convenient location.  I am pleased that Quannacut’s world-class services are part of the integrated system that provides accessible, quality healthcare to everyone across the East End.”

“I am pleased to see this facility open in my District as the need for substance abuse services is as important as it’s ever been,” says New York State Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo. “Moreover, the state of the art teleconferencing and electronic medical record abilities will seamlessly connect this facility with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital to ensure a complete and comprehensive treatment plan.  Sadly, the opioid crisis has created an even bigger market for treatment, support and related mental health services so Quannacut’s new facility will undoubtedly save lives.”

New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele is also a proponent of the new facility, stating, “Addiction and substance use disorders are afflictions that know no bounds and spare no community, including the East End. We must continue to do everything we can to prevent addiction, increase access to treatment and ensure those suffering are not forgotten or ignored. The opening of this state-of-the-art facility will be an incredible contribution to the health care system on the East End and for individuals across Long Island. I am pleased to have been a part of this important endeavor, and look forward to the tremendous impact this facility will have on our community and on the overall treatment of substance use disorders.”

Quannacut in Riverhead has provided treatment for alcohol and substance use on an outpatient basis since 2001. The State’s generous grant made the Riverhead expansion possible, with the new 14,000-square-foot facility being nearly three times the size of its previous location, more than doubling patient capacity. Total patient visits are expected to be between 18,000 and 20,000 per year.

“Not only are we a fully integrated outpatient program that treats the whole patient, but we are also working within a system that can care for our patient population in all stages of their health, from acute illness to outpatient medicine,” said Dr. Pachter.

David Cohen, Director Quannacut Outpatient Services, is gratified by the change he sees in clients that enter the program devastated by their substance use but become empowered as they develop skills and strategies to manage their day-to-day lives. 

“Our approach lends itself to change any point of the recovery continuum. Given its in-depth nature, the change patients experience can often be quite dramatic,” says Mr. Cohen.

He pointed to Brendan Carle as a Quannacut success story.

“I never pictured myself getting sober,” Carle said, adding that he “would never have the strength to do it.” His story reveals a different perspective today.

“A key point Quannacut instills in us is that addiction and alcoholism does not discriminate,” he said. “There is strength in acknowledging you have a substance abuse disorder.”

Now Carle is clean, sober and humble. 

“Characteristics that I strive for today are open-minded honesty, and willingness,” he said. “These can only be instilled in my life by practicing them daily to the best of my ability.”

“Through this process I’ve developed an eagerness to help others who have a desire to stop abusing substances as well as themselves,” he said. “My teachers and experiences at Quannacut afford me the opportunity to take on life without the need to pick up a drink or drug and always remind me to live in the solution and not in the problem.”

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