Local News

Grant program allows for improvements at Sinnissippi Centers

DIXON – Improvements are underway at Sinnissippi Centers thanks to a federal grant designed to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility said in a news release Wednesday.

“We know that folks in our communities are struggling, and we’re doing our best to meet those needs, to recruit, and to maintain competitive salaries to the best of our ability to meet those needs in a challenging environment,” said Patrick Phelan, president and CEO of Sinnissippi Centers’ Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic.

The Sinnissippi Centers project began in the fall of 2021.

A federal grant was awarded in mid-summer.

Sinnissippi has opened a new Living Room Drop-in Center, a free non-clinical space where individuals can talk with a peer if they are experiencing emotional stress or overwhelming symptoms due to life circumstances.

“This was a major accomplishment as it required significant changes to processes, policies, staffing and programming, said Phelan.

The Sinnissippi Centers project will increase access to psychiatry and medication assistant treatments. It will allow team-based approaches, enhance primary care screening and referral, as well as care coordination.

Sinnissippi is still in the process of hiring for additional positions to support this model.

“We are struggling to fill positions much like other businesses and organizations have struggled during this pandemic,” adds Phelan.

He said once fully staffed, the facility will have enhanced physical health screening and intervention, as well as care coordination.

“By addressing primary care needs, we are able to identify physical issues sooner and help them link to our medical providers and get treatment,” he said.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Sinnissippi Centers was the recipient in late summer of a $2 million grant — one of 100 issued nationwide.

In all, the substance abuse administration distributed $250 million in grants, including $77 million from the American Rescue Plan to address the behavioral health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expansion grant program increases access to and improves the quality of community mental and substance use disorder treatment centers.