DANVILLE — A program that transfers overdose survivors directly from hospital emergency departments to a drug treatment provider seeks funding from Montour County.
Mary Lynn Cadman, Barbara Correll, and Patricia Deleo, representatives from CMSU’s (Columbia Montour, Synder, Union services) Warm-Handoff program, presented their case during Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, in the hopes the county would contribute a portion of their annual $352,000 budget.
The program, developed by the state’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is aimed to avoid merely giving survivors a phone number to call or setting up an appointment at a later date.
The group’s overall aim is to get each county in the region to establish a Warm Handoff program.
They are already working with Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg and Geisinger, Deleo said.
In asking commissioners to pay of share of their budget, they suggested each county share would depend on opioid problems and needs.
Another priority is to ultimately expand the program to utilize other resources, said Correll.
A doctor can contact the CMSU helpline when an individual experiencing an overdose comes into the emergency room as part of the program.
“We go to the hospital, which could be Geisinger in Danville or Shamokin. Or Evangelical,” said Correll. “The goal is to be the intermediary and hand off the person into a treatment program.”
In year one of the program, the CMSU handoff program helped 168 individuals (four counties); in year two, 284; year three, 287; and in year four, 213.
Commissioner Ken Holdren asked if the group had reached out to other counties for help in funding.
“We have a commitment from Columbia County,” Correll said. She said they have approached Union County.
Holdren said he needed to know more about how monies would be spent before making any commitment.
Earlier in the meeting, Mike Komar, a member of the Northumberland Montour Joint Airport Authority, proposed that the airport property become more of a community resource for events.
“It’s a great piece of land with a lot of parking,” Komar said.
The airport is also looking at some safety and runway maintenance, and the capital outlay for that would be approximately $75,000, he said.
The airport runs on a $ 20,000-a-year budget.
“There is no funding stream for the airport,” Komar said. “It derives revenue from rentals.”
The airport has 114 acres and there is a section of the airport on Sunbury Road, a one-acre lot, that they are looking to sell. The revenue would be used for maintenance.
In other business, Holdren was appointed SEDA-COG commissioner representative.