A community of health partners and political supporters gathered on the Hill to celebrate the grand opening of Cornell Scott Hill Health Center’s new health center for behavioral health and addictions services.
This was the scene Thursday at 149 Minor St., which is the construction site for the new Recovery planned by the community health center & Wellness Center (RWC).
State and local leaders opened the site in the Hill neighborhood as rain showers passed overhead at times.
The new center is expected to have 52 short-term therapy dormitories and beds for people seeking treatment for substance use disorders and mental illnesses.
Cornell Scott Hill Health Center CEO Michael Taylor described the planned three-story, 31,000 square foot building as a symbol of hope, change and healing for the community.
“When we release someone from the grip of addiction, when we effectively address other behavioral health issues, and address their medical issues as well – all in a patient-centered and integrated way – not only do we we make individuals healthier, but we strengthen our community,” Taylor said. .
The building will include individual and group consulting rooms and a medical suite; a 12-bed female dorm and a 40-bed male dorm; and an industrial kitchen and cafeteria.
Next to the new RWC is the Cornell Scott South Central Rehabilitation Center (SCRC).
The RWC is expected to open to patients by the end of 2023. The building was designed by architectural firm Svigals + Partners and construction work will be carried out by Newfield Construction.
The total estimated cost of the project is $24.5 million.
Thursday’s list of speakers included Cornell Health Center Board Chairs Scott Hill, Orlando Cordero and LindyLee Gold, Governor Ned Lamont, Mayor Justin Elicker, Hill Health’s Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health Services and substance abuse Ece Tek, Senior Community Investment Officer of the Corporation for Supportive Housing John Dunne, CEO of Yale New Haven Health System, Christopher O’Connor, and President of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, William Ginsberg.
The project leaders thanked the Hill community for their support throughout the 10-year process.
Several speakers called drug addiction a crisis, and Lamont described state overdose rates as “stubbornly high.
Historically, drug addiction has been criminalized. said Elicker. He praised the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center for “treat substance use disorders as a health problem.
“We are doing the right thing,” he added.
The addiction rehab center is the brainchild of Tek, who worked with Taylor to bring her dream of an addiction services campus to life, she said.
Gold emphasized the importance of Cornell Scott Hill Health Center services being unique by being implemented without cultural barriers for people of color. “White supremacy has contributed to these many health inequalities,” she said.
“We see it in the data, we see it in the headlines, behavioral health and addiction issues have an incalculable impact on our community,” Ginsberg said.
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