Armstrong-Indiana group takes over Clarion County drug program

| Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

The Armstrong-Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission will take over Clarion County's drug and alcohol program, after Clarion officials had to outsource some county services to make needed budget cuts.

Kami Anderson, Armstrong-Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission executive director, said the Clarion program will relinquish control on June 30. Armstrong-Indiana will take over the program's administration on July 1, she said.

Armstrong-Indiana will provide administrative and management services and handle the areas of prevention and case management for Clarion. Clarion's outpatient treatment is being outsourced to Services Access Management, a provider from eastern Pennsylvania.

The Armstrong-Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission has its offices along Route 422 in the Shelocta area. The commission works at increasing substance abuse awareness, prevention, intervention and treatment services for the two counties, and now a third county — Clarion.

Clarion Drug and Alcohol officials could not be reached for comment.

Anderson said her board decided in December to accept the state's offer to handle Clarion's services temporarily. Armstrong-Indiana will handle duties for Clarion for the next 12 months.

The state will open Clarion's services to all providers after a year and Anderson said Armstrong-Indiana will make at bid at that time to include Clarion as part of its commission permanently.

"Hopefully we will be able to provide more services and extend the types of services," said Anderson. "We're looking forward to working with the people of Clarion County, and the northern part of Armstrong (the area that is part of the Redbank Valley School District) and improving their services."

Clarion's former director, Nicole Salvo, has been hired by Armstrong-Indiana as a case management supervisor. All of Clarion's drug and alcohol program employees are being retained as employees of Armstrong-Indiana.

"She (Salvo) will be a huge asset in the transition," said Anderson. "She is very familiar with the Clarion area and the services there."

Armstrong County Commissioner Rich Fink represents the county on the Armstrong-Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission and lives in the northern area of Armstrong County affected by the changeover.

"I think it will be a very good thing for my end of the county," Fink said.

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