Partnership between OASAS and SUNY Schools Will Support More Than 300 Individuals Pursuing Certifications and Degrees to Work in Addiction Profession
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of a new scholarship program, which makes nearly $3 million available to individuals pursuing a bachelor's degree in Addiction Studies or the education requirements for a New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports credential at Alfred State College, Stony Brook University, and Empire State University. This partnership, led by OASAS, is designed to help individuals working in OASAS, Office of Mental Health, or Department of Health Certified programs obtain either a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, Credentialed Prevention Professional credential, or bachelor's degree in addiction studies to enter or advance their careers in the addiction services profession.
"New York State continues to work on expanding and enhancing our services to help individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction," Governor Hochul said. "This latest round of settlement funding will strengthen the addiction workforce, and support those who continue to be impacted by the opioid and overdose epidemic."
New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, "Our workforce is a vital part of the OASAS service system. These dedicated professionals do important work by providing critical, lifesaving support for thousands of New Yorkers who have been impacted by addiction. We are excited for this new partnership, which will allow for even more people to enter this rewarding career, and help their fellow New Yorkers live healthier lives."
New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "This scholarship program will help us to strengthen our behavioral health workforce and enhance the services and supports they provide. This is another important step forward in our efforts to help those New Yorkers struggling with drug abuse and addiction."
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, "As we continue to see the pain and suffering from various forms of addiction there is a need for compassionate individuals to help our fellow New Yorkers who struggle with this challenging disease. By strengthening this workforce, we can prevent tragedies, save lives and restore families. We thank Governor Hochul for her commitment to combating addiction and to the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers."
Funding for this program is being provided through New York State's Opioid Settlement Fund. Award amounts and program details are as follows.
Alfred State College
$492,500 will support up to 125 individuals looking to receive their CPP or CASAC certification. OASAS currently provides funding to Alfred State to support 45 similar scholarships.
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University will receive up to $1.4 million to support scholarships for 200 individuals working to obtain a CASAC certification.
Empire State University
$1 million will support scholarships for individuals who currently hold a CASAC or Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) credential to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Addiction Studies. A bachelor's degree allows CASAC and CPS workers to advance in their careers, including becoming supervisors at OASAS-certified addiction services programs.
Individuals currently working at an OASAS, OMH, or DOH program will have priority access to the scholarships, and each agency will send out applications instructions when available. More information about the different types of addiction credentials in New York State, and the process to receive a credential and join the addiction workforce, is available on the credentialing page of the OASAS website.
Dr. Craig Clark, Alfred State Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, said, "It is great to partner again with the Office of Addiction Services and Supports. These scholarships will provide opportunities for students to earn the credentials necessary in this very important field. We look forward to supporting individuals entering the addiction profession."
Dr. Shari E. Miller, Dean and Professor, School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University, said "The need to train and develop a skilled workforce to address the growing and emergent prevalence of substance use and addiction at the local, state, and national levels could not be more critical. The School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University, one of New York State's flagship institutions, is committed to catalyzing our educational and research expertise to address addiction and the overdose epidemic. We are deeply appreciative of our collaboration with the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), which will enable the School of Social Welfare to provide state-of-the-art CASAC training to up to 200 people state-wide over the next two years. We are certain this collaboration will empower a well-prepared, competent, and responsive workforce to change lives while fighting this public health crisis."
Empire State University President Dr. Lisa Vollendorf said, "Empire State University is pleased to be able to work in partnership with New York state to help address workforce needs in addiction professions. Empire State University's mission is rooted in providing educational access and strengthening communities throughout the state. This scholarship program will help us do just that in a field that is critically important to New Yorkers."
New York State is receiving more than $2 billion through various settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies that were secured by Attorney General Letitia James. A portion of the funding from these settlements will go directly to municipalities, with the remainder deposited into a dedicated fund to support prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery efforts to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.
The same legislation that established the dedicated fund also created the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board, which is tasked with making recommendations on how settlement dollars should be allocated to best serve those in need. Board members issued their first recommendations on November 1, 2022, identifying the expansion of harm reduction services and treatment as top priorities.
New York State has instituted an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to addressing the overdose epidemic, and created a nation-leading continuum of addiction care with full prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services. The state has worked to expand access to traditional services, including crisis services, inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment programs, as well as medication to treat addiction, and mobile treatment and transportation services.
Governor Hochul was a member of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force, which in 2016, recommended new, non-traditional services, including recovery centers, youth clubhouses, expanded peer services, and open access centers, which provide immediate assessments and referrals to care. These services have since been established in numerous communities around the state and have helped people in need access care closer to where they live.
The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports oversees one of the nation's largest substance-use disorder systems of care with approximately 1,700 prevention, treatment and recovery programs serving over 731,000 individuals per year. This includes the direct operation of 12 Addiction Treatment Centers where our doctors, nurses, and clinical staff provide inpatient and residential services to approximately 8,000 individuals per year.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).
Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, residential, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced insurance obstacles related to treatment or need help filing an appeal for a denied claim, contact the CHAMP helpline by phone at 888-614-5400 or email at [email protected].
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