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Fundraising underway for planned substance abuse treatment center

By Charlotte Ferrell Smith, Religion reporter
TOM HINDMAN/DAILY MAIL
Rick Otten, chairman of the board for T Center, talks to the media and supporters about the $10 million capital campaign to build a facility for the treatment of drug abuse in the Charleston area.
TOM HINDMAN/DAILY MAIL Rick Otten, chairman of the board for T Center, said officials are looking at potential sites for the facility that is targeted for completion by the end of 2016.
TOM HINDMAN/DAILY MAIL Jim Wilkerson, development director for T center, said the facility will be the only one of its kind in West Virginia.
TOM HINDMAN/DAILY MAIL Jim Wilkerson, director of development for T center, said the residential facility will have a medical staff with services offered 24 hours a day.

The $10 million goal includes building 24-hour residential facility, operating expenses

By CHARLOTTE FERRELL SMITH

Daily Mail Staff

A $10 million capital campaign has been launched to build a facility for the treatment of substance abuse that is to be the first of its kind in West Virginia.

The T Center is to be built in Charleston with 40 beds, including 20 on one wing for men and 20 on another for women. Services are to include detoxification and stabilization programs, day treatment programs, congregate therapeutic living program and an intensive outpatient program. The facility is to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a full medical staff, including nurses and therapists.

A news conference to announce plans for the new facility was held Thursday morning at Executive Air, where supporters and media gathered.

Jim Wilkerson, development director for T Center, said, “This is the first facility of its kind in West Virginia.”

He said the goal is to bring hope to those suffering from addiction and to their families.

Plans call for working with hospitals, community and health organizations, and other groups to address the issues of drug and alcohol addiction, he said.

Plans are being outlined in conjunction with Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home, a transitional home for men, and its sister facility, Rea of Hope, said Flick Goldsmith, chairman of KVFH.

Among speakers at the conference was Dr. Dan Foster, who said, “West Virginia has the highest level of substance abuse and preventable overdose deaths in America.”

He talked about the significant impact this has on families and the economy as well as the health and education systems.

In a recent report from the West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, it was estimated that the combined cost of substance abuse-related issues in West Virginia is $1.86 billion per year. That is about $1,000 per year for every resident, he said.

Foster noted that 80 to 85 percent of incarcerations are in some way linked to substance abuse.

While the new treatment facility would not be the answer to all of these problems, he believes it would be a beginning.

Representatives from the offices of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., were on hand to show support for the facility.

Rick Otten, chairman of the board for the T Center, said officials have been looking at sites but declined to say where the potential areas are located for the not-for-profit facility. He said patients would pay a percentage of the cost of treatment and the facility would be accredited with insurance companies. He compared opening T Center to opening a hospital with a full medical staff and state and federal licensing.

The $10 million fundraising goal would include building the facility and purchasing equipment as well as some operating expenses for the first year.

So far, the Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home has kicked in $300,000 and there have been some smaller contributions, Otten said.

Services have been donated by some area businesses such as an architectural rendering from Silling Associates and some professional advice from PRAY Construction.

Wilkerson said the two-year campaign will allow a “multi-year plan for giving.” Plans call for completing the T Center by late 2016.

The letterhead for the T Center has listed below the facility’s name “treatment, trust, together.”

For more information, go to www.tcenterwv.com, email jwilkerson306@aol.com or call 304-549-2603.

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlotte@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1246.


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