Health Care

New Day Recovery Adds to Drug Rehab Efforts

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BOARDMAN, Ohio – It’s been only four months since New Day Recovery opened, but already Tom Ivany has seen the impact of the detox center on its clients.

“I’ve been in a lot of businesses over the years, but I’ve never had anything where clients come up, give me a hug and tell me that I helped saved their life,” said Ivany, owner and CEO of New Day, at the rehab center’s ribbon cutting Monday morning. “It’s been incredibly touching.”

Since it opened, New Day has worked with more than 150 clients and expanded its staff to 32, he added. The average stay in the 16-bed clinic is between five and seven days, said Executive Director Kim DiPillo. During that time, patients go through individual and group counseling, case management and assessments.

“From the get-go, we’re always talking to them about what’s next because this is not the end,” DiPillo said. “This is the first step and it’s up to them to take the next step, whatever it may be.”

New Day is an offshoot of On Demand Drug Testing & Work Solutions, which Ivany also owns. About a year ago, Ivany and DiPillo said, they began to notice that other drug rehabilitation clinics in the Mahoning Valley were beginning to turn clients away because they were at capacity.

“When we needed to get people a higher level of care. Everyone was full. There was usually a three-week wait,” the director said. “Our fear is that as our name gets out there, we will end up a wait list all the time. Nobody is in competition. To us, it’s everyone saying, ‘Let’s work to solve the problem.’ ”

Since New Day isn’t yet fully licensed by the state, it can’t charge for its services and, as such, hasn’t been advertising, DiPillo said. Almost all of its clients have been through referrals from other centers already at capacity.

“We’re absolutely working in tandem. The reason our beds are full today [is] because they have waiting lists,” the CEO said. “I want to continue to look at this as a complete joint effort by all of us. When we’re full, I plan to call these other facilities and tell them that we have a client that needs help.”

Because New Day isn’t licensed by the state – it does, however, have certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – it isn’t allowed to charge for services. Licensure should be approved in the coming months, Ivany said, and once it does, New Day is ready to expand.

Once New Day has the capital, the current building, 960 Boardman-Canfield Road, will be turned into a clinic for women, while the building next door will be used as a clinic for men. Both buildings were purchased from Sateri Assisted Living after Sateri closed last year.

“We’ve invested a lot of money here, so once we’re open for a couple months, we’ll be able to open the other building right away,” Ivany said.

Both buildings are former assisted-living homes, which plays a “crucial role” in making patients feel at ease when they come in.

In recent years, the number of drug overdoses in the state has skyrocketed. Last year, 3,050 overdoses were reported in the state, a 20.5% increase from 2014. More than one-third of the overdoses were from fentanyl, an opiate often mixed with heroin. Heroin, meanwhile accounted for more than 45% of all overdose deaths last year.

Over the summer, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, supporting the expansion of drug diversion programs, medication-assisted treatment and the use of naloxone to reverse overdoses. The act did not, however, providing funding for rehabilitation centers.

“It was a huge first step to help facilities like this help with the epidemic, but there wasn’t money behind it so there’s a lot more work to do,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, to the crowd after the ribbon cutting. “I’ve seen the devastation. For people like you to put your money where your mouth is, this is an act of love. … It’s about being loved and cared about. We can’t come from a place where we’re all perfect and they’re not.”

Pictured: Felix Savon, co-owner, Kim DiPillo, New Day Recovery executive director, Tom Ivany, co-owner and CEO, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Nicolette Giordano, program director and Megan Giering, marketing director.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.