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Samaritan purchasing Lebanon Teen Challenge building for substance abuse treatment center


May 3, 2016

Samaritan Health announced Thursday, April 28, that it has purchased Teen Challenge's substance abuse treatment facility in Lebanon and hired Teen Challenge's inpatient treatment program director.

The move follows an announcement in January that Samaritan planned to close down Wiley Creek Community's assisted living facility in Sweet Home and convert it to an inpatient substance abuse treatment center.

After two public meetings with outraged local citizens, Samaritan officials announced that they were reversing course and that they would consider other locations for the treatment center.

With the hiring of Kelley Story as the director of substance abuse inpatient rehabilitation and acquisition of the Teen Challenge building, Samaritan Health Services is moving forward on its commitment to establish an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program for the region,

said SHS President/CEO Larry A. Mullins.

"This is part of a comprehensive approach to mental health and social services needs

for the area that encompasses our partners in the public and private sector and will

address multiple health determinates relating to the entire population," Mullins

said. "We are very pleased to have Kelley, who has an extensive background in

rehabilitation and homeless issues, join our team."

Story began her new position last month and is helping to design the organizational infrastructure for the program.

Samaritan is completing the purchase of the former Teen Challenge building site in Lebanon and will begin either renovating the 26,000-square-foot facility to house a 15-bed adult residential treatment program or will build a new structure depending on needs. The building, which is currently vacant, previously served as a treatment facility for teens as well as a regional headquarters for the national Teen Challenge organization.

Story previously served as clinical director at Corvallis-based Community Outreach, Inc. In that role, she oversaw COI's alcohol and drug treatment services, outpatient mental health and domestic abuse

intervention program. Previously, Story directed COI's women's program and has more than 20 years' experience in residential and outpatient treatment programs related to addiction, mental health and domestic violence.

"We were very fortunate to have someone with Kelley's background and expertise here in our community," said Marty Cahill, CEO at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital and the administrative leader for the program. "She already knows many of the key partners, and it will help

our program get off to a strong start."

According to a statement from Samaritan, with these key elements in place, the plan is to work with other regional stakeholders to create a residential treatment program early next year, once the building renovations are completed and employees are hired and trained. Efforts are also under way to hire a medical director for the program.

Building renovations are expected to take six to eight months with total project cost, including acquisition, to be estimated at $2 million, Cahill said.

"The program will be open to all those in need, including those served by Medicare and the Oregon Health Plan," he said.

The lack of residential treatment options for alcohol and drug addiction, especially for low-income clients, has long been identified as a high priority need in the region, and local leaders praised the

decision to develop a program.

"This program will fill a long-standing, gaping hole in the behavioral and physical health resources in our region," said Frank Moore, Linn County health administrator and mental health director. "The addition of this resource will have far-reaching impacts, greatly increasing timely access to services and reaping long-term benefits for our overall community."


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