• Cuomo Appoints New OASAS Commissioner

    December 22, 2010
    In his latest round of appointments, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has tapped Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez to serve as Commissioner of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, saying:

    Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez will serve as Commissioner of Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. Ms. Gonzalez-Sanchez currently serves as the Commissioner and Director of Community Services at the Nassau County Department of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services, after working for two years as the Deputy Commissioner. Gonzales will play a key role in the review, redesign, and consolidation of the state’s human services agencies. She is also the Co-Chair of Nassau County’s Health Disparity Task Force. Under Gonzalez, Nassau County consolidated mental health, developmental disabilities, and drug and alcohol addiction services.

    Prior to working for Nassau County, Ms. Gonzalez-Sanchez served at New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for a decade. During her tenure, Ms. Gonzalez-Sanchez was an Associate Commissioner/NYC Regional Director, Assistant Commissioner/Regional Director for the Boroughs of the Bronx and Queens, the Director of Planning and Project Management and a senior consultant. From 1991 to 1992, Ms. Gonzalez-Sanchez served as the Director of the Bronx Health Corps, after working as the Assistant Administrator for the Fund for Aging Services, Inc. at the NYC Department for the Aging.

    Before working for the NYC Department of Aging, Ms. Gonzalez-Sanchez was Research Fellow at Cornell University, where she taught Cell Biology and Anatomy, and served as the Radiation Safety Officer. In 1982, Ms. Gonzalez-Sanchez was a genetic counselor in the Department of Pediatric and Medical Genetics at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center.

    Read the full article on the nominations here.

  • In Times Union, LAC Calls for Support of Buprenorphine Treatment in NY Prisons

    December 06, 2010
    In a column in The Albany Times Union last week, Megan McLemore of Human Rights Watch argued in favor of the state's plan to begin treating incarcerated people who are addicted to heroin with Suboxone, a form of buprenorphine. LAC's director, Paul N. Samuels, agrees with her assessment and calls for wider support in a letter published in today's Times Union:

    Megan McLemore and Human Rights Watch are right on target ("Drug plan deserves support," Nov. 29). The fact of the matter is, buprenorphine is one of the best treatments for addiction, and incarcerated people should not be denied equal medical treatment because of their crimes.

    As for questions of safety: Any medicine can be abused; that doesn't disprove its effectiveness. And federal experts have more than declared buprenorphine safe. Not only was it approved by the FDA eight years ago, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse has funded multiple studies showing its safety and efficacy.

    Instead of criticizing the criminal justice system, we should all follow Ms. McLemore's example and applaud: It's about time the United States began to address addiction among people in the justice system with effective, advanced treatment tools -- including medication when clinically appropriate. This is the only way to reduce recidivism and protect the public.

    Read the original column here here and voice your support for equal treatment for incarcerated people struggling with addiction!

  • “Heads Up!” Paterson Offers Choice: Furloughs or Shutdown

    May 04, 2010
    Gov. David A. Paterson said today that he would include his plan for furloughs for more than 100,000 state employees in his next emergency budget bill, The New York Times reported today:

    By adding the furlough language to an emergency budget bill, he has raised the stakes considerably: Because New York’s Constitution severely limits the ability of the Legislature to amend budget bills, lawmakers may face a choice between approving the furloughs or rejecting the emergency bill and shutting down the state government.

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  • “Heads Up!” Furlough Plan Dominates Talk on Budget

    April 30, 2010

    "Motorists might face slightly longer lines at DMV offices, or at highway tolls," Rick Karlin writes in the Albany Times Union, but Gov. Paterson's plan for state workers to take a furlough day each week as budget negotiations drag on " also appears to be designed to avoid major disruptions."

    Read the full story here.

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  • Lt. Gov. Weighs in on Budget Negotiations - “We’re Not Even Close”

    April 29, 2010
    Speaking to several radio shows today, Governor David Paterson indicated that he plans to keep the recently announced furlough bill separate from the spending bill. This comes as concerns rose about the possibility that lumping the two together would result in a showdown with state legislators.

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