RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — The Rutland Regional Medical center is hoping to open a methadone clinic by fall in the Howe Center of the Vermont city.
Last week the hospital’s board of directors voted to move forward with a state Department of Health plan to open a drug treatment center that police and health officials say is needed to treat people addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers.
The target date to open is Oct. 1, said hospital spokeswoman Priscilla Latkin.
Police and local health officials say the treatment center will fill a void left when Rutland Mental Health Services was unable to reach a financial agreement with the state.
‘‘This is obviously good. The hospital stepped up and that’s good,’’ said Rutland Police Chief James Baker.
The facility will open with enough staff to handle 400 people a year but will probably not come close to that number of patients during its first 12 months in operation.
‘‘Based on our plan we would start with 400 folks but we know there’s not going to be that many,’’ Deputy Health Commissioner Barbara Cimaglio told the Rutland Herald (http://bit.ly/10w49ZE ). ‘‘The start-up is going to be a gradual process. We’re not opening the doors with a fixed number of people.’’
The center would enable people to be treated locally, allowing them to get jobs and be more productive citizens, she said.
Information from: Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/