The following is a press release we received from the Office of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, was honored with the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers’ (ASAP) 2011 Public Service Award, at their 13th Annual conference. ASAP’s membership includes the largest alcoholism and substance abuse prevention, treatment, research and training providers in the country. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz was recognized for his support for substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.
“I am most appreciative of this award because it is being presented by an organization that has done so much to combat the problems that result from addictive behavior in New York State,” Cymbrowitz said.
Cymbrowitz continued, “As Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse I made it my priority to reach out to the service provider community in order to better understand the realities of tackling substance abuse in New York State. Meaningful dialogue among all stakeholders is crucial to the process of creating sound public policy that effectively and efficiently addresses the needs of the significant and growing number of individuals and families facing the crisis of substance abuse.”
“New York State is transitioning to a new method of delivering behavioral health services,” Cymbrowitz pointed out. “As the State moves forward with the implementation of the Medicaid Redesign Team’s recommendations it will also consider mergers and consolidations set forth by the SAGE Commission. These new policies will undoubtedly have an impact on many of the individuals that ASAP represents.
Cymbrowitz commented that ASAP’s conference, “With so many changes being made, the importance of meaningful and inclusive dialogue among stakeholders is more important than ever. This conference is an example of a public forum which brings to light the issues that are facing the chemical dependence community. It provides us with an opportunity to share ideas and best practices, but most importantly it enables us to build the momentum necessary to engage the Legislature, the Governor, and such state agencies as the Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health, and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.”
“These important government entities must understand your priorities: establishing or updating policies and initiatives to improve outcomes across the board, encouraging access to quality health care and reducing barriers to treatment. In the current fiscal climate it is certain that this community discussion will require all hands on deck to accomplish more with less. Your unrelenting collective voices are necessary to make sure that every member of the Legislature understands the significance of your issues and why it is so critical that they be addressed,” Cymbrowitz told the representatives of New York State’s drug and alcohol treatment and prevention programs attending the conference.
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