Local officials and legislative leaders toured Serenity at Summit New England center last Friday.
The redevelopment of the former city-owned Glynn Memorial Nursing Home into a new, 43-bed clinical and holistic care detox and residential facility is being called “a center for wellness” and “a fantastic fit for Haverhill,” among other compliments.
City leaders and legislators handed out kudos during a grand opening and open house last Friday at the new Serenity at Summit New England, 61 Brown St. Speakers, including Sen. Kathleen A. O’Connor Ives, centered on a local need for treatment beds and said “the timing couldn’t be better.” O’Connor Ives said in addition to legislative action and state funding, help is needed at all levels – including parents, clergy and schools. “All Hands need to be on deck.”
“We need to make sure that a place like this, which has detox and also has a place where people can live, is so crucial so that folks aren’t in what they call ‘a spin cycle.’ Rotating in and out of (emergency rooms), or in and out of jails, or in and out of crisis. We want to make sure that there are long term solutions so that we can have hope and have supportive addiction recovery,” O’Connor Ives said.
Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek described the transformation of the former Glynn as “beyond belief.” He said Serenity is entering “at a time that we’re almost at ‘crisis level’ for the type of services they’re going to be providing.”
“They’re experienced, they know their game, they’re going to do fantastic. It’s not going to bring any trouble. It’s going to be fantastic and I want to welcome Summit to Haverhill and I’m sure they’re gonna do great. I know the city and the mayor were all behind this and we’re waiting for them to hold their next event when they open up their second phase,” Macek said.
House Public Safety Committee Chairperson, Rep. Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen), anticipated beds at the facility “will be filled very quickly.” She told Serenity officials she’s “very excited” about their intended outreach.
“As with cancer, as with any serious and chronic illness, if we don’t use a holistic approach it will not succeed. So you have the model that will succeed, you have the people that will succeed. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and my colleagues in the legislature for what you are doing and we’re behind you 100 percent. And you keep on us, make us do our job and keep contacting us and we’ll be there,” Dean Campbell said.
Serenity at Summit CEO Jim Kane said he is impressed with the Haverhill community and the enthusiasm and inclusivity he found with other local programs. He spoke about the recovery side related to the issues of opioid and other drug abuse, overdoses and deaths.
“I’ve been doing this work for about 38 years and I have seen tremendous positive outcomes from programs that, again, do put together a comprehensive initial phase in a very well established continuing care program and that’s what we want to do. And there are some good resources out there that we’re going to be partnering with for that long-term recovery and that’s what it’s about. That’s what makes what we do successful,” Kane said.
Recently, Kane was a panelist at a September “Reasons For Hope” public forum in Methuen, sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Prevention and Substance Abuse Project.
Serenity at Summit, operated by Summit Behavioral Health, “treats all stages of the recovery process from initial detox and residential treatment to ongoing outpatient support and counseling,” according to information posted at the website carerbuilder.com. “We treat every type of substance addiction, for any type of person, at any stage of recovery. Care is provided in a comfortable, stress-free environment, tailored to each individual’s needs.”