NEW CANAAN – State Representatives Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton) and Fred Wilms (R-Norwalk, New Canaan) toured the Silver Hill Hospital for Mental Health and Addiction in New Canaan on May 29th, 2018.
“The opioid crisis in Connecticut has reached a critical level,” Rep. Wilms said. “Hospitals like Silver Hill will help us combat addiction and reduce the number of fatalities in our state. I would like to thank the hospital for allowing us to visit, and for their dedication to saving and changing lives. To assist in their efforts, I cosponsored a bill expanding telehealth services to treat addiction, which has passed the legislature this year. We will continue to do our part in Hartford to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets and to provide assistance to those battling addiction.”
“Mental health and drug addiction are complex problems that require the unique care that Silver Hill offers,” Rep. O’Dea said. “They provide a tremendous service to the community, especially during a time when the number of opioid deaths has reached unprecedented levels. Combating drug addiction in our state is a group effort. We must continue to educate the public on this crisis, pass legislation to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets, ensure that hospitals like Silver Hill have the resources they need to treat patients, and continue to support our first responders in any way possible. In addition, Silver Hill’s new President and Medical Director, John Santopietro, MD, DFAPA, has experience developing and growing large scale telehealth programs, which, I believe, are key to making affordable healthcare available to all.”
Silver Hill Hospital has been operational since 1931 when it was founded by Dr. John Millet and Nurse Elvira Parsons with the first patient being admitted that December. The non-profit hospital began treating addiction in 1971 where the conducted original research into the biological and psychological contributors to addiction. Today, the hospital treats over 3,500 patients annually. Their goal is to treat the addiction, or other conditions, and eventually transition patients into productive lives. Silver Hill is a nationally recognized psychiatric hospital that continually receives accolades for their success with patients.
Reps. O’Dea and Wilms supported P.A. 18-148, An Act Concerning Telehealth Services, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly with strong bipartisan support. This bill allows telehealth providers to prescribe non-opioid Schedule II or III controlled substances in the treatment of a psychiatric disability or substance abuse disorder. The bill also adds registered nurses and pharmacists to the list of health care providers who may provide telehealth services. The bill now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.
State Rep. Tom O’Dea represents the 125th General Assembly district which includes New Canaan and Wilton. He is Deputy Republican Leader At-Large and serves on the legislature’s Transportation Committee as well as the Judiciary, Legislative Management and Regulation Review Committees.
State Representative Fred Wilms represents the 142nd General Assembly district communities of Norwalk and New Canaan. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, and the Transportation Committee.