FORT MYERS, Fla.– SalusCare, a non-profit provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment, is consolidating all adult residential services into one location at its Transitional Living Center (TLC) campus on Grand Avenue in central Fort Myers.
The decision means that the Drug Abuse Treatment & Education (DATE) residential program at the Ortiz Avenue campus of SalusCare will stop admissions immediately and close within four weeks. All other services on the Ortiz Avenue campus of SalusCare remain intact.
SalusCare CEO Kevin B. Lewis said the consolidation is in response to an anticipated $300,000 state funding cut, but the impact on patients will be minimal due to the flexibility created by the recent merger of Lee Mental Health and Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS).
“Our goal is to minimize patient impact to the greatest degree possible. There continue to be clear messages from the state that residential treatment should be utilized only as a last resort,” he said. “It is our plan to seek to use some of the funding at the TLC campus and to support expanded psychiatric services for adults, which are in great demand.”
Up to 10 adult residential treatment beds will be lost, Lewis said, impacting 90 to 100 individuals during the remaining eight months of the fiscal year, although it is possible that some of those publicly funded beds could be transferred to the TLC campus.
The TLC currently provides residential treatment for 46 men and women with drug and/or alcohol problems or adults with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders in either a short-term residential program or a longer term transitional living program.
Permanent supportive housing also is offered for an additional 34 individuals in a variety of duplexes on the TLC campus that stretches from Dixie Parkway to Grand Avenue in central Fort Myers.
Staff impacted by the consolidation will have opportunities to work elsewhere within the SalusCare organization due to vacancies in other positions. No layoffs are planned, Lewis added.