Dominion Diagnostics Establishes New Scholarship to Enhance Access to Vermont Recovery Residences
A new scholarship advancing addiction recovery in the state of Vermont has been established to support the Vermont Foundation of Recovery (VFOR) by Dominion Diagnostics, a leading national medical laboratory with a two-decade long history in the state and deep roots in its treatment and recovery community. The Dominion Diagnostics VFOR Scholarship, which will be initially established with $9000, will begin in January 2019 and offers VFOR the opportunity to provide accessible recovery housing for individuals transitioning from addiction treatment, to recovery, to independent living.
Dominion’s scholarship addresses a recommendation of the Vermont Governor’s Opioid Coordination Council (OCC) to expand access to quality, affordable recovery housing, which supports the company’s long-time commitment to discovering and developing new ways to enhance the treatment community at varying stages in care.
Many individuals reentering their communities after treatment struggle financially and are unable to cover initial deposit and first month’s rent for housing. Their alternative all too often is to return to the environment that fueled their substance use to begin with. Dominion’s scholarship will allow VFOR to offer those critical funds to recovering individuals for a safe, nurturing start in one of VFOR’s five recovery residences.
“We are keenly aware of the need for safe and sustainable housing for individuals as they leave treatment and are in the early stages of their recovery,” says Mary Hauser, Dominion Diagnostics Vice President of Addiction Services.
The scholarship will have a pay-it-forward concept designed to support personal agency and service work which is a hallmark of an effective recovery program. As recipients regain independence from one of the five VFOR homes, they will be gently encouraged, if able, to pay back all or part of the scholarship received to support others who will follow.
Chittenden County Opioid Alliance Executive Director Christine Johnson looks forward to seeing the results of what she is calling a ‘promising pilot’ and says the scholarship will help to fill a need that many people will utilize. “Housing for people in recovery is a vital component of what is needed for someone to overcome substance use disorders,” Johnson says. “Being able to receive a scholarship to take that step towards stable housing is a huge benefit and being able to pay it forward to others is a great opportunity.”
Dave Riegel, VFOR’s Executive Director and Board President for the Vermont Alliance of Recovery Residences (VTARR), could not agree more. “The need is so great,” he says. “This act of kindness will allow the most vulnerable access to a safe, stable, sober living environment.”
According to Riegel, VFOR will compile data on the effectiveness and sustainability of this pilot as a model to achieve the overarching goal of supporting all Vermont recovery residences. It is Dominion Diagnostics’ hope that this scholarship become a call-to-action for other Vermont businesses and organizations to support recovery residences in their geographic area.
“Lack of safe housing is one of the greatest challenges and highest risks for many clients as they leave treatment,” Dominion’s Hauser said. “By supporting VFOR with this new scholarship, we believe we are making a meaningful contribution to individuals and the recovery community.”
For more information on the Vermont Foundation of Recovery, visit: http://vermontfoundationofrecovery.org/
For more information on the Opioid Coordination Council, visit: www.healthvermont.gov/response/alcohol-drugs/governors-opioid-coordination-council
For more information on the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance, visit: www.ecosproject.com/chittenden-county-opioid-alliance