Samaritan unveils new STARS inpatient drug treatment center

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

The new facility for Samaritan Treatment and Recovery Services, at 111 N. Main, at the intersection with Tangent Street, is complete and nearly ready for occupancy, except for a few obstacles.
“We’ve got the staff, we’ve got the building, we’ve got the facilities, we’re ready to go. There’s a couple things that are standing in our way,” said Marty Cahill, CEO of Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. “It’s COVID-19 that’s holding us a little bit right now.”
Samaritan will wait for the epidemic to pass, but they also need the go-ahead from the governor and the hospital’s infectious disease doctors, as well, he said.

Marty Cahill, CEO Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, reads a list of donors who made construction of the new STARS facility possible.

“It’s not a lack of desire on our part, nor is it a lack of need in the community. It’s just not a prudent thing to do right now. We’re ready to do business when we’re allowed to and we feel it’s safe for our employees, our staff and for the residents we’ll be taking care of.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Rick Hindmarsh, medical director for STARS, and Kelley Story, director of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, are continuing Samaritan’s outpatient care program that started in 2018.
To encourage social distancing, they are using tele-med services for some of those patients, and using precaution to work with others who are more high-risk and vulnerable, Story said.
The first floor of the new STARS residential building includes a counseling office, nurse’s exam room, program meeting rooms, staff conference room, laundry room, kitchen and dining room, and an outpatient area.
The second floor is sectioned off for inpatients of the residential program. The Hope Wing for women and Haven Wing for men can house up to eight residents each. Each wing includes a sitting room with couches, a single ADA bed and bathroom, a single bed and bath room, and three double-bed rooms with baths.


The ADA and single bed rooms are for residents with disabilities, and those who may be determined to require separation from roommates, Story explained.
The residents will use badges to get in and out of their wing and bedrooms, and will be able to leave the building at any time.

“They can leave the building at any time if they want to leave treatment permanently, or if they are given a pass to attend a court appearance or a doctors appointment,” Story said. “However, if they choose to leave treatment, they will not be allowed back in. The building is locked down at night and secure, and the alarms are set.”

More than 500 donors made construction of the facility possible. The only financial hiccup to overcome now is support for program operations, Cahill said.
“The one thing that we talked about forever is this program is probably going to lose a quarter of a million dollars a year for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Samaritan will continue a campaign for those who want to donate for operational expenses, sponsoring a resident or particular service, underwriting some of the costs of the program, or perhaps set up an endowment for a doctor to be there, he said.
Story has a lot of goals she wants to expand on in the future for STARS, including a rapid-access, 72-hour assessment wait time. There is only a small window of opportunity to pull an alcoholic or addict into the program when they’re ready, she explained.
“This is an initiative several years in the making, and we’re excited to be on the cusp of beginning this new treatment for individuals struggling with substance abuse disorder,” Cahill said.

A wait list has been started for the first patients, Story said.

For more information, visit www.samhealth.org/Recovery

*This story was updated on April 29 to add a few extra details.