FCS Receives $1.25 Million to Address Opioid Crisis

Family Counseling Services (FCS), has been awarded $1.25 million in federal funding to expand critical initiatives to combat the opioid crisis. With these funds, FCS will provide outreach and mobile services to individuals living in Cortland and Herkimer counties who are struggling with an opioid use disorder. The funds to support this project were distributed through the federal Opioid State Targeted Response Grant that is administered by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

“We are thrilled to have been chosen by OASAS to provide these important services,” said FCS Executive Director Lisa Hoeschele.  “When it comes to supporting people who are striving to engage in recovery, we want to be able to do anything and everything in our power to provide support.”

This is the second year that New York State has awarded this grant allowing the expansion of critical initiatives to combat the opioid crisis to 19 additional counties.

“This opioid crisis devastates families and entire communities and we must do everything in our power to fight back against this very real threat to New Yorker,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s critical that we continue to lead the nation in implementing new, effective solutions to save lives, and this funding will provide the expanded services and treatment that those suffering from addiction so desperately need.”

“Cortland County is very excited to be a recipient of the second round of State Targeted Response Funding in 2018,” said Mark Thayer, Cortland County Director of Community Services. “The Opioid Crisis continues to challenge our best community efforts to make effective substance use treatments locally accessible and available to individuals struggling with addiction.  The Targeted Response Funding will allow for the creation of new and innovative services to help solve some of the biggest challenges in our systems, including recipient engagement, transportation to services, and support and linkage to services during times of transition.  We are very excited to partner with Family Counseling Services of Cortland County in the development and implementation of these exciting new programs.”

A multi-disciplinary team of counselors, Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPA) and medical providers will go into the community to assess the needs of individuals and engage them with the appropriate level of treatment. The mobile team will use a specially equipped vehicle that allows the agency to bring services to individuals living in under-served communities, especially the rural areas of Cortland and Herkimer counties.  The team will coordinate care with other providers to ensure a comprehensive and collaborative approach when addressing the needs of the individual.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to incorporate the use of Recovery Peer Advocates into our clinics.  Mobile outreach teams reduce stigma, provide hope and support people where they are, which is the first step in recovery. The opiate epidemic demands innovative approaches- and we will use these funds to fill some important gaps in our rural and local service delivery.  Healthcare financing is changing and we want to bring the most effective practices to our agency’s menu of services,” said Mary Peterson, FCS Director of Clinic Services.

Cortland and Herkimer counties were designated as having high needs based on the number of opioid overdose deaths, hospitalizations involving opioids and residents leaving the county to access addiction treatment services.  A report issued by the NYS Department of Health indicates that in 2017, Cortland County had the third highest rate of opioid deaths per 100,000 population among all New York counties; a 62% increase compared to the prior year.

The agency is currently filling the positions on the mobile outreach team and has ordered the specially equipped vehicle that will support program activities.  Once those are in place, the team will begin offering outreach services.


FCS offers same-day access to mental health and addiction services at all of our clinic locations in Cortland, Oneida and Morrisville. If you are struggling, simply come in to one of our clinics and we have counselors available to listen to you and provide the help you need.

Visit CombatAddiction.ny.gov to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State’s Talk2Prevent website.

For New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, the state has a toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369 or by texting HOPENY (Short code 467369)