Saturday August 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- On its website, Spectrum Health Systems Inc. has posted job openings for eight staffers at the outpatient facility it plans to open in Pittsfield.

Though there has been no announcement of a specific location for its methadone clinic in Pittsfield, Spectrum is seeking a site director, two clinicians, an office coordinator, a full-time LPN, a part-time LPN, and two per-diem LPNs for what the job posting described as a new outpatient facility in Pittsfield. Some of the job openings were also posted on Craigslist.com.

According to the job description, the clinicians will be required to provide documented indivi dual and group services and case management to clients with mental health, substance abuse, or dual diagnosis problems.

Spectrum spokesman An drew Strecker did not respond to an email message seeking comment. Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi plans to talk about this situation in more detail next week, said his spokesperson, Donna Mattoon.

The nonprofit still hasn’t given up on plans to open either on Summer Street or on Stoddard Avenue.

Spectrum filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court in June 2011. According to court filings, the city has until Wednesday to respond to two motions that Spectrum filed two months ago that seek authorization to open a clinic on either Summer Street or in a former doctor’s office on Stoddard Avenue. These are the two sites that have been mentioned as possible sites for the methadone clinic.


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But both parties also indicated in court papers filed in July that they still hope to reach an out-of-court settlement.

Spectrum originally sued the city in federal court after it was denied a building permit to construct a clinic in the Berkshire Nautilus building on Summer Street. In November 2011, a federal court judge denied a motion filed by Spectrum that would have allowed the nonprofit to open the clinic on Summer Street while the legal matters between the two sides were being resolved.

A confidentiality agreement included in the pending litigation has prevented the mayor’s office from providing additional details about Spectrum’s plans, Bianchi has said.

Worcester-based Spectrum operates five methadone clinics in Massachusetts. Metha done is an opioid medication that is used to treat pain and addiction to heroin, Oxycontin, and other painkillers.

According to city officials, the state Department of Public Health has determined that a methadone clinic is needed in Pittsfield to serve the number of drug addicts who reside here. According to the department, there were 695 non fatal opiod related overdoses in Pittsfield in 2009.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224
On Twitter: @tonydobrow