N E W S R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2018
Calling All Hikers:
Saratoga Hospital and Adirondack Trust Company Introduce the
Above and Beyond Challenge to Raise Funds for Addiction Medicine Program
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, June 7, 2018—Helping someone’s journey through addiction recovery is often a series of steps taken one at a time, and Saratoga Hospital is taking that quite literally in its new hike fundraising campaign, the Above and Beyond Challenge, presented by the Adirondack Trust Company.
The Challenge encourages businesses and individuals to take advantage of the scenic geography of Upstate New York, while raising funds and awareness for the Addiction Medicine Program at the Saratoga Community Health Center. This new program features volunteer-led hikes up peaks across the Adirondacks – including the 46 High Peaks, the Lake George Twelve Peaks and the Saranac Six Peaks. The hikes are free and will include a committed adherence to responsible hiking with respect to the natural beauty and protection of the trails.
The Above and Beyond Challenge is the brainchild of Stephan R. von Schenk, president and CEO of The Adirondack Trust Company and former chair of the Saratoga Foundation Board, who is an avid hiker and outdoorsman.
“The disease of addiction is heartbreaking for all involved,” said von Schenk. “I had heard success stories of addiction and the power of outdoor exercise to heal, so I thought, why not incorporate the beauty of The Adirondacks with addiction and let these mountains do what they have done for centuries – provide spiritual and physical healing for all?”
He reached out to Saratoga Hospital for help, and the Foundation was quick to assist. So was the business community. Not only was The Adirondack Trust Company fully supportive as lead sponsor, but within a day of von Schenk reaching out, Roohan Realty agreed to be the T-shirt sponsor.
“The response is exciting,” said von Schenk, “and we hope this momentum will encourage people to come out to support addiction treatment, as well as enjoy these beautiful mountains with responsible hiking that will keep these trails a treasure for generations to come.”
Like so many counties across the state and nation, Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties face escalating numbers of families struggling with substance use disorders and addiction, impacting an estimated 17,689 children and adults in Saratoga County alone. There is strong, research-based evidence that correlates hiking or other outdoor activity with more successful addiction program outcomes. The Above and Beyond Challenge is an opportunity for patients to introduce adventure therapy into their treatment plan.
“We haven’t even reached the tipping point of the opioid crisis yet,” said Joshua Zamer, MD, medical director of the Addiction Medicine Program at Saratoga Community Health Center. “The funds raised by the Above and Beyond Challenge will help us continue to expand our Addiction Medicine Program to meet rapidly emerging needs. I can’t tell you how grateful we are for The Adirondack Trust Company’s support for the Challenge.”
Donations are encouraged, but the hikes are free and registration is required. The hikes are taking place June through September and are open to individuals, patients, and groups. Upon completing the online registration for a hike at aboveandbeyondchallenge.org, a peer-to-peer fundraising page will be automatically generated for the hiker. Should the hiker choose to activate it, the hiker can then share that link with friends and family, asking for donations to support the hike. Donations of $100 will receive a free long-sleeved T-shirt sponsored by Roohan Realty.
“It was just such a great idea. We were thrilled to work with Steve to create the Above and Beyond Challenge,” said Amy Raimo, vice president of community engagement and executive director of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation. “There are hikes available for every level – beginner to expert – all led by volunteers with personal experience of those trails. We have no doubt the community will embrace the Above and Beyond Challenge to support the Addiction Medicine Program. And there are some great sponsorship opportunities available, too.”
Businesses and individuals are invited to sponsor a peak at the $2,000; $1,000; or $500 level and receive a custom Summit Flag, the Roohan Realty sponsored Above and Beyond Challenge T-shirts, and additional recognition based on sponsorship level.
For more information about becoming a sponsor, call Saratoga Hospital Foundation at 518-583-8340. To learn more about the Above and Beyond Challenge or to register for a hike, please visit aboveandbeyondchallenge.org. New dates and trails will be continually added over the summer, so please check back often or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for hike information.
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About the Addiction Medicine Program: Addiction Medicine is the use of medications combined with behavioral health therapies to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. The Saratoga Community Health Center’s (CHC) physician-led Addiction Medicine Program launched in March 2017 and is fully integrated into the Center’s primary care and behavioral health services. Patients are expected to participate in all aspects of the comprehensive program: medication-assisted treatment (MAT); substance abuse counseling; and behavioral health counseling with a CHC psychiatrist. During the first year, the program has engaged over 950 self-enrolled patients.
About the Saratoga Community Health Center: The Community Health Center is the only facility of its kind in the greater Saratoga region, focused on the needs of our region’s uninsured and underinsured residents. Since opening in 2013, this vital community resource has profoundly impacted the lives of thousands of patients and families, affording them access to high quality, compassionate, affordable primary, dental, and behavioral health care – regardless of ability to pay. In just over four years, staff has grown from 11 to 41 to meet rapidly increasing patient demand. In 2017, the CHC had nearly 22,000 patient visits, with over 25,000 visits expected in 2018.
About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. With a medical staff of more than 450 providers, the hospital offers care in a broad range of medical specialties at more than 20 locations including its Wilton campus and the Saratoga Medical Park at Malta. The Saratoga Hospital Medical Group ensures easy access to services that can have the greatest impact on both individual and community health. In keeping with its emphasis on quality, Saratoga Hospital was the first in the Capital Region to earn Magnet designation for nursing excellence. On Jan. 1, 2017, Saratoga Hospital finalized its affiliation with Albany Medical Center, joining Columbia Memorial Health in creating a regionally integrated, locally governed healthcare system. For more information: www.saratogahospital.org or www.facebook.com/SaratogaHospital.
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