Northwell Health and Engel Burman Group to build 134,000 s/f, $90 million substance abuse facility

April 03, 2018 - Long Island
Rendering of the Wellbridge addiction treatment and research center - Calverton, NY

Calverton, NY Northwell Health and the Engel Burman Group, a developer of The Bristal Assisted Living Communities, have partnered to build a 134,000 s/f residential facility for substance abuse disorder.

Following a comprehensive review and study, the joint venture received site plan approval on March 6th from the town of Riverhead to construct six buildings on 40 acres in the hamlet. Construction on the $90 million facility is expected to begin this May with an estimated completion by late 2019.

The 80-bed residential facility will combine the latest in addiction research, including brain imaging and other neuroscience tools, along with alternative treatments and care.

“We intend to make this facility a center for addiction research and treatment together, which is the first of its kind in this country attached to a major health system,” said Jonathan Morgenstern, PhD, director of substance abuse services at Northwell Health. “Having patients down the hall from researchers is very rare in addiction treatment centers.”

Northwell will incorporate clinical and academic resources from the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Zucker Hillside Hospital and South Oaks Hospital, two Northwell-run psychiatric facilities that specialize in substance abuse services.  

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has issued three separate licenses to the facility to provide 20 beds for detox in a medically stabilized unit, 40 beds for residential treatment for patients who will stay for an average of 30 days, and 20 beds for extended aftercare.

“We’re in the midst of an opioid epidemic of chilling proportions,” said Andrew Drazan, an Engel Burman partner in this venture. “The statistics speak for themselves. Over five hundred Long Islanders died in 2017 from opioids. There is not a single one of us who does not know some family that has been harmed by this scourge. This facility will help fill a major gap in substance abuse treatment in our community.” 

While based on Long Island, Drazan expects the facility will draw patients from throughout the region and the country, given the national reputation of its staff and the clinical and research capabilities of the new center.

The joint venture will also include the creation of four outpatient facilities in leased facilities located in Nassau, Suffolk, Manhattan and Westchester. 

As part of its clinical offerings, the joint venture will also develop a digital platform, which will include remote access to a recovery coach and counselor, and an app for patients to access resources when needed.

“We will continue to follow our clients even after they’ve completed their treatment, so we’ll have outcome information on them for years to come to track their long-term progress,” said Morgenstern. “Because we’re starting this program from scratch, we can employ the best evidence-based medicine and the latest technologies that are available, recognizing that recovery is a complicated and long-term process.”



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