Menu

News

The News

COVID-19 Relief Efforts

COVID-19 Relief Efforts

During the pandemic we have shifted our attention to assist our health professionals any way we can.
The foundation was able to acquire valuable PPE face shields and was very proud to deliver to Burke Rehabilitation Hospital recently.
Event: Drug Crisis In Our Backyard

Event: Drug Crisis In Our Backyard

Drug Crisis In Our Backyard, a community-based non-profit organization is inviting you to an interactive workshop and Q&A. The event will take place on Saturday March 14, 2020 from 9:30am – 3pm in Mt. Kisco, NY. Dr. Nicole Kosanke will discuss how to better understand what drives substance abuse in a loved one, as well as tools you can start to use to help your loved ones who are struggling. With served refreshments, the suggested donation is $20 per person or $25 per couple. To learn more, or to register, visit here.

Johnson & Johnson: Landmark Opioid Trial

Johnson & Johnson: Landmark Opioid Trial

Earlier this week, a judge in Oklahoma ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the state of OK $572 million in the first trial of a drug manufacturer for the destruction wrought by prescription painkillers. The judge ruled the company had intentionally played down the dangers of opioids while overselling the benefits. While the amount fell short of the $17 billion OK sought to pay for addiction treatment, drug courts, and other services needed to repair the damage done by the opioid epidemic, the decision and amount has heartened other lawyers representing multiple states and cities in more than 2,000 other opioid lawsuits pending across the country and pursuing similar legal strategies.
Judge Balkman was harsh in his assessment of the company that has built its reputation on being responsible and family-friendly, writing that Johnson & Johnson had promulgated “false, misleading, and dangerous marketing campaigns” that caused “exponentially increasing rates of addiction, overdose deaths” as well as babies born exposed to opioids. Johnson & Johnson contracted with poppy growers in Tasmania and supplied 60% of the opiate ingredients that drug companies used for opioids like oxycodone. In addition to supplying the ingredients, they also aggressively marketed opioids as safe and effective to doctors and patients alike. Judge Balkman feels the amount awarded could pay for a year’s worth of services needed to combat the epidemic in OK. Oklahoma’s attorney general, Mike Hunter, also stated that cumulatively the state has been able to put together a billion dollars; this amount includes money from previous settlements with other drug manufacturers that produce opioids.
Although Sabrina Strong, a lawyer for Johnson & Johnson, has stated the company has many grounds for appeal that they intend to pursue vigorously, this case was closely watched by many other lawyers representing many other pending opioid cases in federal courts. They felt cheered on by the ruling, stating “While public nuisance laws differ in every state, this decision is a critical step forward.” To learn more about Johnson & Johnson’s take on the ruling, and the first federal opioid trial upcoming in Cleveland, visit here.
Westchester’s Opioid Problem: What To Do

Westchester’s Opioid Problem: What To Do

In 2017, there were 70,237 drug-overdose deaths nationally with opioids front and center. Locally, in Westchester, there was 183 reported overdoses in 2017 with 58 fatalities. This number is rising, as 213 overdoses were reported last year, with 68 of them being fatal. Not to mention, these numbers only reflect police reports, and don’t account for people revived with Narcan by a friend, or who went directly to the hospital for help.
The widespread crisis has hit Yonkers, Westchester’s largest city, the hardest. The city is working to fight back through education, law enforcement, and follow-up with victims for treatment. Westchester also became one of 60 counties in NYS to retain counsel or file lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, seeking unspecified damages and alleging that the opioid epidemic has caused significant increases in spending for law enforcement, prevention and treatment programs, and Narcan training.
As doctors are prescribing opioids less frequently and for shorter amounts of time, people are turning to buy pills on the street. Expensive street pills can often be fake – a mixture of heroin and fentanyl pressed into pills and being passed off as something else, like Xanax. Different task forces are working not only to track the number and locations of overdoses, but trying to use this information to discover patterns and collaborate on investigations. They are also encouraging treatment, with several programs available throughout the county, varying in approach, effectiveness, and cost. To learn more about the epidemic and the efforts in Westchester, visit here.
Good Samaritan Hospital: Holiday Donation

Good Samaritan Hospital: Holiday Donation

As the holidays approach, and the cold weather gets colder, KGMF will be donating hats and gloves for patients spending this time at Good Samaritan Hospital. We are happy to donate these necessities again this year, as we have in years past. We would also like to wish everyone a happy, safe, and warm holiday season.

Friends of Recovery: Share a Meal Sponsorship

Friends of Recovery: Share a Meal Sponsorship

KGMF recently co-sponsored a Sunday Brunch event with Orange County Friends of Recovery called Share a Meal, Share Memories. The event brings together people who have lost a loved one to addiction, hoping to foster a support group for those personally affected.

A Restaurant Takes on the Opioid Crisis: One Worker at a Time

A Restaurant Takes on the Opioid Crisis: One Worker at a Time

Five years ago, Rob and Diane Perez discovered their top server was doing heroin in the bathroom of their Saul Good Restaurant & Pub in Kentucky. The realization reminded them of others they had lost; 13 employees over 10 years died while battling addictions, half of which were opioid related.
The Perezes decided to take the opioid crisis into their own hands, opening DV8 Kitchen last September. The new restaurant hires people in treatment for addiction to opioids or other substances; it also focuses its business model on recovery using the restaurant as a tool for rehabilitation. Rob Perez had his own struggles with alcohol addiction, and has now been sober for over two decades. He recognizes that restaurant culture has long been associated with alcohol, drugs, and late nights. Yet, he sees how the setting of a restaurant can also have potential to help others recover like he has. There are different aspects in this setting that bring the restaurant together as a whole, from customer service, to cooking and baking, to finances, and the Perezes are happy to help teach others those businesses.
The Perezes pay about 20% above the rate of many local fast-food restaurants, and hold their employees to exacting standards. This means there is no bar, no tolerance for tardiness, and no cash is exchanged (tips are added directly to paychecks). While they don’t claim to be experts, they hire from and work directly with treatment centers, which adds an additional level of accountability for employees. To learn more about the Perezes, the simple menu at their restaurant, and how they hope to help those in recovery get back on their feet, visit here.
Iowa Family Doctor: Taking on the Opioid Epidemic

Iowa Family Doctor: Taking on the Opioid Epidemic

Dr. Nicole Gastala moved to Marshalltown, Iowa straight out of residency at the University of Iowa as part of a federal program that would help her pay off medical school loans while working in an underserved community for three years. The small city of 27,000 appealed to Dr. Gastala because of its diverse population.
When starting out, Dr. Gastala was eager to create weight-loss and diabetes prevention programs like she had done in the past, but quickly became struck by the number of opioid dependent patients she came in contact with. With Marshall County’s addiction treatment agency across the street from Dr. Gastala’s practice, she reached out about the problem she was seeing. The agency’s leaders asked her to consider prescribing buprenorphine, as the closest provider was an hour away from town. Buprenorphine is a medication that helps suppress cravings and withdrawal symptoms plaguing those addicted to opioids. While an opioid itself, it is strong enough to activate the brain’s opioid receptors easing cravings but not strong enough to provide a high. Dr. Gastala completed eight hour training to become one out of the small 5% of the nation’s doctors licensed to prescribe it.
Though uncomfortable at first, Dr. Gastala has continually worked to treat addicted patients, caring about them without judgement, encouraging them to continue visiting her, and working to understand the unaddressed mental health problems that often come along with the addiction. Dr. Gastala is joined by Andrea Storjohann, a nurse case manager who has become a vital partner to Dr. Gastala in treating such patients. Together they gauge patient progress, ask about the patient’s highs and lows since their last visit, drug test, in addition to monitoring their medication and making sure they continue to attend therapy.
While Dr. Gastala had no formal training on addiction and how to treat it, she taught herself from articles and books, by talking to another doctor who prescribes buprenorphine, and with monthly video conferences held with primary care doctors around the country taking on addiction treatment. Even though Dr. Gastala will be moving to Chicago, she will continue treating addiction at her new community health center. To learn more about her story, and her impact on treating the opioid addiction, visit here.
June 8: Graduation Ceremony

June 8: Graduation Ceremony

On June 8, 2018, at 11AM, The Rockland County Family Treatment Court will have a Graduation Ceremony. The ceremony will be held at the Rockland County Courthouse on the 3rd floor in New City, NY. Please feel free to join us for refreshments to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates.

May 31: Evening of Excellence

May 31: Evening of Excellence

The foundation presented its annual scholarship at the Evening of Excellence awards at Suffern High School.  The scholarship was given to Molly Schaarscharch who submitted a song / poem parody on the nature of college admission rejections.

April 28: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

April 28: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

As the opioid crisis continues to affect families across the United States, Google brainstormed how their technical expertise could help families and individuals combat the epidemic. Research by the federal government has shown that prescription drug abuse is a large driver of opioid addiction, and that many abused drugs are obtained from family and friends. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) created the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, happening this Saturday, April 28, as a way to allow people to properly dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. While this is a great way to help prevent others from misusing the drugs, people may have a hard time finding the disposal programs within their community. That is where Google comes in; using Google Maps API, the Google team worked with the DEA to create a locator tool helping anyone find a place near them to dispose of leftover drugs. To learn more about how Google is teaming up to fight the opioid crisis, and how you can take part by disposing of your unwanted drugs this weekend, visit here.

Opiate Crisis Intervention Court: Buffalo, NY

Opiate Crisis Intervention Court: Buffalo, NY

Judge Craig D. Hannah’s Intervention Court is not your typical drug court. Two kinds of defendants enter the courtroom: those having their cases considered in the usual way, and those invited to step closer to the judge himself. All face criminal charges, but those stepping closer have volunteered to take part in an experiment where the primary goal is to save their lives. Participants are facing charges related to addiction, in what is believed to be the nation’s first opioid court. The measure of success is preventing death, and recognizing that failure is part of the recovery process. Participants are required to appear daily before Judge Hannah, a judge who was once also addicted to drugs. Judge Hannah speaks to the defendants as his peers, leaving the legal jargon behind, and trying to connect with them on a simple level of how they might be feeling from one day to the next. If his defendants use, they will be returned to criminal court to face their charges. If they agree to treatment but no beds are available, they wait. But if they complete the program – going 60 days without drugs – their charges will likely be reduced or dropped all together. The program is young, starting last May, but many others are already looking to Buffalo as the model. To learn more about some of the current participants, and Judge Hannah’s views on helping addiction through his courtroom, visit here.

New Documentary Film: “Reversing the Stigma”

New Documentary Film: “Reversing the Stigma”

NYS OASAS’ and the NYS Media Service Center’s documentary “Reversing the Stigma” is now available on YouTube. The full-length film highlights the work being done in New York State to combat addiction, reminding viewers that addiction is a treatable chronic disease. Multiple people are profiled in various stages of recovery, sharing their stories and experiences. Friends of Recovery – New York recently showed the film at their 2017 Recovery Conference, followed by an engaging panel discussion. Other organizations around NYS are encouraged to also show the film to start conversations and bring attention to the chronic disease of addiction. The full documentary can be viewed here. The film is also being shown at various events around New York as well as on local tv stations, and a list of these showings can be found here.

Drug Addiction: Medical Challenge vs. Criminal Justice Issue

Drug Addiction: Medical Challenge vs. Criminal Justice Issue

The United States and Portugal, among many other countries worldwide, have struggled with how to solve the increasing problem of illicit drugs and drug addiction. In 2001, the U.S. and Portugal both took decisive action, but in complete opposite directions.

While the U.S. cracked down and spent billions to incarcerate drug users and dealers, Portugal went the experimental route; they decriminalized the use of all drugs and kickstarted a major public health campaign to tackle addiction. While Portugal was initially scolded around the world for their experiment, it is now hailed as a model and commonly referred to as the Portuguese model. More than 15 years later, Portugal’s approach looks to be helping them win the war on drugs by ending it altogether. The Health Ministry estimates 25,000 heroin users currently, down from 100,000 when the policy was first put in place. The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses has also plunged more than 85%, about one-fiftieth the latest number in the U.S.

Delegations from around the world are flying to Portugal to study their model. Nicholas Kristof, from the NY Times, also traveled to the country to talk to drug dealers, drug users, and public health experts; to learn about the model for a drug policy that is both compassionate and effective. Aside from decriminalizing drug use, there are a few key links to the public health efforts. One includes mobile vans that provide free methadone, an opioid substitute, to users on a daily basis to enable them to stabilize their lives and hold jobs. Another crucial piece of the initiative includes the outreach programs; psychologists will meet with users, encourage them to try to quit, and give them clean hypodermics to prevent the spread of AIDS. While these public health workers may not get all users to quit, they do help to prevent their deaths.

Portugal’s public health approach to drug use and users reflects an increasingly common view worldwide that addiction is a chronic disease requiring medical care, rather than a criminal act. While not a perfect or magical solution, the Portuguese model is saving lives and decreasing overall drug use. To learn more about Kristof’s observations, what the country’s drug dealers think, and how others can learn from Portugal’s model, visit here.

Annual Golf Outing Was A Huge Success

Annual Golf Outing Was A Huge Success

On September 18, 2017 the Foundation held its annual charity golf outing at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich CT. It was a wonderful day. A full field of golfers teed off at 1PM and had the opportunity to donate additional funds at the 11th hole thanks to the long drive exhibition. Many auction items donated were bid on at the silent auction at dinner, and the 50.50 winner, Larry Lerner, donated back his winnings. Dr. Stephen Ferrando of Westchester Medical Center spoke briefly about the partnership with the foundation and the work we are doing to combat drug addiction.

Stand Together to Remember Candlelight Service

Stand Together to Remember Candlelight Service

On August 31st, 2017, the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council of Orange County, in conjunction with Friends of Recovery Orange is hosting a Stand Together to Remember Candlelight service in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day at Village Square in Goshen at 7pm.

Thousands of people worldwide will stand alongside the friends and families of fatal overdose victims to reflect on those who have been lost. The event is organized on the understanding that no one need feel shame or disgrace over a drug overdose.

Jim Conklin, Executive Director of ADAC and Betsy Dunlevy and Ashley Villodas, Co-Chairs of FOR Orange will be leading this local event, where family and friends who have lost loved ones to overdose can participate in lighting a candle in remembrance and a simultaneous sky lantern release. Participants are encouraged to bring a photo or token of their loved one to be placed by their candle and wear silver to show your support.

Foundation Announces Donation For Renaming of Mid Hudson Treatment Center

Foundation Announces Donation For Renaming of Mid Hudson Treatment Center

Today is an exciting day for the Foundation.  We have pledged a donation to rename the Mid Hudson Regional Hospital Turning Point Program as the Kyle Goldberg Turning Point Program at Mid Hudson Regional Hospital, a Westchester Medical Center facility located in Poughkeepsie NY.  With this renaming and our continued commitment to invest in educational seminars related to addiction and treatment, the Foundation is extending its mission to assist young adults and those who treat them for addiction throughout Westchester and Putnam counties.

Suffern High School Scholarship Presentation

Suffern High School Scholarship Presentation

In memory of Kyle who received the Most Likely to Appear on Saturday Night Live award when he graduated from Suffern High School, the Foundation awards a scholarship to a graduating senior who plans to attend college. The scholarship is based on submitting a work which exemplifies a funny, comical, or unique way of expressing themselves. This year’s winner is Jake who sent in a picture of him sitting in his bathing suit in a chair in the snow accompanied by a short story that certainly made us remember Kyle. Congratulations to Jake and best of luck in the future!

Suffern High School Hockey Scholarship

Suffern High School Hockey Scholarship

Each year, the Kyle Goldberg Memorial Foundation awards a scholarship to a Suffern High School senior who most closely exemplifies the hard work and dedication Kyle Goldberg displayed when he was a member of the hockey team. This year, Shaan Greenberg received the KGMF Suffern High School Hockey Scholarship. Shaan will be going to the University of Texas on a music scholarship, and will play club hockey there as well. Good luck to Shaan!

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month, taking place over the month of April, was first established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma often associated with alcoholism. The Awareness month was founded and is sponsored by NCADD, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies.

Each April, communities are encouraged to reach out to the American public with information about alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery. This focused month provides the opportunity to not only increase awareness but also understanding of alcoholism, causes, treatments, and recovery. It aims to decrease stigma or misunderstandings in order to make seeking help more readily available to those who suffer from the disease.

As a part of the month long focus on educating others, the first weekend in April is traditionally an Alcohol-Free Weekend. This kicks off the Awareness month by raising public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it can affect individuals, families, businesses and communities. NCADD openly invites all Americans to participate in three alcohol-free days each year. To learn more about Alcohol Awareness Month, and NCADD’s mission as a whole, please visit here.

KGMF Announces Pledge To Westchester Medical Center Foundation

KGMF Announces Pledge To Westchester Medical Center Foundation

The Foundation has agreed to a long term pledge to the Westchester Medical Center Foundation for the purpose of renaming the Turning Point Program to the Kyle Goldberg Turning Point Program in honor of Kyle. In addition, this pledge will include an ongoing commitment to partner with Westchester Medical Center on an educational seminar series focused on addiction and treatment topics facing the young adult population in the area.

Foundation Continues Holiday Outreach

Foundation Continues Holiday Outreach

As we have for the last 12 years, the Foundation tries to give back to those less fortunate during the holidays. This year Vicki Quackenbush donated scarves and hats she personally knit which were given to in patients at the Good Samaritan Hospital treatment facility. In addition, the Foundation gave gifts to the children of participants in the Rockland County Family Treatment Court. This gift giving originated from our association with the newly retired Judge William Warren, who headed the Treatment Court for many years, and whose daughter Emily was a very good friend of Kyle’s. The work by Good Sam and the Family Treatment Court is important and essential to the community.

Foundation Raises $10,000 During Run-Up To NYC Marathon

Foundation Raises $10,000 During Run-Up To NYC Marathon

James Hostomsky, Amy Goldberg, and Ken Goldberg trained hard and all completed their first NYC Marathon on November 6, 2016. Working in partnership with a group from Westchester Medical Center, these three were able to leverage their donation pages to attract significant funds to be turned over to the pledge for the renaming of the Turning Point Facility in Poughkeepsie. Congratulations on behalf of the Foundation, and everyone looked great in their KGMF running gear.

Seminar on Opioid Addiction In Westchester County and the Hudson Valley

Seminar on Opioid Addiction In Westchester County and the Hudson Valley

On October 27, 2016, the Foundation co-sponsored this educational seminar with WMC held at the Westchester Marriott in White Plains. This full day seminar featured speakers from the medical community, and panel of experts and affected individuals discussing the topic of opioid addiction, and a demonstration of the use of Narcan. All attendees who watched the demonstration and were able to duplicate the use were given a Narcan packet by the County Health team on site. Attendees also received course credit for the seminar.

Walk for Recovery at Rockland Lake State Park

Walk for Recovery at Rockland Lake State Park

On August 27, 2016 RCADD held a recovery 5K walk/run. Money was raised for RCADD in memory of Reid Schwartz who passed away of a drug overdose. His family was proud to be a part of this important event, held for the 9th year in a row. The Foundation donated money to support the race and the efforts of RCADD, and several friends of KGMF ran in the race as well. It was a beautiful day.

Kyle Goldberg Memorial Foundation Is Honored by RCADD

Kyle Goldberg Memorial Foundation Is Honored by RCADD

The Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence (RCADD) honored the Kyle Goldberg Memorial Foundation and The Goldberg Family with their Annual Service Award. The event was held at the Patriot Hills Golf Course in Rockland County on April 14, 2016. The dinner and awards ceremony was attended by many friends of the Foundation who also donated money to RCADD and its programs. We were honored to accept this award and will continue to work with RCADD.

Load More