St. Joseph’s names Vince Connors as board chair

Vince Connors (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers, based in Saranac Lake, announced this week that Vince Connors has been named as chairman of the agency’s Board of Directors.

Connors, a 1985 graduate of St. Joseph’s, succeeds Deacon Stephen DeMartino of Croton-on-Hudson as board chair. DeMartino had led St. Joseph’s board since 2008 and will remain on it as vice chair.

Connors, a 34-year member of St. Joseph’s alumni organization the Fellowship, has been a board member since 2001 and has served as vice chair. He is a retired physician’s assistant from the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities’ Sunmount facility in Tupper Lake, where he worked for more than 33 years serving people with developmental disabilities.

While the business operations of St. Joe’s and his board governance responsibilities occupy most of his board time, he is determined to further the “Reducing the Stigma” campaign initiated by New York state.

“I look forward to the day when substance use disorders are accepted on par with other chronic diseases,” Connors said in a press release. “Unfortunately, there are negative connotations associated with the diagnoses associated with substance use disorders not associated with other chronic diseases.

“We are currently strategizing a campaign to address a specific issue that unfairly penalizes people with substance use disorders who are in sustained, long-term recovery.”

St. Joseph’s operates a 67-bed coeducational inpatient facility, 25-bed long-term residential program for male veterans and a family program on its main campus in Saranac Lake. The agency provides adolescent inpatient treatment at Rose Hill, its 28-bed coeducational facility in Massena; outpatient services through eight sites in Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties; supportive housing in Malone, Massena, Saranac Lake, and Ticonderoga; jail programs in Essex and Franklin counties; and after-care at its Supportive Living programs in Poughkeepsie, and Guest House in Schenectady.

Recently, the agency began operations of its Open Access Center on the campus of Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake — Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to midnight and weekends from noon to 8 p.m. — and with its two Mobile Treatment Units serving Franklin and Essex counties. In 2020, St. Joseph’s plans to begin offering detoxification services.

The agency’s complete board includes Harold Schmidt, treasurer; Steven Tyrell; Maj. Gen. (retired) Robert Kasulke, M.D.; Linda Ventura; Susan Lawson; Joseph Gray; David MacLennan; Lucy Hall-Gainer; Charles VanAnden; and Charles Morgan, M.D.