Francisco Lugovina, CEO of Ekawa, LLC discussed a proposed substance abuse center that would be located on Legion Drive in Valhalla during a meeting of the Mount Pleasant Town Board earlier this month.
The outpatient center would treat substance abusers, including people addicted to opioids.
"We know there's a need for this,'' Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi told Daily Voice. "We understand their heart is in the right place, but do they have experience?"
Fulgenzi said the town board would have to reach a comfort level about the center's operator and its impact on the neighborhood before issuing a letter of support for the project.
That letter needs to be submitted to the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and multiple agencies would need to approve Lugovina's application.
Ekawa, LLC is proposing that the Health & Wellness Holistic Drug Treatment and Outreach Center be located in an existing 12,000-square-foot building at 26 Legion Drive.
Dr. Joseph D’Amore, who has been practicing medicine since 1984 and has owned and managed clinical allergy treatment centers in New York City for 25 years, would be the medical director.
A 10-year lease is being sought by Ekawa, LLC, which would aims to serve up to 500 clients.
Lugovina, who has been involved in helping others fight addiction for 40 years, told the town board that the idea for the center came after a substance abuse-related death of his grandson.
"All these facilities have a stigma attached to them,'' Fulgenzi said.
But Lugovina assured board members that his proposed center would accept private health insurance and payments from clients, but not Medicare or Medicaid.
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