The rehabilitation plan stops, so the Phish Frontman Foundation decides to improvise | Health care | Seven days

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  • Photo courtesy of the Divided Sky Foundation

Phish frontman Trey Anastasio’s charity is finalizing plans for a proposed residential drug treatment center in Ludlow so it can open despite calls from neighbours, the publicist has claimed. Anastasia Seven days.

Anastasio’s Divided Sky Foundation purchased the 18-acre property in late 2020 with the help of more than $1 million donated by viewers of the musician’s live-streamed pandemic concerts. Last summer, the foundation won city approval to open the 40-bed treatment facility, overcoming a series of complaints from Ludlow residents.

But neighbors later appealed the decision through Vermont’s Law 250 land use permit process, and a decision is now pending.

Instead of waiting for that appeal to materialize, the foundation says it found a way to bypass the process and open its doors, while respecting zoning rules. In a statement to Seven days, Anastasio’s publicist said the center plans to open under a “non-medical programming model” that does not charge insurers but instead relies on “self-payment and scholarships.”

Phish Front Man’s Proposed Addiction Treatment Center Splits Ludlow

Phish Front Man’s Proposed Addiction Treatment Center Splits Ludlow

By Chelsea Edgar

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Dropping the medical designation, the foundation says, means the center could operate under its existing license, which covers hostels and restaurants – even while the appeal is pending.

The company responsible for running the center – Ascension Recovery Services – told Vermont health care regulators earlier this week that it was withdrawing its certificate of need application for the project. Ascension, based in West Virginia, operates treatment centers across the country.

A lawyer representing the neighbors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Anastasio, who is recovering himself, said the project would help people from all economic backgrounds overcome their addiction. His publicist’s statement says his foundation will revisit the medical model after the call.

“But we felt it was important to start meeting the needs of the community as soon as possible,” the statement said.

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