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For Immediate Release
January 7, 2020


Communications Director
(603) 271-2121 | [email protected]

Governor Chris Sununu Forms Adolescent Addiction Treatment Working Group

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced the formation of the  Adolescent Addiction Treatment Working Group, which will assist the state in identifying the attributes of a new partner to provide youth in-patient SUD services. As part of that effort, the working group will not only aid in the search, but also ensure that the center maximizes opportunities to provide youth treatment services for SUD and metal health. A key aspect will be transitioning the center to a secured facility. In the coming days, HHS will issue a Request for Information (RFI) to begin the process of securing a new vendor. Governor Sununu and HHS officials expect to have the new facility open by the Summer of 2020.

"I would like to thank the members of this working group for agreeing to take part in this incredibly important process," said Governor Chris Sununu. "I am confident this committee will do thorough research to ensure that New Hampshire is providing the best youth treatment programs in the country."

The Committee, which is composed of leaders with extensive experience in youth treatment, health care and government, will review and offer recommendations to Governor Sununu’s for consideration. The working group will also assist HHS in implementing provisions of Senate Bill 14, which funds key mental health programs for children as well as preventative programs.

The members of the Selection Committee include:

  • Kerrin Rounds, Acting Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
  • Christine Tappan, Associate Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lori Shibinette, CEO, New Hampshire Hospital
  • Dr. Joffree Barrnett, M.D., Medical Director & former Psychiatrist at Sununu Youth Services Center
  • Michael Gass, PhD, LMFT Director, Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Center, University of New Hampshire
  • Joe Diament; Former Director of Community Corrections in the NH Department of Corrections & former CEO of Odyssey House
  • JoAnne Malloy, PhD, Research Associate Professor at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire
  • Barry Timmerman, MLADC, Clinical Director, Seacoast Youth Services
  • Tim Lena, Student Assistance Professional at Timberlane High School

Note: The first meeting of the working group was today, and will meet on a monthly basis.