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Expanding Into Niagara County

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Somerset House

When Cazenovia Recovery Systems acquired Fellowship House’s (FH) facilities and programs on January 1, Cazenovia expanded its reach into Niagara County and grew its adult bed capacity by 20 percent.

The transition of programs proceeded smoothly, as the two entities shared similar missions and services. “As a matter of fact, when FH started, they used many of Cazenovia Recovery’s practices,” Suzanne Bissonette, Cazenovia Recovery’s Executive Director, said. “I came across Fellowship files containing many of our policies, procedures, and manuals going back to the early days of our organization.”

Madonna House serves women and women with children (Cazenovia Recovery Niagara County)

Madonna House in Lockport

Staff from both agencies worked closely for the past six months, with cooperation of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and Niagara County. “FH staff who have elected to stay and our staff have done a champion job to make this work,” Sue said. “We immersed ourselves in understanding their operations, then spent the last quarter of 2015 training them in Cazenovia’s practices and philosophies.”

Now under the Cazenovia umbrella are Somerset House in Appleton and Sundram Manor in Niagara Falls, community residences for men and women; Madonna House in Lockport for women and women with children; and Supportive Living, apartments in Niagara Falls and Lockport, for men, women, and residents’ children. FH’s former administrative office at 625 Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls has become Cazenovia Recovery’s Niagara County Clinical Office, which will relocate to Canal Terrace, 76 West Ave. in Lockport with Supportive Living on February 3, 2016.

Tangela oversees the Niagara County programs

Tangela Watson-Bogan, Clinical Supervisor

Andrea Ocasio, Cazenovia Recovery’s Director of Clinical Services, added that these programs “will allow services to continue that are desperately needed in Niagara County.”

Tangela Watson-Bogan, formerly with FH, is Cazenovia’s Clinical Supervisor for Niagara County. If Cazenovia had not taken over FH’s programs, “they would have disappeared,” she said. She noted that the transition has been hard work, but that positive changes are taking place.

“Because staff are better informed and because we now have more resources, our residents will be better served,” Tangela said.

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