PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)–Bluestone Primary Care has received formal notice they are in violation of state laws and regulations- after a conducted survey claimed otherwise.
Bluestone Primary Care is a federally qualified health clinic that also treats substance use disorder in a primary care setting.
West Virginia Code states medication-assisted treatment programs, like Bluestone Primary Care, cannot be within one-half mile of a licensed daycare center or K-12 school. The notice claims Bluestone is too close to three different daycare facilities; including Case of West Virginia Head Start, Kidz at Hart and The Learning Treehouse.
However, the Office of Health Facility Licensure & Certification conducted two separate surveys- with one being on May 23rd of this year- and found no problems with the facility.
“They did a survey and audit of charts and found there to be no deficiencies,” said Leigh Brooks, Medical Director of Bluestone Primary Care OBMAT program.
Upon further investigation, Brooks also discovered Kidz at Hart and Learning Treehouse were actually more than a half-mile away.
Case of WV was also not operating when Bluestone first opened, but was operating when the survey cleared the facility of any location problems.
Brooks said laws like these only add to addiction problems and prevent others from seeking treatment-especially since people with addiction and in recovery are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“This law in and of itself- this is discriminatory. This is very stigmatizing and it’s basically treating this group of people like they are second-class citizens and like they are child predators of some sort,” said Brooks.
Brooks added the issue only comes down to the fact she prescribes medicine used to treat opioid addiction, like Suboxone.
“If I was sitting here writing Percocet, Hydrocodone, Xanax- I could be right next door to a daycare. So, you know, I can enable the problem, but I can’t help to contribute to fix the problem,” said Brooks.
Brooks filed a waiver in compliance with the official notice, but has yet to hear anything back on this matter as of Wednesday, September, 6, 2023.
She simply hopes moving forward, the laws can be amended or struck out altogether so she can continue helping her community overcome addiction.
“The only way we are going to impact the Opioid crisis is to promote and destigmatize treatment,” said Brooks. “That has to be the focus- treatment, treatment, treatment.”