WHYY Voices in the Family

The news can sound dire. Opioid addiction is ruining families and taking lives at an ever increasing rate. In this roundtable discussion, Dr. Gottlieb brings together Livengrin Board member Bruce Murray and wife Ginny, a clinician, researcher, family members and individuals in recovery to go beyond the headlines and look at what is working to bring addicts into treatment. They discuss some interventions and evaluation of treatment as well as dealing with the grief of losing a loved one to the disease. Plus, a conversation with individuals who are in recovery and working to offer hope and help to others.

Penn Medicine and Livengrin announce partnership

Penn Medicine & Livengrin Announce Partnership

Livengrin is pleased to announce the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) as its newest clinical training partner. With this new partnership, Livengrin will be participating in a ground-breaking program in clinical training for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), who will be learning how to provide the highest quality care for patients struggling with addiction.

“Growing the ranks of APRNs is an important way to increase the base of primary care providers in this country. In the past, the cost of clinical training has limited the ability of hospitals and other healthcare providers to accept more APRN students into their settings for clinical training. The primary goal…is to increase the provision of qualified training to APRN students. The clinical training included in this demonstration will provide APRNs with the clinical skills necessary to provide primary care, preventive care, transitional care, chronic care management, and other services…”

Read more about the initiative: Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration | Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation

Congressman Bob Brady visits Livengrin Foundation in support of drug and alcohol addiction recovery and treament

U.S. Congressman Bob Brady Tours Livengrin

On July 1st, U.S. Congressman Bob Brady (D-Pa.) toured Livengrin’s residential facility and learned about our various programs and initiatives. A champion of social issues throughout his 17-year career in the House of Representatives, Brady pledged to do whatever he can to assist Livengrin with growing and improving our programs to ensure that we reach as many families as possible who need our services.

From left to right: CEO – Richard Pine, U.S. Congressman (D-Pa.) – Bob Brady, FRAT Team Member Dennis Hallion.

U.S. Congressman Bob Brady tours Livengrin and talks supporting drug and alcohol addiction recovery with staff

From left to right: CEO – Richard Pine, Vice President for Development – Scott Blacker, Supporter – Mitchell Rubin, U.S. Congressman (D-Pa.) – Bob Brady.


Livengrin in Philadelphia Inquirer on Donovan McNabb DUI Arrest

Livengrin on Donovan McNabb DUI Arrest

McNabb arrest shines light on repeat DUIs

Last month, for the second time in 18 months, former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was arrested in Arizona for driving under the influence. According to police investigators, McNabb was caught driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.171 percent, twice the legal limit. In a video of his arrest, McNabb contends he was on cold medication.

McNabb’s arrest shines a spotlight on the issue of repeat DUIs.

“Anyone can have one DUI,” said Helen Weigand, director of DUI services at Livengrin Foundation, a nonprofit addiction-recovery center based in Bensalem, who lost her 22-year-old daughter 20 years ago to a crash involving a drunken driver. “You don’t have to be an alcoholic or have a drinking problem. You just have to make a bad choice.

“But more than one DUI, along with other behavioral problems – that’s when you need to seriously look at things.”
Experts say most people who drink and drive do so many times before they are caught.

Read the full article on The Inquirer’s website

Jim Nestor, Michael Parmenter and Mike Yaeger of Livengrin's First Responders Addiction Treatment visited Oso to speak with those affected by the mudslide

Livengrin’s First Reponders Travel to Oso

Three retired first responders who now work with communities struck by tragedy visited Arlington, Oso and Darrington to share advice with people affected by last year’s deadly Oso mudslide.

Jim Nestor, Michael Parmenter and Mike Yaeger are giving four private presentations, three for first responders and one for families. The speakers also are meeting with people one-on-one or in small groups.

Nestor, 62, spent 10 years as a police officer in Pennsylvania and 25 with the New Jersey State Police Employee Assistance Program. Now he’s the administrator of the First Responders Addiction Treatment Program under the nonprofit Livengrin Foundation. The program focuses on helping police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, 911 operators and combat veterans address addiction, depression and other challenges.

Parmenter, FRAT program coordinator, was a New Jersey state trooper and retired as a lieutenant after 26 years. He worked for a time as a homicide detective and later with the employee assistance program.

Yaeger, 63, is a retired battalion chief from the Philadelphia Fire Department. He initiated a suicide prevention program there. He saw 49 line-of-duty deaths over 41 years and was one the firefighters rescued by helicopter from the roof of a blazing 38-story building during the 1991 Meridian fire that killed three firefighters.

“What happens after a disaster is the community gets a lot of help, and the first responders get kind of put to the side,” Nestor said.

“We learned from 9/11 that the first responders expand beyond the typical police and fire,” Nestor said.

At the World Trade Center, they were crane operators and iron workers. In Oso, they were loggers, heavy- equipment operators and neighbors. When disaster strikes, there’s no keeping people out, Parmenter said.

There’s a culture among first responders, Yaeger said: “You go down the hall.”

The phrase comes from row houses where, during a fire, the narrow hallways are hazardous. The danger doesn’t matter. First responders go down the hall.

That culture can lead to people feeling they are tough enough, or need to be tough enough, to not ask for help. They think they’re OK and keep pushing forward.

That’s denial, Yaeger said, and it can be dangerous.

People get “emotional hangovers.” Trauma lingers like a pounding headache. For first responders, every new emergency call can trigger memories of a disaster.

“You have to develop a network of people in that culture who want to talk about things,” Yaeger said. “You’ve got to get it going. Until then, it’s pull up the bootstraps, ‘I’m OK,’ another stone in the bucket until it overflows.”

“We’re here because, for these people, recovery is lifelong,” Nestor said. “It’s like grieving. You’re going to grieve for the rest of your life, hopefully in a healthy way.

For help
To learn about individual, group or family counseling related to the Oso mudslide, people can contact Kerry Fitzgibbons at 360-348-8148.

– Courtesy of The Herald of Everett, Washington

Read the complete article…

Time Magazine: Why America Can’t Kick Its Painkiller Problem

The June 15 issue of Time Magazine features a cover story highlighting a problem addressed and combatted by Livengrin Foundation for many years. Why America Can’t Kick Its Painkiller Problem is a stark look at the epidemic sweeping our nation. Time reports that “9.4 million Americans take opioids for long-term pain and 2.1 million are estimated by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) to be hooked.” Livengrin provides professional, accessible and successful treatment options for those suffering from the disease of addiction. Our team has intimate knowledge of the challenges facing persons addicted to prescription pain killers, with or without chronic pain, and we encourage these persons to contact us to receive the information and support necessary to live a healthy, productive life.

Read the Article: Why America Can’t Kick Its Painkiller Problem

Note: The Time Magazine article hyperlinked in the article is behind a pay wall, so if you don’t have a subscription to Time, you will have to pay to read it.

Livengrin Foundation's annual Ride for Recovery is a motorcycle and bicycle poker run which supports recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism

Ride for Recovery 11 Registration Opens

Registration for the 11th Annual Ride for Recovery is Now Open!


The Ride for Recovery is an annual motorcycle poker run and family picnic which raises awareness and funds to provide treatment to those in need.

This year the Ride for Recovery will take place on May 31, 2015. The motorcycle poker run will begin at 9:00AM. Bicycle ride registration starts promptly at 7:00AM. The family picnic commences at 11:00AM.

The 11th annual Ride for Recovery will take place on Livengrin Foundation’s main campus in Bensalem, PA.

Last year the Ride raised over $90,000 for patient care and services. Over 1,200 attendees and 300+ motorcycles enjoyed food and fun with friends. Additionally, Livengrin provided over $20,000 in cash and prizes.

This year we add a bicycle ride to the long list of upgrades! Also, we will be raffling off a 2015 Harley Davidson Softail Slim. If you win, choose the cash prize instead of the bike and receive $10,000! Prizes will also be awarded for 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Online registration is open for attendees, bikers, riders, and raffle ticket purchases.

To register to ride, purchase raffle tickets, attend the picnic, visit the new Ride page at https://www.livengrin.org/ride.

First Responders Addiction Treatment Program Director Andy Callaghan talks addiction, trauma, and PTSD with Philadelphia Daily News

FRAT Director Andy Callaghan On Philadelphia Daily News

Two decades later, Andy Callaghan, a 25-year veteran police sergeant, still can’t forget the sound of the bullet whizzing by his ear.

It was winter 1995. As he had done dozens – maybe even hundreds – of times, he geared up to serve a warrant, this time in Southwest Philadelphia. He knew that facing gunfire and having to shoot back to stay alive was always a possibility. But he didn’t anticipate it that night.

“It was a Thursday. I was exhausted from court and work,” Callaghan, 48, recalled recently in his office at the Livengrin Foundation for Addiction Recovery campus in Bensalem, where he serves as director of the First Responders Addiction Treatment Program. “I remember suiting up for the warrant, saying, ‘I don’t feel like doing this tonight. I want to go home and go to sleep.’ ”

Read more: Shell Shocked: Stress Lingers for Cops Who Fired Guns

Join us for a reception benefiting the AMICare Program at Livengrin Foundation

AMICare Benefit & Hors D’oeuvres Reception

At the home of Richard Snowden and Fred Holzerman


October 24, 2015

5:00PM – 8:00PM

About the Restored Chestnut Hill Home

Three East Gravers Lane was originally built in 1893 by George Roth as a vernacular Dutch Colonial Revival house with shingle style attributes for Rebecca Gravers of the family for whom Gravers Lane was named.

As Germantown Avenue commercialized, the front porch and garden gave way to a one story front addition, housing a drug store and soda fountain with rental apartments in the upper floors. An inappropriate small ‘strip’ shopping center was added to the rear of the building in 1963.

During 2010-14, a major historic restoration with additions was executed by Bowman Properties in association with Stanley Runyan Architects and Philip Heacock Builders, creating a ‘piano nobile’ second and third floor residence with first floor shop and gallery space fronting Germantown Avenue and Gravers Lane.

Rebecca Gravers remains on Germantown Avenue to this day, resting in the Baptist Churchyard, three blocks to the north.

About AMICare

Alex grew up in a happy, loving, and supportive family, the youngest of three brothers in a suburban community outside of Philadelphia. He was athletic, intelligent, musically talented, and a leader among his peers. Unknown to his family, while in college, Alex became addicted to prescription opiates. He dropped out of college and fell deeper into addiction, eventually progressing to cheaper and more easily available heroin. He managed to put together a miraculous year of recovery in 2011 before relapsing. Alex died of a heroin overdose on June 18, 2012, at the age of 25.

Alex’s parents, Bruce and Ginny Murray, sought ways to bring meaning to the loss of their beloved son. They teamed up with Livengrin Foundation to establish the Alex Murray Intensive Care (AMICare) Program to fight the surging epidemic of addiction among young adults. With the financial support of the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust, Livengrin and the Murrays launched AMICare in 2013.

In 2011, young adults comprised 33% of Livengrin’s patient population. Today, that number is 50%—and rising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that heroin use has skyrocketed 109% among 18-25 year-olds in the past decade. To meet this growing need, AMICare provides an additional structured layer of professional services for these young adults, who have different treatment needs than their older peers. Different approaches are attempted, tested, tracked with data and then adjusted to improve outcomes for these patients. By doing this, Livengrin identifies best practices to effectively move young adults away from lifethreatening addiction and move them towards sobriety as they launch their adult lives— building healthy personal and work relationships, and becoming productive and stable members of their communities.

As a result of the AMICare initiative, the percentage of young adults completing treatment rose from 45% to 75% in one year, and now stands at 83%. Family participation—essential for young adults seeking recovery—increased from 77% to 91%.

Chase H., age 22, went through the AMICare Program in 2014. I was in a youth rehab at 15, and at 16 I was shooting heroin. I went to Livengrin for the first time at 18. I didn’t listen while I was in there and was doing the same things when I got out. On March 28, 2014, I overdosed. I knew at that moment I wanted to change. I came back to Livengrin because I knew that the people there were so nice, and they always welcomed me back. I felt comfortable there. They told me it was time to grow up. I observed and listened, and learned so much from the people and the groups.

Now, I think I did grow up a little. I work full-time, and I have a 12-Step program and sponsees who are doing well. I try to help out others whenever I can. I drive a lot for my job so I always like to check out different AA meetings in the Tri-State area. I’m closer than ever to having my daughter back in my life. Life is ten times better now.

In memory of Bruce and Ginny’s son and Fred and Rich’s nephew, we hope that you will contribute to the AMICare Fund so that another young adult, like Chase, may find the gift of recovery.

Join Livengrin in benefitting the Alex Murrary Intensive Care program for young adults
Couple getting ready to ride for recovery

Reservations & Tickets

Questions? Please contact Scott Blacker, Vice President for Development, at 215-638-5200 ext. 1011

View/Download the Event Invitation