Where Are the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Patients? Declares Ann Marie Foster, Pres/CEO, Phoenix Houses New York

Ann Marie Foster

In light of the COVID-19, Economic, and Racial Pandemics, Ann Marie Foster, President and CEO of Phoenix Houses New York is alarmed that state funds were suddenly cut 31% amid COVID-19.  She sounds the alarm on “Where are the patients?”

Phoenix House provides residential, outpatient and recovery services and is a leader in the therapeutic community and has recently transitioned to a comprehensive medical & wellness treatment model for addiction.

Foster explains what’s happening in Substance Use Disorder (SUD) field during COVID, “Across the country, after a year of slight decline in overdose deaths, we are noticing an uptick in overdoses. Use of alcohol has increased, suicides have increased, and this can clearly be correlated to COVID-19 as people have been forced into isolation. Using terms such as socially distancing, is key ingredient to increase substance use, falling into depression and despair. Many SUD programs had to limit the number of residents to accommodate the physical distancing guidance – so where are the patients”?

During this critical time, Phoenix House is in need of your support to ensure all services continue uninterrupted.  They are currently providing residential and outpatient treatment to over 500 patients, many of whom would otherwise face homelessness or lack of treatment.  Safety concerns are at the forefront of their thoughts. Phoenix Houses New York aim is to keep their doors open and maintain the quality of their important work while adhering to all CDC-recommended guidelines.

While Phoenix House NY know there are many needs in our communities, here are our most critical needs:

  1. Food for the residents (In-kind donations of food or direct support given the increased demand for food)
  2. Sanitizing, cleaning supplies , masks, gloves, gowns and PPE personal productive equipment (bleach, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizers)
  3. Their community Residents Program- these residents live in our transitional houses and they need food and cleaning supplies to allow them to stay home and slow the spread of the virus

Ann-Marie Foster joined Phoenix House in October 2017 as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Phoenix Houses of New York| Long Island. She became President and CEO on April 1, 2019.

Ann-Marie has been a leader in healthcare for more than 28 years. Prior to joining Phoenix House, she led the Bellevue Hospital Department of Psychiatry—the largest psychiatric program in the country—for eight years. She was responsible for the overall administration and management for 359 beds within the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She also served the NYC Health + Hospital system as the Associate Executive Director of Clinical Services, where she oversaw surgery, anesthesia, women’s health, medicine, and pediatrics.

She has a B.S. in Biology from Syracuse University and a M.P.A. from Baruch College.  In November 2016, Ms. Foster became a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Phoenix House New York will continue to rise above the COVID-19 pandemic and help people overcome their treatment needs.

About Phoenix House

Since 1967, Phoenix House New York has helped thousands of people overcome substance and alcohol abuse in order to lead healthy, productive, and rewarding lives. We are committed to supporting individuals and families by providing a wide range of services, from residential and outpatient treatment to continuing care and recovery support. Our specialized services include treatment for people with co-occurring disorders; veterans, military personnel, and their families; and medication-assisted treatment, including buprenorphine and suboxone.


Bridge Philanthropic Consulting (BPC) serves as the fundraising counsel to Phoenix House New York.  You can support our mission by making a donation on our website at


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