Thiel Substance Use Disorder Group Takes First Step to Educate Wyoming County Residents on Substance Abuse Resources

Warsaw, N.Y. —The Thiel Substance Use Disorder Group, convened by the Wyoming Foundation, is announcing plans to address community concerns about substance use disorder and opioid-related deaths raised at the 2018 Wyoming County Care Coordination Summit. The first action item is that every Wyoming County household will be receiving a mailer by the end of February with a list of critical resources and a refrigerator magnet that includes the Wyoming County Crisis Line (585.283.5200) for easy reference. The mailer and magnet were paid for by the William F. Thiel Trust at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

The Thiel Substance Use Disorder Group is made up of the following participants:

  • Partners for Prevention
  • Save the Michaels of the World
  • Spectrum Health & Human Services
  • Wyoming County Board of Supervisors
  • Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce
  • Wyoming County Community Health System
  • Wyoming County Department of Health
  • Wyoming County Mental Health Department
  • Wyoming Foundation

This engaged group of partners has been meeting regularly since the 2018 Wyoming County Care Coordination Summit. It was at that summit that a group of community caregivers and healthcare organizations raised serious concerns about the alarming increase in opioid related deaths in Wyoming County, which increased tenfold in Wyoming County from 2010 to 2018.

“Together, we are listening to the residents of Wyoming County and making substance use disorder education a priority. By sending out this mailer and magnet – at no cost to residents – we want to ensure that everyone who needs help knows how to get it, whether it is you or a loved one that is facing the challenges of addiction,” said Scott Gardner, President and CEO of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Thiel Roundtable, and Wyoming Foundation Council Member. “The Wyoming Foundation is committed to supporting initiatives and programs that can show maximum positive impact on Wyoming County.”

“Understanding the gravity of a mental health condition – and the huge jump in opioid-related deaths in Wyoming County, we want to educate our residents about the resources available. The mailer that residents are receiving will provide a starting place for getting help and we hope that this will be the beginning of reversing the statistics,” said Kelly Dryja, LCSW, Director of Community Services at the Wyoming County Mental Health Department.

“We want to paint a picture of hope for those who feel they can’t overcome addition. Individuals recover from addiction every day. We have nearly a dozen organizations ready to help, including Spectrum Health & Human Services. We urge residents to put the magnet on your refrigerator – you never know who will see and need it,” said Julie Gutowski, Sr. VP of Clinical and Program Operations.

The Thiel Substance Use Disorder Group will continue to meet and will be taking a close look at the impact of the mailer over the coming weeks. They will also continue meeting in 2020 to keep this important issue facing Wyoming County at the forefront.


About the Wyoming Foundation

The Wyoming Foundation was established in 1974 and is a division of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The Wyoming Foundation actively supports a wide variety of cultural, educational and human services organizations in Wyoming County.

About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at