Health & Medicine

February 23, 2013

Sutter Health saluted for alcoholism program

Sutter Health in Sacramento has won a national award for a program that seeks to help homeless people overcome chronic alcoholism.

The Serial Inebriate Program at Sutter Medical Center has received the Hospital Charitable Service Award, given annually to a facility that helps needy people in its community.

Jackson Healthcare, a hospital staffing company that champions charitable work, sponsors the award.

The winning program is a collaboration between Sutter, Sacramento Self Help Housing and the Downtown Partnership. Launched in 2006, it provides counseling and seeks permanent housing for chronic alcoholics who are homeless.

Among more than 150 people who have graduated from the program, "drunk in public" arrests have plummeted by 94 percent, and the number of publicly intoxicated people referred to the Sacramento Police Department has dipped 90 percent, program officials said.

The award came with $10,000, which Sutter plans to donate to its two partners in the program, said spokeswoman Liz Madison.

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