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ARISE, Bizzari offer conflicting accounts of why mental health clinic won’t open in Auburn

A longtime central New York organization and Cayuga County's director of community services have conflicting accounts to explain why a satellite mental health office supported by a $750,000 grant will not be opening in Auburn.

ARISE, with the support of a $750,000 award from the Central New York Care Collaborative, proposed expanding its mental health services by opening a satellite office in Cayuga County. The nonprofit already operates outpatient mental health services in Onondaga and Oswego counties.

According to a timeline provided by ARISE, two members of its management team met with Ray Bizzari, who oversees the Cayuga County Office of Mental Health, in June. At that meeting, ARISE says Bizzari verbally supported the organization's plans to expand mental health services in Cayuga County.

Tania Anderson, CEO of ARISE, wasn't present for the meeting but was told by her staff that Bizzari supported the opening of a satellite outpatient mental health clinic. In addition to the verbal support, Bizzari signed a letter supporting ARISE's project.

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