Forum on Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities: 9/5, UMass

Sponsored by:

Join us on Friday, September 6, 2019 at the UMass Amherst Campus Center for a forum, “Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Small and Rural Communities in Western Massachusetts.” This forum will focus on the numerous ways in which the opioid crisis has impacted Western Massachusetts, with particular attention paid to the social and economic consequences for small and rural communities. Unique challenges and innovative solutions will be highlighted.

This work is supported through the  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundationthe University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health SciencesRIZE Massachusetts Foundation, and Baystate Health.  The issue brief is being produced in collaboration with the Brandeis-Harvard NIDA Center to Improve System Performance of Substance Use Disorder Treatment and the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC).

Date: Friday, September 6, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Location: Amherst Room (10th Floor)

Campus Center, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003 

A continental breakfast will be served during registration between 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

We hope that you will be able to join us. Seating is limited, so please register as soon as possible. The agenda can be found on the Massachusetts Health Policy Website. If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Osorio, Events Manager at or (781) 736-3940.

Webinar (8/7-8/8): Ending homelessness for people with serious mental illness and substance use disorders

Please join SAMHSA’s Homeless and Housing Resource Network for a 2-day national online conversation about the most effective approaches to ending homelessness for individuals with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

The Way Home: A Virtual Summit on Homelessness, Serious Mental Illness, and Substance Use Disorders will run 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 8.

No travel required – attend directly from your own internet-connected computer. Join us for the whole summit or drop in to only those sessions that most appeal to you.

Registration is now open. See the full agenda and more event information on the registration page.  

The program includes 30+ national experts, policy makers, and providers who will engage you in a variety of plenaries, roundtable discussions, and concurrent sessions.

Continuing education credits are available at no cost to registrants. Space is limited, soregister now.

Webinar 7/16: Advancing Health Equity through Housing Law and Policy

From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

Register today for our next webinar to explore the influence housing laws and policies can have on health in urban and rural communities. Experts from The Network for Public Health Law will provide an introduction to public health law and policy, and explain how laws and policies related to gentrification, eviction, and homelessness can improve or further embed health inequities. We will share insights into where you can start with smaller policy-oriented solutions, as well as community-wide solutions that embrace comprehensive, tailored approaches that focus on collaborative efforts and broad partnerships. 

Tuesday, July 16, 3 pm EST

Register HERE.

HSF Forum: The State of Opioid Addiction in MA

See this opportunity offered by the Human Services Forum:

Join us for a look at the current state of the opioid crisis and how is continues to effect Massachusetts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
8 am – 12 noon
The Delaney House
3 Country Club Road

Event Schedule:
Coffee 7:30 am
Breakfast, Keynote & Annual Meeting 8:00- 9:30
Panel & Discussion 9:45 – Noon

Program Fee:
HSF Members: $40
Not Yet Members: $60

Register here!

Keynote: Dr. Robert Roose, MD, MPH, FASAM Interim Chief Medical Officer, Mercy Medical Center, Chief of Addiction Medicine & Recovery Services, Trinity Health of New England

Dr. Roose earned his Doctor of Medicine and Master in Public Health degrees at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington D.C. and completed his residency training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY.

After the keynote, our expert panel will discuss community perspectives on the epidemic.
*There will be a panel Q&A

Panelists:Benjamin H. Cluff , MPA, LADCI, CADC
Veterans’ Services Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Bureau of Substance Addiction Services

Peter D. Friedmann
Chief Research Officer and Endowed Chair for Clinical Research, Baystate Health

J. Cherry Sullivan
Program Coordinator Hampshire HOPE Center for Prevention and Community Engagement, City of Northampton Health Department

*4th panelist TBA

Accessing Child Care Vouchers/Head Start: Read On!

On Tuesday, April 30, the Network sponsored a training for over 60 famly shelter and other case managers at Holyoke Community College to learn about recent policy changes impacting (and improving) families’ access to MA child care vouchers. Special thanks to Sara Garvin of New England Farm Workers Council and Dawn DiStefano of Square One for their expertise. You can see the Powerpoint presentation that details the state child care system; the “Quick sheet” for initial intake questions and contact names and numbers; and the actual Wait List Initial Intake Form.

We also heard from Head Start leaders Nicole Blais and June Lynds about how to best access Head Start. Their contact information is here:

Holyoke/Chicopee Head Start Contacts
Maggie Sexton, Enrollment Coordinator,
Audra Dias, Enrollment Supervisor
Head Start Locator/Resources website: 

Head Start Community Action Pioneer Valley
For enrolling at CAPV Head Start & Early Learning Programs in Western Hampden (including West Springfield, Agawam and Westfield), Hampshire and Franklin Counties: 413-387-1250 or (Families can apply online or programs can download our referral form under the Head Start heading.

And finally, we heard from Rebecca Burgos and Christine Zaskey-Cullen of Coordinated Family Care and Engagement (CFCE) programs, detailing the support available in each community through this programs. You can find the CFCE contact person in your community by going here.

Opioid Training in the Berkshires – 5/17, Berkshire Community College

Strategies for Hope: Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

Friday May 17, 2019
Berkshire Community College
Robert Boland Theatre
Presented By Berkshire AHEC with educational grants from 
Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Health Systems, Lee Bank, MountainOne

Evidence-based approaches for:
Assessment and treatment interventions
Safe prescribing
Alternative therapies
Patient and family education
Patient engagement

Changing the Conversation
Removing Stigma, Instilling Strength, Opening Hearts, and InspiringChange: Jeffrey Foote, PhD

Morning Breakouts
Opioid Crisis in the Workplace: Saving Lives, Saving Jobs
Moderator: Richard Alcombright
Panelists: Mark Kenyon, LMFT, LADC-I, CEAP, Arthur Milano, MBA,
Edward Ostolski, JD

Caring for Families Affected by Opioid Use Disorder
Moderator: Ruth Jacobson-Hardy , MA, LADC I
Panelists: Katherine Callahan, MD, Christine Haley, LICSW, Debbie Flynn-Gonzalez, M.Ed.

Lunch and Learn: Naloxone Training
Sarah DeJesus, CMA and Amalio (A.J.) Jusino, NRP-T

Afternoon Breakouts

Alternative Therapies for Pain Management
Moderator: Daniel Mullin, PsyD, MPH
Panelists: Kent Higgins, PhD, Renae Gorman, PT, DPT, OCS,
Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH

Pathways to Recovery
Moderator: Jennifer Kimball
Panelists: Jennifer Michaels, MD, Sarah DeJesus, CMA,
Joseph Buyse, CARC, Jacelyn Howlett Farmerie, CARN

Registration Fees 
Continental Breakfast and Lunch Included in Registration Fee

Healthcare professionals
continuing education fee included

General Public

For more information and status of continuing education credits
or call