Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In this week of “Opioid Overdose Awareness,“ I wish to share that the Commonwealth will be receiving upwards of $90 million in funds from the legal claims arising from the manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and dispensing of opioids. This does not include the settlement from the Sackler Family and Purdue Pharma lawsuit being discussed in the news today which should also be a significant sum. As the House of Representatives appointee to the “Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council,” I join with a diverse group to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the distribution of the funds towards expanding access to opioid use disorder prevention, intervention, and recovery.
As the former Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery and the lead author of the 2018 omnibus addiction and opioid treatment bill, An Act for Prevention and Access in Appropriate Care and Treatment of Addiction, which included provisions related to education, prevention, behavioral health, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery, as well as my experience as a nurse and Needham Board of Health member, my history and experiences in services informs my work and continuing commitment to so many individuals who are suffering, families that are struggling and our communities which are straining to meet their needs.
I feel deeply responsible to the people of my communities and our Commonwealth to use my education and experience to continue to promote prevention and recovery in the Commonwealth.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, the Re-Use-It Swap Shop at the Needham DPW RTS will re-open Tuesday, September 7th at 7:30 am! Due to space limitations, the Shop volunteers ask that you please bring in donations as early in the day as possible and in modest quantities. All items must be inspected and approved by the volunteer on duty before being left at the Re-Use-It.
- In Dover, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection attended the Board of Selectmen meeting on August 19th to discuss Colonial Water’s Corrective Action Plan. A link to the recorded discussion can be found here.
- In Medfield, in an effort to raise awareness, reduce stigma, educate and prevent death by suicide, the Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention will be sharing mental health facts and resources throughout September as part of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Click here for more information, resources, and initiatives to support suicide prevention.
- Massachusetts plans to require COVID-19 vaccination for all staff at rest homes, assisted living residences (ALRs), hospice programs, as well as for home care workers (HCWs) providing in-home, direct care services. The plan to expand the vaccine requirement for caregivers is subject to Public Health Council (PHC) approval and is part of the Administration’s continued effort to protect older adults against COVID-19.
- On Monday the Commonwealth announced $21 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The MVP program provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change.
If you are in need of information, resources, or support please visit my website for a list of resources regarding unemployment assistance, food assistance, housing, and mental health. Additionally, for town specific information visit the Towns of Needham, Dover, and Medfield‘s websites.
If you are in need of assistance, my office is still accessible by phone and email so please contact my office and we will get back to you.