Baystate Wing Hospital has announced grant awards of $30K to two local community agencies following an FY 2021 legislative earmark to focus on prevention and treatment of opioid related substance use disorders in the communities served by the hospital.
Opioid and substance use disorders were identified as significant health needs in BWH's 2019 community health needs assessment (CHNA).
These grant investments were made possible following critical earmark in the FY21 state budget by State Representative Todd Smola (1st Hampden District) to support public health related programs and initiatives that reduce health disparities, promote community wellness, and increase access to prevention, treatment, recovery, and referrals for persons with opioid and substance use disorders in the BWH service area.
“I know how important it is to provide critical resources to our community based organizations to carry on the work of battling substance use and addiction. As we move out of the pandemic, the impact of the ongoing opioid crisis continues to motivate my work in the MA House of Representatives on behalf of my constituents,” said State Representative Smola.
Programs supported by the hospital’s grant investments include:
Western Massachusetts Training Consortium $22,000
Western Massachusetts Training Consortium (Consortium) was funded $22,000 to provide an enhanced recovery support network to the region and improve access to harm reduction and multiple pathways to recovery services. The Consortium will use their unique Recovery Coaching program and community partnerships to support local efforts to reduce the opioid death rate, decrease stigma and increase safety for opioid users in the region. “We are so grateful that Representative Smola has joined with other compassionate and responsive legislators who have been championing community-led efforts to address the opioid epidemic,” says Consortium Executive Director, Kristel Applebee. “This funding will go a long way to help us channel the energy that is already so strong among the communities in the Baystate Wing service area, and connect those who have faced marginalization, oppression, or otherwise felt invisible with equitable recovery supports. We want to make sure everyone knows about the Ware Regional Recovery Center!”
Wilbraham Police Department $8000
The Wilbraham Police Department, one of the first Hampden County members of the Hampshire Hope DART program, conducts follow up visits after every overdose, Narcan administration and involuntary committal. The Wilbraham Police Department will utilize funding to assist patients and families with support, collaboration with outside entities, safe planning, and the reintegration and reunification process.
“Our physicians, nurses, and staff all strive to improve the health of the people we serve through exceptional care and innovative health initiatives,” said Molly Gray, President and Chief Administrative Officer for Baystate Wing Hospital. “We are grateful for the earmark made by Representative Smola to help us increase access to prevention, treatment, recovery, and referrals for persons with opioid and substance use disorders in the BWH service area. We are proud to partner with these area agencies to help us do this important work together to improve the health and wellbeing of our community.”
Baystate Wing Hospital has a rich history of providing outstanding healthcare for communities throughout the Quaboag Hills and the Pioneer Valley.