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Governor Baker announces initial steps to combat Opioid addiction crisis

Releases County-Level Opioid Prescription Data For First Time
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced the first steps of his plan to attack the growing opioid addiction crisis in the Commonwealth, including the establishment of a 16 member Working Group and a call on insurers to more effectively manage opioid prescribing practices.  Governor Baker made the announcement today at Hope House, a drug addiction treatment center in Boston after a brief tour of the facility and personal discussions with several clients in recovery.

 “As we begin the process of addressing one of the Commonwealth’s most pressing public health emergencies, I am pleased to announce a 16 member Opioid Addiction Working Group which will be tasked with formulating a statewide strategy to combat addiction,” said Governor Baker. “We have brought together a group of individuals from many diverse backgrounds and experiences related to prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery support and law enforcement, who after holding a listening tour with stakeholders around the Commonwealth, will report back to the administration with specific, targeted and tangible recommendations to increase public awareness about these medications and reduce the rate of addiction.”

ADDRESSING OPIOID ADDICTION IN THE COMMONWEALTH WORKING GROUP

Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Maura Healey, Attorney General

George Bell, General Catalyst Partners

Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

Bill Carpenter, Mayor of Brockton

Colleen Labelle BSN, RN-BC, CARN, Program Director of the State Technical Assistance Treatment Expansion Office Based Opioid Treatment with Buprenorphine (STATE OBOT B) program at Boston Medical Center; Executive Director of the Massachusetts chapter of the International Nurses Society on Addictions.

Alan Ingram, Ed.D., Deputy Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Judy Lawler, Probation Officer, Chelsea District Drug Court

Joseph D. McDonald, Sheriff, Plymouth County

John McGahan, The Gavin Foundation

Fred Newton, President & CEO of Hope House, Inc.

Robert Roose, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Addiction Services at the Sisters of Providence Health System

Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy & Advocacy, U.S. Pain Foundation; Chair, Policy Council, Massachusetts Pain Initiative

Ray Tamasi, President and CEO of The Gosnold  on Cape Cod

Steve Tolman, President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Sarah Wakeman, MD, Medical Director, Substance Use Disorders, Center for Community Health Improvement, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital