October 2019 Newsletter

Grant Announcement: 

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) has received a $77,286 grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Capacity Development Program. The grant, entitled the Berkshire County Community Engagement & Response Program (BCCERP), will bring together the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative (BOAPC) and BRPC’s emergency preparedness team to create a comprehensive HIV outbreak community response plan. The BCCERP project team will work with the existing emergency preparedness coalition and newly-engaged community partners, including people living with HIV (PLWH) and those who are actively working with injection drug users (IDU), to do a series of community workshops, design a blood-borne pathogen (HIV) community response plan, and to conduct an exercise test for that plan. Using a model developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) entitled Community Response Planning for Outbreaks of Hepatitis and HIV among People Who Inject Drugs: A Case Study from Lenowisco Health District, a Rural Community in Virginia, the BCCERP project will take a new and innovative approach to emergency preparedness by actively engaging the wider community, and those traditionally not involved in community response planning, as active participants in the development and execution of HIV community response plans and exercises to test and improve these plans. These activities will facilitate the creation of a community-centered model and a more inclusive HIV community response plan that is reflective of Berkshire County’s unique geographical and demographical needs along with the specific needs of PWLH and active drug users; it will also be used in future years as a template upon which to build a more comprehensive blood-borne pathogen outbreak community response plan. 

For more information about this grant, please contact Project Manager Allison Egan at [email protected] or BOAPC Project Coordinator Jennifer Kimball at [email protected].

Save the Date!

With the support of the New England AIDS Education and Training Center (NEATC), the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative (BOAPC) is proud to present 2 training opportunities being offered in Berkshire County (flyers attached for more detailed program information):

Hepatitis C and the Opioid Crisis: A Berkshire County-Focused Public Health Seminar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019; 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Berkshire Hills Country Club,
500 Benedict Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Use this link to register: https://hcvseminar-berkshirecounty.eventbrite.com
Click here to view the event flyer or share it with your network

All You Will (Ever) Need to Know about Hepatitis C: A Primer for the Primary Care Provider
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019; 5:30 – 8:00PM
Country Club of Pittsfield
639 South St., Pittsfield, MA 01201
Use this link to register: https://www.neaetc.org/events/view/13953
Click here to view the event flyer of share it with your network

Narcan: A HOPE to Save Lives

By Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli – Sept. 19, 2019, iBerkshires


Save the Date: Upcoming Narcan Trainings

Tapestry will provide these trainings with the intent of empowering community members, opiate drug users, family and friends to save lives. You’ll learn about rescue breathing, what Narcan is, and how to administer it.

These group Narcan trainings are an essential part of overdose prevention education; where members of the community learn what an overdose looks like and what we can do to reverse them.

All are welcome. FREE ADMISSION.

Great Barrington Libraries
231 Main Street, Great Barrington

-Wednesday, October 9, 11AM-12PM
– Wednesday, November 13, 11AM-12PM
– Wednesday, December 11, 11AM-12PM

Ramsdell Public Library
1087 Main Street, Housatonic

-Wednesday, October 9, 1-2PM
– Wednesday, November 13, 1-2PM
– Wednesday, December 11, 1-2PM

Berkshire South Regional Community Center,
15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington
– Monday, October 21, 3-4PM
– Monday, November 18, 6-7PM
– Monday, December 16, 3-4PM
*Narcan will be provided during this event.

Jana’s Place, a first-of-its-kind recovery program for individuals exiting prostitution, will help women find themselves and sisterhood

By Melissa Hanson, MassLive – Sept. 30, 2019


‘We do not have to be anonymous;’ Paramedic Stephen Murray has his own story to share with those struggling with opioid addiction

By Douglas Hook, MassLive – Sept. 24, 2019


Save the Date!

Recovery Coach Academy coming to Pittsfield
October 21st, 2019 – October 25th

The Journey Recovery Project


Created by the MA Dept. of Public Health
The Journey Recovery Project is an interactive Web resource for pregnant and parenting women who have questions or concerns about opioid and other substance use. The Journey Recovery Project focuses on the stories of women with lived experience, offering information, hope, encouragement, and resources for every step of their perinatal journey. With videos, informational slideshows, resource links, and worksheets, the Journey Recovery Project seeks to empower and inform women about opioid and other substance use and pregnancy.

Resource page: https://journeyrecoveryproject.com/resources/

Opioids and Abuse

Michelle Samuels – September 20, 2019

“More than 20 years later, Rothman has returned to Barre [VT], and Circle, to take a new look at this long-standing issue: Through a three-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she is researching the intersection of intimate partner violence and opioid use disorder in the hopes of better addressing the overlapping public health crises.”


Western Massachusetts Substance Use Treatment and Prevention Services Directory

Updated PDF directory, as of October 2019

Want To Reduce Suicides? Follow The Data — To Medical Offices, Motels And Even Animal Shelters

By Maureen O’Hagan, Kaiser Health News – September 23, 2019


‘Know Overdose’ 

New media campaign based out of San Francisco & “Worlds Away” report

Key Takeaways:
  • There isn’t a one-size-fits-all so the campaign needs to have different kinds of messaging for different communities
  • Information and facts are still impactful and useful
  • Drugs and drug equipment should be realistic (no 5cc huge syringes!),
  • People in the campaign should be real people and not staged, so people can see themselves in the campaign, and
  • Posters in transportation hubs, bus stations, and bars are most impactful

Know Overdose campaign: https://harmreduction.org/issues/overdose-prevention/know-overdose/
For the report & focus group summaries: https://harmreduction.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Worlds-Away-in-a-7×7-Report.pdf