Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

GREATER BANGOR COMMUNITY WORKING TOGETHER TO ADDRESS SUBSTANCE USE

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Tue., Dec. 8, 8:00- 11:30 am, Husson University, Dyke Center for Family Business
Building a Healthier Community through Partnership:
Substance Use Disorder – What Was, What Is, What Could Be

Bangor, Maine – (December 3, 2015) – Local substance abuse, particularly to prescription and nonprescription opiate drugs, is of great concern to the community. From substance use prevention to treatment and recovery, the community is working toward a healthier eastern Maine.

On Tuesday, December 8th, eighty people representing 15 different coalitions addressing substance use will gather to recognize the work that has been accomplished to date and look ahead to what can be achieved in the future. The free community gathering that is open to the public is sponsored by the Community Health Leadership Board (CHLB) and the City of Bangor Public Health Department.

The CHLB is an unprecedented new collaborative of health care and service organizations, that came together last year to address pressing local health concerns. The CHLB is initially focused on measurably reducing the impact of substance use, specifically opiate use, in our community. The CHLB is comprised of chief executive officers and other leaders from Eastern Maine Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Penobscot Community Health Care, Acadia Hospital, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Community Health and Counseling Services, Penquis, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, and the City of Bangor. The CHLB will be in attendance at the beginning of the December 8th Community Gathering.

Groups giving mini-presentations on their work at the Community Gathering include: Penobscot Linking Partnership, Healthy Maine Partnership, Drug Free Communities, Bangor Area Recovery Network, Maine Health Access Foundation, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion and others.

The CHLB’s first initiatives are as follows. Representatives from working groups for these initiatives will also give presentations at the Community Gathering:
• Launch a public awareness campaign that educates and decreases the stigma of opiate use disorder, treatment and recovery.
• Develop and implement a community-wide opioid and narcotic prescribing protocol.
• Assess feasibility for and work toward providing community based non-medical (social) detox services.
• Increase access to substance use disorder treatment in rural areas

“The CHLB is uniquely poised to work closely with its members’ leadership roles, the strength of their organizations, and a pool of energized citizens to overcome vital health concerns and achieve positive outcomes. Issues this big require the ongoing commitment of many,” said CHLB vice chair Doug Michael, Chief Community Health and Grants Officer, EMHS.
Penobscot Community Health Care received grant funding from the Maine Health Access Foundation to support the CHLB. The CHLB is an independent board convened to address pressing community health concerns. For more information regarding the CHLB, contact Patty Hamilton patty.hamilton@bangormaine.gov or 207-992-4550 or Doug Michael at dmichael@emhs.org or 207-973-6602.

To register for the December 8th Community Gathering, email sara.yasner@bangormaine.gov.

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