Vermont Business Magazine The Bennington Opioid Response Team, which formed in the spring of 2018, is eager to share recent updates on its work and to gather feedback from the community.
“More than ever, the opioid crisis is at the forefront of our minds and our actions,” said Kristi Cross, DNP, RN; project director, Bennington Opioid Response Team. “Our efforts are focused, and we are reaching out to let the public know that we are committed to helping our community overcome this epidemic.”
The group is comprised of over 40 individuals from community organizations, including health care, mental health, recovery, government, law enforcement, housing, transportation, and prevention. It’s mission is to improve quality of life by reducing the adverse effects of opioid use in the community.
Recent updates include:
- In 2020, the Bennington Opioid Response Team was awarded a Community Action Grant for overdose prevention, linkages to care, and enhancement of first responder engagement.
- The group spent the end of last year planning and is piloting programs now. Programs include a community-based overdose prevention education, school-based substance abuse and overdose education, a program to decrease stigma and increase positive outcomes through medication-assisted treatment, a text-message-based support program for those in recovery, a community health navigator to help people in substance use treatment to access needed resources, and a recovery-friendly workplace program, among others.
- A new quarterly update will report the group’s actions and outcomes to the community through Southwestern Vermont Health Care and the news media.
- The group is also developing a website, which is anticipated to launch in spring 2021, for additional information.
Community participation and feedback is welcome.
“We understand our community’s need for regular information on our progress. We aim to deliver,” Cross said. “And we want to be listeners, too, and ensure our actions are appropriate to the community’s needs.”
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.
Source: BENNINGTON, VT—February 11, 2021—SVHC