PALMER — Baystate Wing Hospital (BWH) received a $50,000 FY 2023 legislative earmark to focus on the prevention and treatment of opioid-related substance-use disorders in the Baystate Health Eastern Region. The earmark in the FY 2023 state budget was made by state Rep. Todd Smola 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 people with opioid and substance-use disorders in the hospital’s service area.
Opioid and substance-use disorders were identified as significant health needs in BWH’s 2022 community health needs assessment.
The BWH Opioid Task Force is focused on addressing the many individual, environmental, and societal factors facing individuals with substance-use disorders. The task force, made up of hospital team members, aims to meet the needs of the local community who seek care in the Emergency Department and other outpatient departments throughout the hospital. The team will work to increase access to prevention, treatment, recovery, and referrals for people with opioid and substance-use disorders who live in the BWH service area, which includes Belchertown, Brimfield, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Hampden, Hardwick, Holland, Ludlow, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Palmer, Wales, Ware, Warren, West Brookfield, and Wilbraham.
“I am pleased to have advocated for state resources to be used in my district to continue combating the serious issues related to opioid and substance-use abuse,” Smola said. “It is critical we have well-trained healthcare professionals and community partners to serve our region and to work with families impacted by this deadly scourge. I look forward to seeing these good works continue.”
Lauren Mansfield, Behavioral Health practice manager of Baystate Griswold Center, added that, “as the patients facing opioid-related substance-use disorders needs have grown more complex, focusing on coordination and communication across all the patient’s healthcare providers has become increasingly crucial. Our hospital Opioid Task Force and our care teams will collaborate to continue to increase access to care and resources for people with substance-use disorders; reduce or eliminate the projection of stigma focusing on the care of the person, not his or her condition; and distribute harm-reduction kits to those in need. Patients and their families will benefit from increased access to care as we work to build trust in our healthcare environment.”