Baystate Noble Hospital Announces Legislative Earmark Recipients

WESTFIELD — Baystate Noble Hospital announced four community recipients who will receive a total of $65,000 in funding to address the health and social needs posed by opioid and other substance-use disorders.

Recipients of the one-time grants are CORE (Coalition for Outreach, Recovery and Education) of Greater Westfield, Greater Westfield Committee for the Homeless Inc., the Mental Health Assoc., and the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.

The monies, administered in partnership with the hospital’s Community Benefits Advisory Council, were received by the hospital as part of an FY 2020 legislative earmark to focus on prevention and treatment of opioid-related substance-use disorders in the Greater Westfield area.

“I was pleased to advocate for the FY 2020 budget amendment for Baystate Noble Hospital to continue its important work in the community around substance-use prevention,” said state Sen. John Velis. “I very much appreciate the leadership of Baystate Noble President Ron Bryant and the Baystate Noble Hospital Community Benefits Advisory Council in selecting community partners to receive these grants who will focus on stigma reduction, outreach, prevention, and training. I have had the chance to meet with many constituents and their families who have been impacted by the scourge of substance-use disorders, and I know expanding these services is critical to improving their well-being.”

Those agencies submitting proposals were asked to consider a variety of needs, including housing, access to healthy food, education, transportation, childcare, behavioral health, chronic conditions, and preventive health.

“Senator John Velis’s earmark will fund critically important community programs that focus on the barriers and challenges individuals struggling with substance-use disorder and their families face every day,” said Eliza Lake, CEO of Hilltown Community Health Center and co-chair of the Baystate Noble Community Benefits Advisory Council. “Community education, transportation, and harm-reduction services, when coupled with efforts within the healthcare system, address all of the elements needed to reduce the number of overdoses and death in the short and long run. We commend Senator Velis for his work on behalf of the community.”

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