Meeting Minutes- May 31, 2019

I. Welcome & Introductions

II. District Attorney Tim Cruz

  • The DA announced that last week, DPH put out a report indicating a decline in fatal opioid overdose deaths by 4% in MA. Plymouth County was down noticeably more.

III. Sheriff Joe McDonald

  • The Sheriff reported that the department is expanding its re-entry services to not just people serving sentences.
  • The pre-trail population is bigger than ever before and they are here for a longer amount of time.
  • The department has also been working with the Brockton Mayor’s Office to discuss the possibility of a satellite office in Brockton to focus on continuing services for individuals getting back into the community. This initiative is in the infant stages.

IV. Legislative Report:

A.  Senator Vinny deMacedo
  • There are 2 amendments that the Senator sponsored:
    1. $150,000 for Drug Story Theatre
    2. $300,000 for substance exposed newborns

V. Grant Report from the District Attorney’s Office

A.  Ed Jacoubs

Through funding from:

  • The Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association, the DA’s office was able to sponsor the following initiatives:
    • NAS Conference – brought together approximately 350 individuals
    • Sober Mommies at the Family Center, Community Connections of Brockton
    • Data Viz – Plymouth County Outreach
    • ADA’s to attend Drug Court Conference
  • Project Safe Neighborhood – 1 of 14 communities to receive funding
    • Intersect between gangs, guns and opioids
  • Drug Endangered Children – awarded funding from the Office of Victims of Crime for $550,000/3 years
    • Ed introduced Kati Mapa, Clinical Advocate at the Family Center/United Way of Greater Plymouth County as well as Jen Cantwell who will be assisting in coalition building and messaging for the project.
    • This grant will help kids with parents struggling with substance use. Plymouth County Outreach reported 1,600 overdose incidents last year and the database showed that 10% involved children at the scene (Chief Allen and Chief Botieri noted that this number is probably far more than 50%).
    • The grant will allow training to take place with every police department including presentations on how to better identify children at the scene of a follow-up visit. This training will also be incorporated into PCO’s training for officers.
    • The grant has also allowed for a Handle With Care MA website to be created which should be going up in the next 2 weeks.
    • Through the Handle With Care model, police respond to an overdose, the school gets notified and a system is set in place to provide that child or family with additional care through the school and outside agencies.
    • The goal is for all schools in Plymouth County to be trained by the Trauma and Learning Policy Institute on how to help traumatized and drug endangered children learn.
    • Kati noted that they are currently working on creating subcommittees and making connections within the community. They’ve started intakes with children impacted by family substance use and are also focusing on the connection between substance use and drug trafficking as part of this initiative.
  • Ed mentioned that there will be two key places to target drug endangered children through this grant:
    • Drug Court – Judge Vitale said there are about 40 individuals currently in the program and about 95% of them are parents with kids that that struggle with their substance use disorder
    • Plymouth County Outreach – when police conduct a follow-up visit, Kati can be notified so that they are able to make connections to care with the help of PCO
  • EDC partnered with the DA’s Office to submit a grant that would help to evaluate and expand the Drug Endangered Children initiative. They will hear back in October regarding this grant.

VI. Presentations

A.  Erin Richardson, LICSW, Recovery Pathways Regional Manager, MASAC at Plymouth
  • Recovery Pathways is a program for people released civilly committed to MASAC
    • MASAC admits 2,000 individuals per year for section 35.
    • The average length of stay is up to 90 days; however, it has been around 30 days due to the nature of the facility.
    • There are two primary sites for civilly committed – Hamden County Sheriff’s Department Ludlow and MASAC.
    • There have been 13 individuals hired to cover the counties in the commonwealth. Pathfinders are assigned to different counties and there is a 60% enrollment rate for sign up with the recovery pathfinder program.
    • There are 350 individuals involved from MASAC and Hamden, 250 of which are in the community. They started accepting clients in October.
    • Pathfinders meet clients in the facility, conducting weekly groups, building rapport, basic life skills and psycho education.
    • The focus of the program is to get clients integrated into the community.
    • They work with clients 6 months’ post discharge.
    • The program works with clients no matter where they are at – they offer a harm reduction approach during the 6-month timeframe.
    • Recovery Pathways also offers a family support group for loved ones. They currently have groups in Norfolk and Bristol County and are starting one in Plymouth County at Beth Israel. Loved ones are welcome to join at any time whether the person is in or out of the program.
B.  Dr. Kishore
    • The group viewed a trailer of the documentary, Hero In America:
    • Kishore provided an overview of his primary care model and offered his support as a consultant for opioid addiction.

VII. Subcommittee Reports

A.  Public Safety Subcommittee – Chief Boteiri and Chief Allen
  • DPH highlighted Plymouth County in their report regarding opioid overdose deaths. The report showed that Plymouth County is down by 27% in overdose deaths in comparison to the state average which is down 1-4%.
  • PCO met with Secretary Sudders, the Commissioner and the BSAS team to see what they can be doing differently and they all said nothing – keep doing what you’re doing.
  • PCO also spoke to the team about allowing officers to disseminate Narcan. They will be looking to put a statue forward. It would be a simple policy change at DPH and PCO is hopeful that it will happen. Currently PCO officers refer families and individuals to Narcan sites as opposed to giving it out themselves.

PCO received a BJA COPE grant for just under half a million dollars.

    • This COPE grant has the PCO model embedded in the grant which is being implemented across the country.

PCO is now hosting quarterly meetings with the next one scheduled for June 19th.

  • There are currently 5 counties on board to join the PCO model with hope for the entire commonwealth.
    • PCO will be setting up jurisdictional reports to connect cross county.
    • EOPPS is looking to make it a state-wide model.
  • Chief Boteiri and Chief Allen recently presented at the International Chiefs of Police Technology Conference on the data piece of the model including best-practices.
  • Following an overdose death, PCO conducts a follow up via a card in the mail to families within a few days.
  • PCO will be releasing a harm reduction campaign over the next 6 weeks.
    • PCO’s Tier 2 Team – High Risk Assessment Team includes Sean, Pam, 3 clinicians, recovery coaches and healthcare experts. The team was able to get 3 formerly homeless individuals connected to services.
  • PAARI in partnership with PCO received $1 million for the next 5 years to integrate behavioral health into its model.
  • One of PCO’s Lieutenants is conducting monthly audits
  • PCO is receiving monthly data reports from the hospitals to see if they are both on the same page in terms of numbers.
  • Dataviz, sponsored by the DA’s Office, has also eliminated data redundancy and has made the drug endangered children data more accurate.
  • Lastly, PCO reported that the county is down another 30% in the number of fatal overdoses just in the 1st 5 months.
    • Dan Muse noted what a huge success that is especially with the intensity of drugs on the street including fentanyl and carfentanyl.
B.  Medical Subcommittee- Sara Cloud & Dr. Dan Muse
  • The Medical Subcommittee’s recent conference brought together about 75 people. The conference focused on safe prescribing practices.
  • The subcommittee is also focusing on regional approaches to care planning so that the county is able to provide systematic or continuous care for complex care.
  • Sarah noted that the emergency room at BID Plymouth is rolling out MAT.
    • The goal is that patients are receiving similar services no matter where they are in the region.
C.  Educational Subcommittee- President Mike Belloti & Mary Waldron
  • Quincy College President Michael Bellotti shared that the college is a social agency and committed to the task force
  • Quincy College is dealing with these issues as well as others in higher education
  • Quincy College is available as a resource to the community and is willing to assist.
D.  Community Coalitions Subcommittee- Amanda Sandoval
  • Overdose Vigils:
      • Many communities hold vigils in August and September as it is International overdose awareness day on 8/31/19.
      • Brockton Area Vigil: 8/8 at 7pm at Massasoit Community College
      • East Bridgewater Vigil: 9/14
      • Rockland Vigil: September date TBD at Rockland High School
      • Amanda noted that the Brockton Area Prevention Collaborative creates a Slideshow for these events. In order to submit photos, you must be a relative and can submit photos to until end of day 7/26/19. 
      • Only one slideshow will be created, it will not be available to any other organization until after 8/8/19 and it will not be available to the public (YouTube/Facebook) until all vigils utilizing it have been held.
      • In order to promote the event, we are giving families the opportunity to share photos and stories to highlight different individuals leading up to the event.
  • Fuller Craft Human Impact of the Opioid Crisis:
      • This project linked families of people with opioid use disorders at all different stages with craft artists to develop work to showcase their lived experience.
      • The exhibition will be on display from September-March and the opening exhibition reception is 9/28/19 at the Fuller Craft Museum
  • Amanda also provided an overview of past events that took place in the county:
    • Trades trainings were well received and linked small local business to resources around staff opioid use, overdose, and naloxone.
    • Extensive work has been done with South Shore Voc Tech, Old Colony Vo Tech, Plymouth Public Schools Tech Program, and Southeastern Voc Tech. These districts serve: Lakeville, Carver, Mattapoisett, Rochester, Plymouth, Abington, Hanover, Hanson, Norwell, Scituate, Marshfield, Rockland, Whitman, Brockton, East Bridgewater, and West Bridgewater. This included both universal and high risk prevention education sessions and staff professional development. Additionally, we have worked with these schools to engage design/marketing students to develop content for local coalitions.
    • The Brockton Area Prevention Collaborative and the Plymouth Area Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative teamed up to host a Youth Conference on 5/23/19 at Stonehill College. The conference engaged youth from 14 schools and had 149 participants. This conference gave youth the opportunity to learn from their peers about what is being done around youth led substance use prevention around the county.  There was incredible engagement from not only participants but local coalitions to support the event. 
E.  Faith Based Coalitions Subcommittee- Dr. Jehle & Deacon Greer
  • The Teen Challenge Walk/Run to End Addiction will be taking place this weekend.
  • Another Health Symposium is being planned in south Plymouth.
  • The Archdiocese are beginning trainings tomorrow for spiritual based recovery coaches. 50 people are signed up.
F.  Database Subcommittee- Pam Kelley & Sean Varano
  • Sean noted that the critical incident management system is expanding to Essex and Norfolk County and that Middlesex and Bristol counties should be on board by summer.
  • There are firewalls set up so all agencies in the system will be allowed to share data.
  • Lastly, PCO will be looking into a next level study of recidivism to try and calculate the time to relapse.

VIII. Adjournment