CARIBOU, Maine — Cary Medical Center will host a virtual event, “Building a Recovery Community,” on Thursday, May 13 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The event is being planned as an activity during National Hospital Week.
Maine Opiate Response Director Gordon Smith present on the state’s response to the opiate crisis and will review the 2021 Strategic Plan.
“The state of Maine has suffered greatly from the opioid epidemic,” said Smith, who was formerly executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association. “Between 2010 and 2019, almost 2,700 individuals died from an opioid related overdose. Most everyone in our state has been impacted by this crisis in some way and the crisis continues with an increase in overdose related deaths in 2020. Gov. Mills has made our response to this crisis a top priority and I believe we have developed an aggressive response in our Strategic Plan.”
Smith was appointed by Mills as director of opioid response in January 2019. He is responsible for coordinating and directing Maine’s response to the opioid crisis. He stepped down as the executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association in January 2019, where he had served as its EVP since September 1993 and where he began as general counsel in 1981.
In addition to Smith, the event will feature a presentation by Eric Lamoreau on a recently completed health needs assessment. Lamoreau is a person in long-term recovery and advocate for innovative and evidence-based practices to help promote successful prevention, treatment and recovery resources to all in Aroostook County. He has worked as counselor, recovery center manager and now as a project coordinator for a Human Resources and Services Administration grant to help lower the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder in Aroostook County.
Erica Arguello, project director of The Rural Recovery Network, an HRSA funded grant, at Cary Medical Center, will talk about the grant, written on behalf of the Maine Rural Health Collaborative of five rural hospitals working together to improve medical care in their communities. The grant helped to establish the emergency department buprenorphine/Naloxone induction for individuals with opioid use disorder, with a warm handoff to AMHC Outpatient Medication Assisted Therapy at three hospitals in Aroostook County: Cary, Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent and Houlton Regional Hospital.
Stacie Holton, substance use disorder, recovery center manager, at the Roads to Recovery Community Center in Caribou will discuss the recovery center and its impact on building a recovery community. Holton, who is also in long-term recovery, was appointed manager in 2020. The center, which opened in 2018 and is a program of the Aroostook Mental Health Center, provides peer support, recovery coaching, and resources for individuals seeking recovery.
Finally, Bill Flagg, director of community relations and development at Cary, will discuss the establishment of the Caribou Recovery House. The house, for men in recovery, offers drug and alcohol free living in a home like setting. Flagg, who is also a volunteer and board member with the Center for the Advancement of Rural Living, will also discuss plans to open a Women’s Recovery House later this year.
Pre-registration is required. For more information or to pre-register call Cary at 207-498-1112, email jholmquist @carymed.org or visit carymedicalcenter.org.