News Briefs

Winthrop PD Joins Communities For Restorative Justice

Winthrop Police Chief Terence M. Delehanty is pleased to announce that the Winthrop Police Department has become the first in Suffolk County to join Communities for Restorative Justice.

Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) is a community-police partnership that offers restorative justice to those affected by crime using a “circle” model, which recognizes that crime is as much a violation of people and relationships as it is a violation of the law.

“By working with C4RJ, our department will become more involved in addressing crime on a personal level, which allows offenders to take true accountability for their actions,” Chief Delehanty said. “The restorative justice model has been tremendously effective in other communities, and I have no doubt that we’ll have similar success finding meaningful resolutions that will help mitigate the impact crime has on victims.”

Through C4RJ, partner communities are able to augment the traditional criminal justice process by providing victims of crime an opportunity to address the person who harmed them and share ideas of how the damage can be repaired. Additionally, the process enables offenders to better understand the impact of their actions and be held responsible for making amends.

Winthrop Police will work with community organizations like One Winthrop in order to recruit volunteers to serve as facilitators.

A newly implemented piece of legislation promotes restorative justice programs either in lieu of or in partnership with the court system.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Winthrop into our program, and am so excited to see this model adopted for the first time in Suffolk County,” C4RJ Executive Director Erin Freeborn said, “Chief Delehanty and his officers have a strong appreciation for how impactful restorative justice can be, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

C4RJ is currently partnered with more than 20 police departments in Middlesex County, as well as the Middlesex district attorney’s office.

 

WINTHROP CULTURAL COUNCIL SEEKS FUNDING PROPOSALS

The Winthrop Cultural Council has set an October 15 deadline for organizations, schools, and individuals to apply for grants that support cultural activities in the community.

According to Council spokesperson Joanne Hillman, these grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in Winthrop — including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures.

“Cultural activities are such an important part of our community and I hope local organizations take advantage of this opportunity to bring the arts, music and  performance to our residents and visitors,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop).

The Winthrop Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass. Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

This year, the Winthrop Cultural Council will distribute about $8,600 in grants. Previously funded projects include: Winthrop Art Association’s Annual Art Festival; performances at the Winthrop Public Library and the Winthrop Senior Center; Music on the Landing Music Festival; Winthrop School Drama Festival; Painting with a Pro workshops at the Cultural Center and more.

For local guidelines and complete information on the Winthrop Cultural Council, contact Joanne Hillman at [email protected] 617-721-4162. Application forms and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available 0n-line applications only:  https://www.mass-culture.org/lcc_public.aspx.

 

CONGRESSWOMAN CLARK’S OPIOID BILLS MOVE TO SENATE FOR FINAL PASSAGE

Two of Congresswoman Katherine Clark’s opioid bills, the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act and the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act, were released from conference committee and passed by the House of Representatives. They were included in a package of bills aimed at combatting the nation’s opioid epidemic that will now proceed to the Senate, where a vote is expected next week, before heading to the President’s desk.

“With today’s House vote, we are steps away from sending critical help to families across the country,” said Clark. “These bills tackle two sides of the opioid crisis: the substance use treatment staff shortage and the monitoring and tracking of prescription medications. I look forward to the Senate’s expected vote and finally seeing these much-needed resources enacted into law.”

The Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act offers student loan repayment of up to $250,000 for participants who agree to work as substance use disorder treatment professionals in areas most in need of their services. Experts report that only 10 percent of the 22 million Americans with a substance use disorder receive treatment. This treatment gap is largely attributed to the shortage of workers in the substance use disorder field.

To qualify for the program, participants must agree to be employed in a full-time substance use disorder treatment position in a high need area for up to six years. That job must involve serving in a direct patient care role and can include serving as a physician, nurse, social worker, therapist, or any other role listed in the bill. Participants may serve in a wide range of facilities, so long as they are located in an area with a shortage of mental health professionals or a high rate of drug overdose deaths. The bill gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the flexibility to add eligible professions or facilities as the epidemic evolves.

The second bill would require all prescriptions for controlled substances for Medicare beneficiaries be transmitted electronically by 2021 as a tool to better track and secure the opioid prescription and distribution chain. According to a 2016 report by the Health and Human Services Inspector General, one out of every three beneficiaries (14.4 million of the 43.6 million) received at least one prescription opioid through Medicare Part D. That same report showed that almost 70,000 Part D beneficiaries received “extreme amounts” of opioids – and 22,308 beneficiaries “appeared to be doctor shopping,” a process of visiting multiple physicians to obtain multiple prescriptions. Seven states, including New York, Maine, Virginia, Connecticut, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Arizona, have already moved towards this technology and have seen a reduction of 70-percent in the loss and theft of prescription pads and an 8 percent reduction in doctor shopping.

The Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act is supported by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Nurses Association, the Addiction Policy Forum, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the American Osteopathic Association, the Addiction Medicine Foundation, the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, Legacy Community Health, the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the HIV Medicine Association, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Council on Social Work Education, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the National League for Nursing, and the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC).

The EPCS Act is supported by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, CVS, Walgreen’s, Express Scripts, Surescripts, Imprivata, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, National Coalition on Health Care, American Academy of Orthopedic surgeons, and HID global as well as other health care provider organizations.

 

MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT TO START

If you have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO, PPO), you will be receiving or should have received information from your plan regarding open enrollment. This information explains changes in your plan for 2019.

During Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7), you will have a chance to CHANGE your plan for next year.

Trained SHINE Counselors can help you understand your plan, changes and options you may have.  SHINE counselors offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of Medicare and related health insurance programs.

Call your local Senior Center to schedule a phone consultation or in-person appointment.  It is important to bring your Medicare and insurance cards along with a complete list of your medications. Call early to get a SHINE appointment during Open Enrollment.  For other SHINE related matters, call your Regional SHINE Headquarters at Mystic Valley Elder Services: 781-388-4845.

Mystic Valley Elder Services SHINE program serve seniors in the communities of Chelsea,  Danvers, Everett, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Marblehead, Medford, Melrose, Middleton, Nahant, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Revere, Salem, Saugus, Stoneham, Swampscott, Wakefield and Winthrop.

Located in Malden, Mass., Mystic Valley Elder Services is a non-profit agency that provides essential home- and community-based care and resources to elders, adults living with disabilities, and caregivers who reside in Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Stoneham, Wakefield and Winthrop. Agency services include coordination of home care, transportation, Meals on Wheels, and information and referrals. For more information, please call (781) 324-7705 or visit www.mves.org.

 

Mystic Valley Elder Services Offers Caregiver Support Group to Greater Winthrop Residents

Mystic Valley Elder Services offers a caregiver support group the second Wednesday of each month at 10am at the Robert A. DeLeo Senior Center, 35 Harvard St., in Winthrop. This group is free to attend and open to all caregivers. To join, R.S.V.P. to Jessica Parow, Mystic Valley caregiver support coordinator, at 781-388-2319.

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