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The Tri-Town health directors (Middleton, Boxford, Topsfield

Tri-Town Transcript - 7/6/2018

The Tri-Town health directors (Middleton, Boxford, Topsfield) look forward to bringing this planning tool to the Tri-Town Council Coalition as a tool to continue the great work they do to reduce and prevent substance use and abuse. Take the time to browse through the site, this is the first Online Opioid Community Planning tool that acts as a digital interactive tool (compared to just a PDF document sent to communities). It's innovative and meant to equip and be the catalyst to communities. Some great benefits of this tool kit are listed under each the 10 Essential Services section; There are best practices from other communities that can be followed and shaped from. MHOA interviewed communities and coalitions of all sizes, large, medium, and small, to follow the makeup of Massachusetts. Serving as the state public health representative for Massachusetts, each year I travel to Capitol Hill and speak with our senators and representatives of Massachusetts and talk about all the national public health issues of our times. Their offices are highly interested in locally what communities are doing towards the opioid epidemic.

I will be happy to inform them next time around that Massachusetts now has an official public health planning tool to guide and aid communities within the Commonwealth and beyond. Although best practices and tools and resources may be Massachusetts orientated, the National Association of County and City Health Officials are reviewing this tool as a best practice to share across the nation as a framework to plan from.

The great thing for completing this project during my term as immediate past president of MHOA, is the fact that what we shaped as an association can be brought to our community of Middleton and beyond. That is a win-win for us! If you want a PDF download of the plan, you can find it under download toolkit. Hopefully this tool will assist Massachusetts and LHD's statewide and beyond to continue MA in the lead in this effort.

This planning tool is for all departments within a municipality and beyond. Police departments, fire departments, planning coalitions, substance use prevention coalitions, town administrations, boards of health, etc., please look through the toolkit and see if there is something as a community that is applicable, desirable, reachable and achievable, etc. for our/your community(ies) to initiate, expand upon, and/or start conversation on.

Derek Fullerton is the Middleton director of public health.

 
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