In keeping with our vision and commitment to the community, Cape Cod Healthcare partners with other health and human service organizations to help identify and respond to the needs of our community. Building awareness of Substance Use Disorder across the broad spectrum of Cape Cod’s residents and visitors is paramount to this goal. The array of programs we organize, sponsor, lead and participate in include:
- CCHC played an active role in the Barnstable County Regional Substance Abuse Council (RSAC) and was a key participant in both the study and the development of the Council’s “Addressing Substance Use on Cape Cod: Action Plan and Baseline Assessment.” Our staff co-chairs the RASC Education and Prevention workgroup, which is developing a Cape-wide public awareness campaign.
- CCHC provided funding to support the Overdose Prevention Program, a joint effort by Gosnold of Cape Cod and Cape police departments. This program supports people who received a Narcan administration. A counselor, accompanied by a police officer, makes home visits to individuals and their families to provide education on treatment and prevention resources.
- CCHC Pharmacies have distributed more than 6,000 rack cards to provide consumers information about prescription drug abuse and instructions for disposal of unused prescription medications.
- CCHC co-sponsored local efforts for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days in partnership with Gosnold, Barnstable County Human Services and local police departments in all 15 Cape Cod towns.
- CCHC also supported several grass-roots community efforts, like Mashpee Project Purple (flags at rotary to bring attention to the substance use disorder issue) and Open Doorway of Cape Cod, who organized a community vigil on the lower Cape to remember individuals lost to opioid overdoses.
Youth Education and Outreach
Building awareness among children in the community and providing support to children who are exposed to substance use disorder in their daily lives is a key to prevention of substance use disorder. Cape Cod Healthcare has pursued this goal through the following:
- CCHC developed a plan, synchronized with the Barnstable County regional plan, to support school-based prevention and education efforts. This plan incorporates school-based screenings, education related to the risks of alcohols and substance use disorder, mindfulness training and coping mechanism for kids as alternatives to substance use disorder.
- CCHC supported numerous after-school and summer activities for children to provide safe activities, build confidence and teach the dangers and risks of substance use disorder. These programs ranged from open-involvement, like the Boys and Girls Clubs to specific programs for boys at risk, like Shea’s Youth Basketball League.
- CCHC supported a youth summit and parent summit for education and prevention.
- CCHC participated in and helped to fund the Drinking and Driving and Texting and Driving Simulation workshops at Sandwich High School.
Pregnancy/New Mother Support
Cape Cod Healthcare’s Business Intelligence and Community Benefits teams completed a study on the prevalence and trending for NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome) and SEN (Substance Exposed Newborns) births in our system. Their findings revealed a need for education and intervention for individuals who are pregnant or new mothers on Cape Cod.
- CCHC and Gosnold collaborated to integrate part-time substance use disorder counselors at OB/GYN offices in Falmouth to support pregnant women who have current or prior substance use disorder issues.
- CCHC sought and received a SAMSA/DPH grant to develop a program for new mothers with substance use disorder issues, which benefits their current and future children. CCHC will provide project management for The Moms-Do-Care program, a three-year project providing care coordination and peer recovery support.
- CCHC also contributed to the Mothers and Infants in Recovery Network, which provides support groups for mothers in recovery from Substance Use Disorder.
The Cape Cod Substance Abuse Education and Prevention Initiative
The Cape Cod Substance Abuse Education and Prevention Initiative, which includes Cape Cod Healthcare, the Kelley Foundation and the Davenport Family Foundation, provided key funding to launch the following education and prevention programs:
- The Barnstable YMCA’s Teen Achievers Program. This funding helped the YMCA launch an innovative program targeted toward at-risk teens with college potential. These teams receive mentoring and work-readiness education and support.
- The Caron Treatment Centers addition of the Botvin Lifeskills program for sixth-grade classrooms in Barnstable County. This program integrates age-appropriate messaging to children to promote sound decision-making. This program is endorsed by the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the governor and Barnstable County.
- Sponsored and organized educational forums throughout the Cape for physicians who prescribe opiates. The “Scope of Pain” trainings featured a Boston University Medical School education curriculum and were attended by 250 providers.