On March 28, 2017, business leaders, elected officials and health care professionals gathered for the launch of RIZE Massachusetts. As this event highlighted the extreme urgency in treating the Commonwealth’s opioid epidemic, it emphasized the prevention and recovery solutions which are now in place and can be leveraged to reach more people throughout the state.
“The opioid epidemic has had a tragic impact on our Commonwealth’s families and communities, and we are always encouraged to have new partners joining efforts to curb this crisis.”
— Governor Charlie Baker
Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh and Attorney General Maura Healey all spoke at the event, outlining the ways in which Massachusetts is addressing this issue with initiatives that are creating a model for the nation.
Members of the health care community spoke about the direct impact that care and prevention efforts can have on those suffering from this disease. The audience heard from Dr. David Torchiana, CEO of Partners Health Care; Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, President and CEO of The Dimock Center; and Dr. Sarah Wakeman, Medical Director for Substance Use Disorders at Mass General Hospital. The audience also heard the personal of journey of Raina McMahan as she described the heroin addition that first took hold of her at 15 years old. Now a recovery coach at Mass General, Raina described how her addiction went into remission and how her story holds promise for so many others.
“This is the opportunity for us in Massachusetts to do what we’ve long needed to do. And as Massachusetts always does, we will lead.”
— Maura Healey
Members of the business community discussed how the private sector can come together to create a lasting impact on the opioid crisis. Speaking at the breakfast was Tyrék Lee, Executive Vice President of SEIU1199; Deirdre Latour, Chief Communication Officer, GE; and Andrew Dreyfus, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts.
“RIZE Massachusetts represents the potential for all of us to work together.”
— Mayor Martin J. Walsh