Community Health Center of Cape Cod hosted an Opening Reception and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at their newly-renovated Bourne office at 123 Waterhouse Road on Tuesday, August 15. The expansion from 2,200 square feet to nearly 10,000 square feet was designed to meet the increasing demand for residential access to primary care, behavioral health, dental and pharmacy services. More than 60 individuals gathered to celebrate the opening of the expanded space, including Community Health Center of Cape Cod board members, donors, staff and friends, along with community partners.
The expanded space in the Bourne office will include dental services, including preventative exams and restorative care; a public pharmacy providing access to affordable medication; improved office space for increased patient privacy and comfort; expanded Primary Care, Behavioral Health and Addictions Treatment services and dedicated space for prevention and wellness education to help patients understand and manage their health.
Following tours of the new location and a ribbon cutting ceremony, the Health Center’s Chief Executive Officer Karen Gardner introduced and led a panel discussion with local leaders on substance use. Panelists included Massachusetts State Representative Randy Hunt, CEO of Duffy Health Center Heidi Romans Nelson, Bourne Deputy Fire Chief Joseph J. Carrara, Senior Project Manager at Barnstable County Department of Human Services Vaira Harik, and Medication-Assisted Treatment Nurse Coordinator of Community Health Center of Cape Cod Jennifer Monaghan.
Ms. Gardner started the discussion by asking each panelist to address what their organizations are doing to combat addiction. “The two bookends to addiction are prevention and recovery, and they are the most difficult,” Ms. Harik said. All the panelists echoed the sentiment that early intervention and prevention in schools is key in fighting the addiction program on Cape Cod.
In 2014, Former Governor Deval Patrick declared opioid abuse an epidemic. Heroin use and mortality from overdose has nearly-doubled since 2012. Eight percent of Cape residents are now addicted to alcohol and 6,700 residents in our community have died from opioid abuse in the last 10 years. Representative Randy Hunt stated that it’s going to be a challenge to fight the epidemic if we don’t use our time, effort and money at the State level to introduce prevention programs in the schools.
Bourne Deputy Fire Chief Carrara emphasized the need to support the Substance Free Coalition. “We are on the front lines,” Carrara said, adding that the Bourne Fire Department fields an average of 5,000 calls and 100 overdoses in Bourne a year.
For more information about expanded Addictions Treatment at Community Health Center of Cape Cod, or about the renovated Bourne office, please visit www.chcofcapecod.org.