Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative to Move Forward Without Bartlett

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Cheryl Bartlett

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Cheryl Bartlett

HYANNIS – Cape Cod Healthcare says the departure of Cheryl Bartlett will not affect how the organization moves forward with its regional substance abuse prevention initiative.

Bartlett was the director for just over a year and recently accepted a position with a Boston-based non-profit organization. Before coming to CCHC, Bartlett was the state’s commissioner of public health.

“We are continuing with our plan as we had set out a little over a year ago,” said Terri Ahern, the senior vice president for strategy and government for Cape Cod Healthcare.

The regional substance abuse prevention initiative was created to address the substance abuse crisis in the region and to find possible solutions.

The goals of the initiative are to develop a community-based approach to reduce substance abuse among young people in the region through education and prevention programs and to create collaborations between various community partners, including schools, families and peers, local youth organizations, law enforcement, public health advocates, civic leaders, the business community, and philanthropists.

“We will continue to do the grant funding, making targeted grant awards to community-based organizations and coalitions to address substance abuse disorder, as well as the behavioral health issues that come, often in tandem, with some of these things,” Ahern said.

Bartlett’s position will not be filled by a single individual. Ahern said that the plan has already come together and more people will be needed to move the initiative into the implementation phase.

“This is an issue that is pervasive,” Bartlett said. “There is a lot of work to be done here and it is going to take a lot of people.”

Ahern said the epidemic is not something that just one individual can solve.

Lisa Guyon, the director of community benefits for Cape Cod Healthcare, is expected to become more involved in the initiatives prevention programs.

“Lisa, in her community benefits role, actually had already been working on this,” Ahern said. “But now that we have got the plan and we are looking at implementation in some of these programs, she is going to step up and expand her role.”

Ahern said that Cape Cod Healthcare will miss Bartlett and thank her for her work.

Bartlett’s last day with Cape Cod Healthcare will be Friday.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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