Former State Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett Takes On County Opiate Problem

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Cheryl Bartlett

Cheryl Bartlett

BARNSTABLE – After 18 months heading up the state’s Department of Public Health, Cheryl Bartlett is ready to take on the county’s opiate abuse epidemic.

Cape Cod Healthcare has named Bartlett to the position of Executive Director of the Cape Cod Regional Substance Abuse Prevention.

Bartlett, the first person with a nursing background to lead the state’s health department, has worked in public health throughout her career.

While at the Department of Public Health, she helped draft the state’s new medical marijuana regulations and was instrumental in developing a childhood obesity campaign called Mass in Motion.

Before taking the state’s top public health position, Bartlett led Community Action Committee of Cape Cod and Islands and founded the Nantucket AIDS Network in 1989. She first came to Nantucket after spending the summer there as a college nursing student. She moved to the island to work at Nantucket Cottage Hospital where she held a wide range of positions.

The Cape Cod regional Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative came about as a result of a meeting a year ago at which several Cape organizations interested in addressing the substance abuse crisis in the region met to discuss possible solutions.

The groups included the Barnstable County Human Services Department, Cape Cod Healthcare, the Kelley Foundation, the Palmer and Jane D. Davenport Foundation, and Gosnold on Cape Cod.

Among the goals of the initiative are to develop and support a regional, community-based approach to reduce substance abuse among young people on Cape Cod through increased education and prevention programs.

Listen below to Cheryl Bartlett discuss her new position.
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