Harbor Health Services, Inc. Wellness Program Manager Addresses Opioid Crisis at Boston City Council Meeting

Michelle Aceto

Michelle Aceto, CARN, joined a panel of experts at the Boston City Council’s Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery to discuss the current opioid crisis in Massachusetts. “As a society, I believe we have to look at this not only as something that affects others but all of us,” she explained to the Committee. Aceto was joined by John McGahan, President and CEO of the Gavin Foundation, and Maryanne Frangules, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) during the panel discussion.

Lack of funding, training for providers and the negative stigma associated with opioid abuse were cited as key barriers for success in addressing the overall problem. “If we have a diabetic come into our office, we don’t kick them out if they have high blood sugar. We don’t call them dirty, and we don’t call them clean. And we don’t call them food addicts, and that’s what we are doing to our patients.” At Harbor Health, Aceto is conducting monthly provider education meetings on substance abuse treatment. The meetings also the SCOPE of Pain Training, which was developed by the Boston University School of Medicine, for health care providers to become more knowledgeable of and comfortable with safe opioid prescribing.

Aceto oversees the Wellness Program, which  is an Office Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) using Suboxone and Vivitrol program at Harbor Health Services, Inc. The comprehensive program is nurse managed and works closely with Medical Providers, Behavioral Health Providers and Case Managers to ensure continuity of care. For patients interested in the program, please call the Wellness Team Hotline at 508- 778-5469.

Watch the City Council Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery Panel (Michelle Aceto at 1:56):




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