March 15, 2017

Florence Bank pledges $50K to help underwrite major opioid initiative

March 15, 2017

NORTHAMPTON – Cooley Dickinson Health Care will receive $50,000 over the next two years from Florence Bank. The funding will underwrite a major initiative to help community members struggling with opioid use disorders.

The Cooley Dickinson initiative will be a two-year coordinated, comprehensive, organization-wide approach designed to prevent and treat people living with opioid use disorders. Key components of Cooley Dickinson’s plan includes education, screening, and new treatment services and interventions.

Florence Bank’s contribution of $50,000 signals the Bank’s commitment to fighting opioid use disorder; Florence Bank is a major underwriter of the program.

“Cooley Dickinson is a premier resource for health care in our region,” said John F. Heaps, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Florence Bank. “They have done extensive research on this growing problem here in the Pioneer Valley, and they have put a great deal of thought into how to deal with this issue. They are on the front lines of this epidemic and we fully support their important work.”

Florence Bank’s John Heaps discusses why Florence Bank is supporting Cooley Dickinson’s Opioid Initiative. Courtesy of WHMP radio.

Statistics show the seriousness of the issue.  In 2016, 27 people died from opioid overdose in Hampshire County, which is an increase from 16 deaths in 2015, according to data provided by the Northwestern District Attorney’s office. For every fatal overdose, there are between 10 and 12 which are non-fatal. In Massachusetts, only 10 percent of individuals using opioids receive treatment, meaning that there are 60,000 opioid users who are not treated.

Added Heaps, “This crisis impacts the communities we all serve – these are our neighbors and friends. We believe we should all do what we can to help find a solution that is both effective and compassionate.”

Cooley Dickinson President and Chief Executive Officer Joanne Marqusee underscores the importance of the initiative. “We are very pleased to partner with Florence Bank on an initiative that so deeply affects our region. Cooley Dickinson recognizes opioid use disorder is a disease, and our providers and staff treat it as a disease not as a moral or character flaw.

“With this approach, we are developing a comprehensive, coordinated approach with our community partners to reduce opioid-use dependence,” added Marqusee.

She continued, “We are grateful to Florence Bank for sending this strong message of support and understanding to our communities in need.”

Upcoming Panel Discussion
Florence Bank and Cooley Dickinson are organizing a panel discussion/community conversation aimed at increasing awareness about opioid use disorders. Their goal in hosting the event is helping change the public perception of opioid use disorders from one seen through a legal perspective to one seen for what people in the health care field see it as, a medical issue. The date of the event will be announced in the near future.

About Florence Bank
Florence Bank is a mutually-owned savings bank chartered in 1873. Currently, the Bank serves the Pioneer Valley through 9 full-service branch locations in Florence, Northampton, Easthampton, Williamsburg, Amherst, Hadley, Belchertown and Granby as well as through 27 ATMs and a loan production office in West Springfield.  Florence Bank offers a wide range of financial services including investment management through FSB Financial Group (FSBFG) to consumers and businesses.  John F. Heaps Jr. is the Bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  Main headquarters are at 85 Main Street, Florence, MA 01062.  For additional information about the Bank or its services please visit the website or call 413-586-1300.

About Cooley Dickinson Health Care
Cooley Dickinson Hospital, a Massachusetts General Hospital Affiliate, is an acute care community hospital that offers medical/surgical, orthopedic, obstetric/gynecologic, psychiatric, palliative, emergency, ambulatory, diagnostic, and rehabilitation services; along with Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice, which provides home health and hospice nursing and rehabilitation visits; and Cooley Dickinson Medical Group, comprised of primary and specialty care physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and other providers.  Cooley Dickinson Health Care serves Hampshire and Southern Franklin County residents in the Five-College region of the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts.