2023 was a year of remarkable progress and achievements at Spectrum Health Systems. We took numerous strides toward our goal of making treatment more accessible for the most vulnerable populations while continuing to look for ways to retain and recruit staff that make it all possible.
One of Spectrum’s proudest achievements came in February when we launched our innovative mobile treatment unit. Utilizing a specially equipped RV, we’re now able to bring medication for opioid use disorder and other recovery supports to individuals who face homelessness or are living in a shelter in the City of Worcester, MA. The program has served hundreds of people since its launch. Even more promising is the fact that more than 70% of these individuals have continued their treatment. Many people who may not have been able to access treatment previously are now maintaining their recovery.
Our newly launched community impact committee has donated $463,500 to fifty-nine agencies that support people in recovery throughout Massachusetts. The grants were awarded to organizations that work first-hand with those in recovery, allowing the funds to contribute directly to the health and wellness of our local communities. I’m proud that we can offer this financial support to aid in supporting our mutual clients and the achievement of our collective missions. More importantly, I am proud that we gave our employees the ability to have first-hand involvement in this process.
We are passionate about investing in our own staff! This year, we awarded ten full scholarships to employees interested in pursuing nursing degrees. These scholarships signify our support to assist our employees to reach their professional goals while addressing the barriers of a national nursing shortage. We also provided a scholarship to one of our employees to allow them to pursue their goal of achieving a master’s degree in clinical counseling psychology from Assumption University. By helping our staff advance their careers and attain greater clinical knowledge, we also enhance the treatment experience that Spectrum is able to offer.
In June, we celebrated Pride Month, honoring our LGBTQ+ clients and staff. In acknowledgement of the discrimination and adversity faced by the LGBTQ+ community, we provide ongoing staff training and continually refine our programming to ensure a more compassionate and welcoming treatment experience for all.
During the summer, we opened our fourth peer recovery center in Lynn, offering members of Lynn’s recovery community the opportunity to give and receive support and resources. Peer recovery centers like the one in Lynn serve an important role in the recovery process by connecting individuals not only with recovery support, but assistance with other critical areas of life as well, including giving back. Members of these centers are having a positive influence on the community, getting out and offering words of hope and encouragement to some of the most vulnerable people. With hundreds of people regularly attending meetings and groups at our peer recovery centers, we are excited to announce our fifth location in Southbridge, coming in 2024!
Spectrum’s new alumni association also made its debut this year. This group allows alumni to meet both online and in-person, keeping them connected to their peers in recovery. Through this association, alumni have support and resources available as they continue their recovery journey. Through the association, graduations were held in both Westborough and Weymouth to celebrate the clients that completed our residential programs in the past year.
Looking to the future, we’re busy preparing our new outpatient treatment center at 1023 Main Street in Worcester for opening next summer. This new location will bring together the services we currently offer at our Pleasant St. and Merrick St. outpatient sites. With this transition, we hope to bring more comprehensive services to an area that has recently experienced a substantial rise in opioid overdoses. In the interim, our mobile treatment unit added this location as its third stop in September.
We’re also excited for the opening of two new buildings at our inpatient treatment campus in Westborough, Mass. Construction is nearly complete on our new central admissions facility and new corporate office, each set to open early next year.
As we look ahead to 2024, we are committed to continuing our work to increase access to treatment, drawing upon the immense experience and dedication of our staff to provide support for our clients throughout their recovery journey. We remain steadfast in our belief that recovery should be available for all, and we’re grateful for all the people that help bring us closer to that goal.
Kurt A. Isaacson
President & CEO
For more on Spectrum’s developments in 2023, see our 2023 Year in Review.
If you would like to support our mission for 2024, please consider donating online here or by sending a check to Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., 10 Mechanic Street, Suite 302, Worcester, MA 01608