Season’s Greetings



How will you spend the holidays? Will it be enjoying the company of friends and family, sharing the warmth of the season at home or abroad, or celebrating the faith that sustains you? What is important to you this holiday season?

The holidays are a time for joy, but for so many, this time of year is filled with difficulty, pain and sorrow. At Spectrum, we pride ourselves on helping those who come to us at the lowest of lows find some sense of joy. Whether it is in reconnecting with their families, earning their one-year pins, mastering new coping skills or simply walking tall, we help thousands of people reclaim their lives.

This is why expanding and enhancing our services is so important. In 2015, we opened three new outpatient treatment centers in Massachusetts, serving nearly 550 new clients daily. We launched a new peer recovery support center in a dramatically underserved area. We added 25 new residential treatment beds in our brand new treatment facility. We also began operating one of the largest in-prison TC programs in the country in Virginia under a new contract with the Virginia Department of Corrections and added an array of post-release services to our system of care in Tennessee.

We can and do make a difference in the lives of so many, especially this time of year, and we greatly appreciate our staff who work tirelessly to best serve those in need.

These are the things I will be reflecting on throughout this holiday season. Thank you again for all of your hard work and tremendous effort on behalf of the people we serve. I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season and peaceful new year.

Best wishes,

Chuck Faris
President & CEO

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Peer Mentoring

In late September, Spectrum was notified by the U.S. Department of Justice of a grant award of $1,000,000 to renew and expand its peer mentoring reentry program for ex-offenders in Massachusetts. The 3-year grant represents a milestone for the organization marking one of its largest grant awards to date and allowing Spectrum to build upon its proven success.

Spectrum’s application for statewide services was based on the success of a 2-year pilot program in Worcester County. The pilot program recorded tremendous progress in connecting participants to needed services such as: 86 needed substance abuse services, 81 received substance abuse services (94%); 30 needed mental health services, 26 received mental health services (86%); 81 need employment assistance, 56 received employment assistance (69%); and, 61 needed housing assistance, 59 received housing assistance (97%). The program’s one-year recidivism rate was 18% as compared to 25% reported for the general population.

Under the new grant, Spectrum will reach out to higher-risk offenders in state custody who have a substance use disorders and are within six months of release to communities statewide. Interested offenders will be matched with a volunteer mentor to begin relationship building pre-release. Upon release, mentors will continue to act as liaisons, coaches, advocates and resources, helping individuals gain access to needed services in their local community. Mentors will generally meet with mentees on a monthly basis, with more frequency around the time of release.

Mentors are recruited from all walks of life. Each candidate is interviewed and reference and background checks are conducted. Potential mentors in the custody of Probation or Parole are screened out. Mentors who are in recovery are required to have at least two years of continuous sobriety. An extensive training program is provided to help mentors function safely and effectively in their role. Formal mentoring agreements solidify roles, expectations and support systems.

Individuals interested in being a mentor should contact Regional Director Dan Weldon at Spectrum’s community-based employees are welcome to participate.

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Facing the Opioid Epidemic

As the opioid epidemic continues to rage across Massachusetts and much of the country, Spectrum has increased treatment options for individuals facing the deadly disease. Spectrum recently opened a new outpatient treatment center in north central Massachusetts. Located at 40 Spruce Street in Leominster, the center offers opioid treatment, medication management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, family counseling, anger management and much more.

With the Leominster Outpatient Treatment Center, Spectrum now has 11 community-based outpatient treatment centers strategically located in high-need areas of the state. Each center offers same-day admissions, which allows clients to complete all requirements and, if appropriate, start receiving medication on the same day. Also important, Spectrum coordinates same day admissions among all of its outpatient treatment centers to ensure same day admission is available 5 days a week.

chartSpectrum has also taken steps to add treatment options for more acute individuals. In September, Spectrum added 16 detoxification beds at its Weymouth residential treatment facility on Boston’s south shore. The detoxification, or acute treatment beds, replace a portion of beds previously used for clinical stabilization, allowing Spectrum to provide all three primary levels of care—acute treatment services, clinical stabilization services and residential treatment—in one location. This is especially important as 60 detoxification beds were eliminated in the local area as a result of a nearby bridge closure.

In addition to the 16 detoxification beds in Weymouth, Spectrum recently added three beds for this purpose at its Westborough treatment campus, bringing the total number of detoxification beds there to 48.

In an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe on October 30, 2015, Spectrum’s President & CEO Chuck Faris concluded, “Opioids claimed more lives in the first half of this year than in the same period last year, and there is no sign of the epidemic fading. No one overcomes addiction alone, and everyone battling addiction deserves support in their efforts to overcome their disease. It is imperative that we look at every avenue where treatment can begin and explore measures that could have a long-term impact.”

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IT Corner

bob Spectrum recently hired its first Chief Information Officer (CIO)—Mr. Robert “Bob” Brandner of West Hartford, Connecticut. Bob comes to Spectrum from Dell Computers where he has had a long and distinguished career in infrastructure assessment and strategic planning specific to healthcare and higher education.

Bob’s new role is pivotal to the growth and development of the Spectrum organization. As Kurt Isaacson, Spectrum’s Chief Operating Officer, recently put it, “We are approaching a crossroads in our use of cutting-edge medical records technology. There are a lot of good technology tools out there and Bob will help us decide how best to use them. His guidance will be critical to making appropriate decisions that maximum usage of medical technology while ensuring full safety and security of protected health information.”

As part of his new role, Bob will lead Spectrum’s IT Department. As you may recall, Spectrum brought its IT services “in-house” last year to ensure faster, more responsive service delivery. The IT Department has quickly become a “go to” group within the organization providing support to end users while ensuring strategic project execution and good customer service.

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New Leadership for ROSC

Spectrum’s Vice President of Clinical Services Sue Moitozo recently announced new leadership of the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) Committee. Lisa Blanchard, Executive Director of Outpatient Services, and Amanda Pitts, Director of Inpatient Operations, will now co-chair the committee formed several years ago to assess and support a client-centered behavioral health system and formulate ROSC plans that are compatible with the tenets of state and national health care reform.

Last Fall the ROSC Committee spearheaded terminology changes to address often stigmatizing language used in behavioral health and support the recovery oriented philosophy that is at the heart of Spectrum’s mission. The Committee is once again welcoming suggestions for language shifts to support a recovery-oriented approach to client care. Suggestions can be emailed to the following ROSC representatives: Outpatient Division – Lynn LeBlanc-Marrone; Inpatient Division – Dianne McIsaac; Adolescent Division and Peer Recovery – Mark Brown; and, Corrections Division - Lisa Bonner.

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In Case You Missed It

peterSpectrum’s Chief Clinical Officer Peter Paolantonio recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) for his contributions over the course of his 40-year career at Spectrum. ABH is the leading behavioral health advocacy organization in Massachusetts.

In receiving the award, Peter noted, “I’m humbled and honored by the recognition of my colleagues and peers. People will often ask me why I’ve spent my entire career with Spectrum. I believe with my heart and soul in the Spectrum way and try to live it every day. I’m so proud to be a part of the Spectrum family.”

As many of you know, Peter is responsible for leading the planning, implementation and ongoing integration of best practices across Spectrum’s extensive continuum of care, including specialized programs for men, women, adolescents, young adults and criminal offenders. For the past 22 years, he has worked to integrate the therapeutic community model into in-prison treatment programs. Today, more than 90 correctional facilities across the nation benefit from his work.

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Shout Outs

Welcome to the new group of employees that have joined us in Washington State: David Allen and Stephanie Trapp, Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDP) at the Marysville Field Office; Elizabeth Myers, Assessment CDP at the Shelton Field Office; Kirk Fowler, Assessment CDP Trainee (CDPT) at the Lacey Campus; Phillip Funderburk, Assessment CDPT, and Sally Dodds, CDPT, at the Seattle Community Justice Center; Tracy Mesecher and Misty Ruhs, CDPTs at the Airway Heights Correction Center; Kerry Trout, CDP, Kristine Gifford, Administrative Technician, Rebecca Hartwell, Program Manager, Tammy Countryman, CDPT, and Stephen Wilson, Therapeutic Community Technician, at the Coyote Ridge Correction Center; Adrian Sanchez, CDPT at the Yakima Community Justice Center; Katherine Pilot, CDP at the Rap/Lincoln Work Release; Christina Pitsnogle and Marla Buob, CDPTs, at the Spokane Community Justice Center; Kenneth Morris, CDPT at the Olympic Correction Center; and, Shawna Sunday, CDPT at the Bishop Lewis Work Release.

Also in Washington, we extend big congratulations to Jennifer Brazer, Brittney Chapman and Mary Fairfield who recently passed their Washington State CDP exam and were subsequently promoted. Well done!

We also send a special Shout Out to Steven El-Ayache, Anthony Bartlett and Susan Terrell who successfully referred new candidates to Spectrum. Thanks for actively contributing to our fast growing team!

In Georgia, special recognition goes out to Shanika Henley who received her Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) Credential and Lakesha Edwards and Latrenda Hill who received their Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II Credentials. Great job! Meanwhile, at Johnson State Prison, Spectrum’s Larry Pope received his CCS Credential, Tashika Daniels was promoted to Clinical Supervisor and Samuel Thomas was promoted to Program Director. Congratulations! Barbara Wilbur, Benjamin Allen, Tracey Brantley, and Demetrice Burner received incentives for a job well done and going beyond the call of duty. Way to go Johnson SP! At the Pulaski State Prison, Clinical Supervisor Elizabeth Solomon received her CCS. Congratulations! Also at Pulaski, Hannah Davidson was invited by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia to become a subject matter expert for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II exam. Hannah also ran her first 5k in October. You’re on a roll Hannah. Kudos! At Lee Arrendale State Prison, RSAT Counselors Yettel Jimenez and Janet Hodges recently obtained licensure as Associate Professional Counselors. Way to go! Also, RSAT Counselor Shelina Smith volunteers her time at the Atlanta Mission serving meals to the homeless and RSAT Counselor January Hudson is a volunteer with Carry on Youth, Inc., an organization providing mentoring and support for children who are grieving. She is especially active in this organization’s memorial tree planting activities, including the annual tree dedication held this year on November 19th. Wonderful news!

In Tennessee, Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) Program Director Patricia Budnick has done an excellent job providing Clinical Supervision for Spectrum programs at the Tennessee Prison for Women as we recruit a new program director. Great job Patricia! Also in Tennessee, State Director Ryan McMahon will compete in the New Orleans and Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons in early 2016. Rock ‘n’ Role Marathons infuse live music with traditional fitness to create a fun health and wellness event for runners, families and friends. Ryan has promised pictures and details for our next edition!

In Massachusetts, staff and clients at Project Turnabout in Weymouth are working on a “blanket drive” where they are collecting blanket donations, baking cookies and making hot chocolate and delivering them to homeless people in the area. They are also collecting box tops for local schools. Very nice PT! Congratulations also go out to Tia Gaines who was recently promoted from Assistant Program Director to Program Director at Spectrum’s Acute Treatment Services (detoxification) program in Westborough.

In Outpatient, Lincoln Street Program Director Tracy Desruisseaux recognizes Clinician Lauren Duffy who coordinated the Great American Smoke Out event at the company’s largest outpatient center. All group leaders reviewed material on quitting smoking and the negative health effects of smoking. Clients completed a questionnaire recapping the information and those with high scores were entered into a raffle for a free turkey as a way to motivate clients to “quit cold turkey”. Three clients each received a 15 pound turkey just in time for Thanksgiving. Also at Lincoln Street, on November 19th, they hosted an on-site flu clinic for clients and staff in partnership with Rite Aid Pharmacy. Clients were offered incentives such as going to the front of the dispensing line after receiving the vaccination and staff wore red shirts to help draw attention to the event. Congrats to all the staff who helped organize these great events!

In other Outpatient news, Recovery Support Navigator Kaitlyn Ausmus was promoted to Program Supervisor and Lori Canane was promoted to Outpatient Operations Manager. Congratulations Kaitlyn and Lori!

Regional Director Jen Peluso recognizes Stacy Desnoyers, Recovery Support Navigator who volunteers at the Second Step domestic violence crisis center. Stacy is also training to run a 10k and looking to travel to South East Asia in the near future. Nice Stacy! Jen also recognizes Matt Barry, a Substance Abuse Counselor at Norfolk, who is participating in a 5k for an ALS team, and Terri Keenan, a Recovery Support Navigator, on her recent engagement. Best wishes to both!

Also in Massachusetts, Katherine Waterhouse was welcomed to her new role as Human Resources Coordinator. Katherine has played an integral role in supporting Spectrum’s correctional treatment services in Massachusetts over the last several years and will now support Spectrum employees across the country as a key member of the HR Team. Congratulations Katherine!

Rounding out our Shout Outs this month is a special note of congratulations to Susan Moitozo, our VP of Clinical Services. Sue was recently recognized as a top female executive by the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA). Her profile is featured on Big congratulations Sue!

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In The News

Spectrum was recently recognized at the Westborough Economic Development Committee’s 2015 Year in Review event with an award for Best Expansion Projection. Read more from The MetroWest Daily News by clicking here:

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