Blog: News & Views from the Field

Knowledge can be empowering. Whether you are seeking recovery for yourself or someone else, we hope you find our blog topics helpful. Check back often or subscribe today.

Reflection: A Look Back on An Impactful Year

Whether you’re in recovery, treatment, or active addiction – this past year likely posed some extra challenges. We saw many changes in 2021, from telehealth services to vaccine mandates and everything in between, and sometimes it felt impossible to keep up.

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Combating the Nursing Shortage in Addiction

The United States is in the midst of a critical nursing shortage – it is estimated that 1.2 million new registered nurses will be needed by 2030. Spectrum Health Systems, like many other addiction treatment providers, has experienced an increase in patients and a decrease in providers available. This shortage has been around for a while now, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it to the forefront, affecting many treatment and service organizations actively seeking nurses and clinicians to join their teams.

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Spectrum’s Lincoln Street Outpatient Center Gives Back

As we reflect on National Recovery Month 2021, we took a look back at the incredible work our teams continue to do for the clients and the communities they serve. Last month was a time to connect with one another and raise awareness about the disease of addiction and the importance of recovery. Many centers hosted events throughout the month, but our outpatient center on Lincoln Street in Worcester, MA went above and beyond.

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Employee Spotlight: Meet Karen Hewitt, Regional Program Director for Spectrum’s Millbury and Milford Outpatient Treatment Centers

We’re excited to shine the spotlight on another one of our outstanding employees: Karen Hewitt!

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Employee Spotlight: Meet Our Substance Use Disorder Program Director, Cinderella Stiltner

At Spectrum Health Systems, our dedicated staff members genuinely care about our clients. We had the pleasure of speaking with one of our Program Directors, Cinderella Stiltner, about her role overseeing the Substance Use Disorder program at the Appalachian Community Corrections Alternative Program (ACCAP) in Honaker, VA, and what she finds to be the most rewarding part of her job.

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The President’s Club: Celebrating the Spectrum Way

At Spectrum Health Systems, we take enormous pride in the high quality of services we provide. We assist our clients in achieving and sustaining their recovery long after they complete one of our addiction treatment programs, by providing ongoing support and offering a continuum of services. We believe that the staff who carry out Spectrum’s mission are essential to the quality of our services and ultimately the positive results for our clients.

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VIRTUAL TRAININGS: From Gender Responsive Treatment to Correctional Opioid Treatment

Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It affects every community imaginable. More than 23 million US adults struggle with substance use disorders (SUDs) and in Massachusetts, over half of adults continue to battle this disease -- which is why we established Spectrum’s training, technical assistance and consulting group several years ago to help raise public awareness and enhance professional training for behavioral health providers across the Commonwealth.

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Exemplary Addiction Treatment During a Pandemic | 2021 CARF Accreditation

Spectrum Health Systems strives to provide current, comprehensive, evidence-based addiction treatment for our clients. We rely both on our own experts to achieve this high quality of care and on third parties that conduct objective reviews according to internationally recognized standards. Following a recent onsite survey, we were thrilled to receive special recognition from one of the most well-regarded accrediting authorities, CARF International, for our specialized COVID-19 Unit.

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Meet our New MADOC Medical Director: Q&A with Sharif Nankoe

Dr. Sharif Nankoe has been appointed as Medical Director for Spectrum Health Systems’ new statewide correctional program with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (MADOC), serving inmates with opioid use disorders (OUD). Get to know Dr. Nankoe and his views on correctional addiction treatment!

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Q&A with Sanjay Grant, MA-LMHC and Program Director at Spectrum Health Systems

Our employees are what make us a top-notch provider of addiction treatment. They’re our boots on the ground, the problem solvers, and the go-to resources for our clients seeking help for addiction.

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Why We Administered COVID-19 Vaccines to Local Partner Organizations in Need

It’s been a long and difficult road - COVID-19 hit Massachusetts in February 2020. By mid-March, businesses were shutting down and people were hunkering down at home. At Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center, we sprang into action and created a specialized COVID-19 unit designed to treat people suffering from drug and alcohol use disorders as well as COVID-19. Through the ups and downs in the Commonwealth, Spectrum and NERC have held steadfast in our mission to help those suffering from substance use disorders even during a global pandemic.

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Regis College Panel: Addiction Treatment – Pandemic Emergency Response and Beyond

The impact of COVID-19 has been particularly felt by people who struggle with addiction. For those of us who work in the field of addiction treatment, most of this year has been devoted to responding to the pandemic and strengthening our organizations so that we are prepared for future emergencies.

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Spectrum’s Guardian Angel: Shana Adams and Masks Made with Love

At Spectrum Health Systems, we’re lucky to have an external network of dedicated individuals who donate their time and effort to help us with our mission. One of those incredible individuals is Shana Adams, founder of Masks Made With Love/MetroWest MA.

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How We’re Celebrating National Recovery Month Despite the Pandemic

2020 has been a tough year for everyone, but more so for people in recovery. It’s taken a lot of effort to look past the negative and find the positives. But National Recovery Month is here and it’s time for reflection, observance, and a celebration of how far you have come in your recovery – whether you’ve been in sobriety for two weeks or ten years.

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A Look Back: Supporting Communities and Professionals with Training and Education

At Spectrum Heath Systems, we are committed to sharing our knowledge of substance use disorders and addiction treatment with our surrounding communities through our robust training and education program. Lisa Blanchard, Vice President of Clinical Services, has been leading the charge in providing these training sessions even during the pandemic, and is often joined by other members of our team such as VP of Business Development, David Nefussy, and Director of Outpatient Services, Tracy Desruisseaux. This year has presented unique challenges to every aspect of addiction treatment but our incredible team rose to the challenge with a calendar that was packed full of presentations, trainings and virtual conferences, working with partners to keep our commitment to community and education front and center!

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National Recovery Month: Celebrating Strength and Community

Every September, we observe National Recovery Month, created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to raise awareness and educate people about substance use disorders and the many treatment options available to them. It is also a time to celebrate the advances made in addiction treatment, and the lives of people who struggle with substance use and mental health disorders. There is hope for recovery and for living happy, healthy and independent lives.

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Get to Know Spectrum Health Systems’ Internship Program

Since Spectrum Health Systems’ internship program was founded nearly a decade ago, it has continued to grow and expand its relationships with local Massachusetts colleges and universities while giving students incredibly valuable hands-on experience to prepare for careers in the clinical field. We talked with the director of the program to give you an inside look.

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Spectrum in the News: WCVB Profiles COVID-19 Unit

As the COVID-19 pandemic reached Massachusetts, the need for addiction treatment was greater than ever. We sprang into action and, in April, opened a segregated COVID-19 unit specialized for clients undergoing detoxification for drug and/or alcohol addiction who have also tested positive for COVID-19.

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Meet Our New Board Chair: Q&A with Andrew Salmon

Earlier this year we announced Andrew Salmon's appointment to Board Chair. We recently sat down with Andrew to get to know him better and learn about his perspectives on Spectrum as well as his vision for the future.

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Spectrum Celebrates Inaugural Nurse of the Year Awards

2020 has been a whirlwind for all of us, but especially for nurses. In recognition of the incredible work nurses do – and in honor of the 200th anniversary of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale – the World Health Organization has declared 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse.

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