WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Westfield Senator John Velis will host a roundtable discussion on substance use disorders with medical professionals and addiction specialists from across the state.

The discussion will focus on policies currently in place in the Commonwealth and where improvements can be made to better serve those who are struggling.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for those struggling with substance use disorders and we cannot let this issue fall by the wayside,” said Senator Velis, who is Vice-Chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. “It’s so important to hear directly from the subject matter experts in this field about what’s working and what we can improve on. I look forward to participating in the discussion and then taking what I hear back to Beacon Hill to advocate for policies that will help those folks in our communities who are struggling.”

List of Attendees

  • State Senator John Velis, Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery
  • Dr. Peter Friedmann, Chief Research Officer for Baystate Health and Associate Dean for Research at UMass Chan Medical School
  • Rose Evans, Senior Vice President of Addiction and Recovery Services at Behavioral Health Network, Inc.
  • Dr. Ruth Potee, Medical Director for Substance Use Disorders at Behavioral Health Network, Inc.
  • Dr. Edna Rodriguez, Director of Behavioral Health at Trinity Health of New England
  • Cheryl Pascucci, Program Director of Population Health & Integration at Baystate Franklin Medical Center
  • Dr. Meghan Miller, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baystate Health
  • Maria Quinn, Director of Recovery Support at Holyoke Medical Center
  • Robert Reardon, Director of Health Services at Tapestry Health
  • Magda Colon, Regional Manager for Learn to Cope and Coordinator of Hampden County Addiction Task Force
  • Jessica Holden, Associate Professor of Nursing at Westfield State University