Mayor Walsh hosts Fighting Addiction in the Hub (Faith) conference
September 15, 2017
In recognition of Recovery Month, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today hosted the second Fighting Addiction in the Hub (FAITH) conference. More than 300 participants, including first responders, local officials and members of the recovery community, attended today's conference to discuss substance use in Boston and learn more about the best practices and tools to combat the opioid epidemic.
"It takes local officials, first responders and members of the recovery community to work together to implement solutions that will make a real difference, especially for those battling addiction," said Mayor Walsh. "In Boston, partnerships with first responders and recovery professionals have been successful in engaging people in treatment. We will continue to make sure first responders are trained to give out information, respond to overdoses, carry life-saving naloxone and are equipped to refer people in need of services."
The conference was organized by the Boston Fire Department as part of a series of events in September sponsored by the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services that seeks to combat social stigma around addictions, celebrate recovery and promote overall awareness of recovery services.
"For frontline agencies like the Boston Fire Department, events like this are needed so we can identify and break down barriers that inhibit recovery and impede the pathway to a fuller life," said Boston Fire Department Commissioner Joseph E. Finn.
Dr. Haner Hernández gave the keynote address, sharing his experiences of working for over 20 years in developing, implementing and evaluating culturally and linguistically competent youth and connecting them with adult health prevention, intervention, treatment and aftercare programs. As a person in long-term recovery himself, Dr. Hernández is committed to eliminating health disparities that hinder access to treatment.
"For me, recovery from substance use disorders is not an individual act or journey. I have learned that recovery is about engaging individuals, families, systems, and entire communities," said Dr. Hernández. "Therefore, it is the power of the collective that creates the opportunities, systems and supportive environments which support the multiple pathways of recovery. In my life, as a person in long-term recovery, this has been true and lifesaving."
Other speakers included Chief of Boston EMS James Hooley, Judge John E. McDonald and Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Michael J. Ferguson, who were joined in attendance by the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Monica Bharel, State Senator John F. Keenan, Director of the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services Jennifer Tracey, and Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn.