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North Adams Harm Reduction Program to Merge Under Berkshire Health Systems
10:22AM / Monday, October 19, 2020
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North Adams, Mass — Tapestry's Syringe Access Program will be merging with Healthy Steps under the Berkshire Health Systems medical umbrella effective Oct. 30.
 
"The opioid epidemic has had a significant impact on the Northern Berkshire community," Cheryl Zoll, Tapestry's CEO said. "Tapestry is committed to continuing its services in the Berkshires and this partnership with Berkshire Health Systems will allow this essential syringe access and disposal program to not only move forward but to integrate with other key healthcare services in the process."
 
The harm reduction program will continue to operate out of the same location, 6 West Main St. in North Adams and will now be managed by the Healthy Steps Program at BHS. The program will continue to be funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and there will be no disruption to services, which will remain the same.
 
"Tapestry has been an invaluable partner in addressing the opioid epidemic in North Adams," North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard said. "Their harm reduction and education programs play a critical role in keeping everyone in our community safe. I'm grateful to BHS for their public health leadership in North Adams, and for assuming responsibility over the North Adams Harm Reduction program through Healthy Steps.
 
The program provides syringe access and disposal, Narcan training and overdose prevention education, safer supplies, risk reduction counseling, and testing for HIV, Hep C, and STIs among other services. 
 
"The syringe access and disposal program in North Adams will make a seamless transition to Healthy Steps," Darlene Rodowicz, executive vice president of Berkshire Health Systems, said. "BHS is committed to providing services that will help to reduce the opioid epidemic across the Berkshires, and our partnerships with organizations like Tapestry are important in our efforts to stem this public health crisis."
 
These programs are proven to reduce the rates of disease transmission and fatal overdose deaths within the community.
 
In 2019, Tapestry served 855 clients and had 2,103 total client encounters in its syringe program and Healthy Steps had 270 clients and 3,526 client encounters.
 
Tapestry's presence in the Berkshires will still remain strong with Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinics operating out of Pittsfield and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus in North Adams.
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