Leanne Winchester, MS RN
Department of Advisors
Graduate School of Nursing
What is Head Start?
Head Start, a federally funded program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, promotes school readiness and family well-being in children from birth to age five who meet specific criteria.
Lowell Head Start Partnership
The Lowell Head Start program is engaged in efforts to combat the opioid epidemic after an incident involving an overdose by a parent in the center. To support the Lowell Head Start program, our team forged collaborations with facilities close to Head Start in Lowell by creating informational pamphlets that detail services offered to people with substance use disorders in Lowell.
Opioid trends in Lowell
Lowell is a very diverse city, with 40% of the population being non-white and 25% being foreign born. Lowell has a highest poverty rate at 19.1%, in the region, a low median household income at $49,164, and a high rate of unemployment according to the 2016 greater Lowell community health needs assessment (CHNA). Opioid overdose death rate in Lowell is 43 fatalities per 100,000 – a rate greater than double the average fatality rate in the state of Massachusetts.
Quick overview of project
To capitalize on the statewide and local efforts to bring opioid addition out in the open, the presenters created an informational pamphlet as a resource and educational tool for families that seek or are referred for services. Description of many relevant provisional services are expanded upon in the capstone project submission – including detox, hotline and support services, medication management, behavioral health, counseling and relapse tools training. Additionally, the presenters actively forged connections with local community organizations serving those struggling with opioid use disorder. Please see capstone document for additional information regarding specific resources.
With the significant rise in fatal overdoses in the city of Lowell, many departments and programs have been developed to combat the opioid epidemic. This project aims to provide vital information to the Head Start Program and the families they serve, and to provide established resources available in Lowell, such as medication disposals, Narcan and signs of overdose training, needle drop-off services, available hotlines, and city-wide programs, including Lowell Community Opioid Outreach Programs, MA Opioid Abuse and Prevention Collaborative of Greater Lowell, and Partnerships for Success Program.
opioid epidemic, Head Start Program, Lowell, Massachusetts, informational pamphlet
Medical Education | Public Health Education and Promotion | Substance Abuse and Addiction
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Pandya AN, Tawadros M, Winchester L. (2021). Joining the Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic through the Head Start Program in Lowell, MA. Capstone Presentations. https://doi.org/10.13028/49h4-6139. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/capstones/11