APS helps power the fight against opioid addiction and overdose

by Brandy Welvaert

A shiny, white Ford RV parked in Boston’s Dudley Square and West End neighborhoods is revving up to help the city’s most vulnerable residents—and APS is providing some of the spark.

Photo by Kraft Center for Community Health

In January the Kraft Center for Community Health launched CareZONE, a mobile, health-services pilot project now serving two neighborhood communities with high numbers of fatal opioid overdoses.

Aboard the CareZONE RV—stationed along a side street or in an empty parking lot—homeless and other needy residents can get help with opioid addiction.

Inside the fully equipped motor home, trained medical personnel provides an array of products and services: from referrals to overdose education, and from syringe exchange to Naloxone, a medication that can rapidly reverse an overdose.

Drug-overdose deaths due to opioid addiction continue to increase in the US. In fact, more than 115 Americans die every day from such an overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CareZONE faces this mounting crisis head-on, administering on-board screenings, immunizations, treatment, and specialty care. Medical services such as these often require specific equipment that needs electricity—and in this case, all the equipment is housed inside a motor home.

Providing ample, dependable on-vehicle electrical power is where APS enters the picture.

While it’s not possible to share the specifics of APS’s relatively small role in this important project, our gratitude for the opportunity to provide supporting power cannot be overstated.

It bears noting that CareZONE is, in fact, just one initiative of the Kraft Center for Community Health, which is housed at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The hospital was founded in 1881 by John Warren, MD, known for his then-radical vision for medicine. Dr. Warren is noted for having said, “When in distress, every man becomes our neighbor.”

What a sentiment.

For our neighbors in Boston, help has arrived—and it looks like a new Ford motor home.

More information may be found on the CareZONE website and in the January 2018 newsletter of the Kraft Center for Community Health.