MANCHESTER, NH – The City of Manchester has been selected as one of 20 communities nationally by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention (NCIPC), to receive a $300,000 funding award which will bolster overdose prevention strategies on the local level.
With continued drug overdoses and fatalities persisting in Manchester, this new position has been created and filled to help lower that trend. Taking from his experiences in the field as a provider and program administrator in treating substance use disorders, Manchester recovery support worker and advocate Andrew Warner is tasked with leading the City’s response in preventing drug-involved overdoses and fatalities.
Aside from his personal experience with recovery and the unique challenges and experiences he has gained, Warner has led the creation and oversight of a variety of treatment programs including work as a consultant for Dartmouth Hitchcock’s Levy Incubator, a coordinator for tele-health therapy, and most recently as the Community Education Manager in Manchester, Portland, Boston and Lowell for Better Life Partners.
“My chief focus is to work with the array of resource providers in Manchester to create and implement a strategic plan to prevent drug-involved overdoses,” explains Warner. “It’s important to compile, monitor and use the real-time data in the city to help positively impact existing services and funding, improve planning and resource allocation, and ultimately track progress on key metrics”
In Manchester, American Medical Response reports that there have been 656 suspected overdoses and 71 suspected overdose deaths as of November 2022. This new approach aims to reduce those numbers permanently. “Tapping into the expertise from our national public health leaders and communities across the country that have gone before us in preventing overdoses and fatalities, plus bringing on seasoned professionals such as Andrew and strike team members to implement best practices, is a formula for success” cites Anna J. Thomas, MPH, Public Health Director, “I know these strategic and data-driven efforts will undoubtedly save lives. As we have learned from other communities, it already has.”
Warner’s responsibilities include:
- Develop and implement communications strategies, including public outreach and the dissemination of materials related to services;
- Activate strike team partners around overdose hot spot areas in the City and monitor results;
- Work with the City and community partners to leverage funding opportunities to bring evidence-based practices to scale;
- Communicate and testify before the Board of Mayor and Alderman and State entities on the City’s response to preventing overdoses;
- Work with mental/behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment providers, first responders, NH DHHS, non-profits and faith-based organizations to achieve short and long-term objectives.
Warner begins his new role January 3, 2023.
About the City of Manchester Health Department:
Established in 1839, the City of Manchester Health Department (MHD) is an innovative and proactive local health department grounded in the principles and application of the core public health functions. Over forty full and part-time staff work within four Branches and Teams: Neighborhood and Family Health, Infectious Disease, and Environmental Public Health/Emergency Response and the Public Health and Safety Team. Our mission is “to improve the health of individuals, families, and the community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats” with an aim to work both across its Branches and with other community partners to improve the public’s health.