Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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In Nashua, Kuster Discusses Healthcare Workforce Training and Addressing Substance Use Disorder

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 3:00pm

 Congresswoman Kuster discussing the opioid epidemic at Rivier University

A high resolution version of the photo is available here

(Nashua, NH)— Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, met with the leadership of Rivier University’s Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development, which educates students in the fields of behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment. Kuster heard from Rivier officials and local healthcare leaders about the importance of the program for filling careers in the substance use treatment field, which is critical as the state addresses the opioid epidemic.  Kuster also discussed and received feedback on the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force’s 2018 legislative agenda and her upcoming workforce development legislative priorities.

“The Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development at Rivier University is the type of innovative program that we should be promoting across New Hampshire and the country,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “It was great to hear about how this program is preparing students for fulfilling careers in the healthcare sector and helping to combat the opioid crisis by training people to work in treatment and recovery. It’s truly a win-win as we look to expand our workforce and improve access to services critical in taking on the opioid epidemic.”

“As a community we know too well that this is a national story, a regional story, and a state and local story,” said Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President of Rivier University. “But most important are the stories of families and individuals in which the promise of life is cut short, and childhood dreams are abandoned. We return to the fundamentals of prevention, treatment and recovery.  The success of this work can be defined as an educated and competitively compensated workforce:  nurses, psychologists, public health professionals, school and mental health counselors.  The Rivier Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development joins with [Congresswoman Kuster] in providing the foundation of committed and caring individuals who seek to create stories of success.”

“The Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development at Rivier University is happy to host Congresswoman Kuster and this important discussion on the opioid crisis and her legislative agenda,” said Nadine Sacco, Executive Director of the Center. “Rivier is taking a leadership role in the development of a well-equipped workforce to combat this crisis. Our students are educated, credentialed and committed to addressing the need for treatment and recovery related services.”

Joining Kuster at the discussion were Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess; Sister Paula Marie Buley, President of Rivier University; Nadine Sacco, Executive Director of the Center for Behavioral Health Professions at Rivier University; Karen Schedin, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Rivier University; Lisa Vasquez, Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator for the City of Nashua; Elyssa Clairmont, Continuum of Care Substance Misuse Facilitator for the City of Nashua; Geoff Vercauteren, Workforce Development Director at the Catholic Medical Center, and Rivier University students.