Hope and Health - Addiction Recovery Resources Conference

Nearly 125 people registered for Conference

BCC will host Hope and Health: Addiction Recovery Resources Conference on its main campus on November 29, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. with over 125 participants from across the county. Registration for this conference is currently closed.

This conference is a first of its kind to bring together subject matter experts, students, community members, and healthcare professionals to look at the role addiction plays on the overall health and well-being of the community.  This event is co-sponsored with the Massachusetts National Association of Social Workers.

Addiction Recovery


Dr. Kari Dupuis, Program Chair, Social Work Transfer and Addiction Recovery states that “the purpose of this event is to share addiction recovery resources for professionals, students and family and friends in our community.  I think we all recognize the importance of addressing the issue of addiction and how it affects the day to day lives of so many of our friends, families, neighbors, and community members here in the Berkshires.”

The opioid addiction crisis is an urgent issue in Berkshire County and it is our hope that by coming together, discussing available resources and new perspectives in addiction recovery that this will help to make a positive difference in our community” 

 Kari Dupuis, Program Chair, Social Work Transfer and Addiction Recovery, BCC

The morning will start out with welcoming remarks from Dupuis and Dr. Jeffrey Schrenzel, Chair of Western New England Social Work program and Massachusetts National association of Social Workers (NASW) liaison. followed by a panel discussion to include Alan Bianchi, Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Programs from the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office; Jennifer Kimball, Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative; Shannon McCarthy, LADC, MSW, Director CSS and McGee programs; Dr. Jennifer Michaels, Medical Director at the Brien Center; and Rick Robillard, Case Manager Pittsfield Community Connections. 

There will also be two breakout sessions that will focus on the following topics:

  • Medication assisted treatment with Rebecca Polastri, LICSW and Regional Director Spectrum Health;
  • Harm reduction with Sarah DeJesus, Harm Reduction Manager at Tapestry Health
  • Addiction and trauma with Pam Coley-McCann, LICSW and Professor at Berkshire Community College;
  • Addiction recovery and self-help with panelists that include: Joe Buyse, Living in Recovery; a speaker from Al-Anon; a speaker from Alcoholics Anonymous; Lorraine Scapine, Learn to Cope; and a speaker from Narcotics Anonymous.

The response from the community, students and professionals in the social work and healthcare fields was overwhelming. As this event brings community together to decrease the stigma of the topic of addiction, future conferences could also take place to continue to address this issue.