Mayor McGlynn has appointed Penelope Funaiole as the City’s first Prevention and Outreach Coordinator effective September 28th. Ms. Funaiole has previously held the positions of Underage Drinking Prevention Coordinator and Mystic Valley Regional Opioid Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the City. She served a key role in the progress the Health Department has made in prevention through the “Team Medford” initiative.
Through his work as co-chair of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Opioid Task Force, Mayor McGlynn recognized the need for a new position in the City’s Health Department to focus on prevention, intervention, and treatment of substance use disorder. Ms. Funaiole will work closely with the schools and other community organizations on primary prevention, preventing first use of drugs. In addition she will work closely with the Police and Fire departments as well as partner with Armstrong Ambulance to create systems for intervention, such as reaching out to persons using opioids within the City. She will also help support programs for individuals to get connected to treatment and for those in recovery.
The City of Medford and the organization “Medford Overcoming Addiction” held a vigil last March, which clearly expressed the outpouring of community concern and support to take a leadership role in the prevention of opioid use. Last June the City Council approved an ordinance to create this new position of Prevention and Outreach Coordinator. The City of Medford is now moving forward to build systems that will help combat the opioid epidemic that Massachusetts is facing. The City of Medford cares for its citizens and wants to do everything in its power to keep the people safe and healthy.