The Community Opportunity, Network, Navigation, Exploration, and Connection Team (CONNECT) program is the first 24/7 rapid response team, to respond to fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses and those at high risk of overdose, including their children, in our rural 30-town region.
As Franklin County and North Quabbin span nearly 1,000 square miles, CONNECT has four hubs located in the 30-town region. The initiative utilizes an adaptation of the evidence-based Vermont Hub-and-Spoke Model of Care to implement the post-overdose outreach initiative in our rural region. This ensures rapid response times and referrals to appropriate services, which can vary by geography.
Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Monroe, Rowe, Shelburne
Bernardston, Gill, Greenfield, Leyden, Montague, Northfield
Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Whately
CONNECT-EAST (NORTH QUABBIN)
Athol, Erving, Orange, New Salem, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Warwick, Wendell
CONNECT is implementing 7 goals during the three-year grant period:
Community, Opportunity, Network, Navigation, Exploration, and Connection Team
Provide real-time 24/7 assistance to individuals who survived or witnessed an opioid overdose (e.g. family, community members)
Make in-person follow-up visits, within 72 hours, to individuals who survived or witnessed an opioid overdose to assess health and social needs
Deliver comprehensive evidence-based care (e.g. case management, peer support, trauma-informed practices) to connect individuals to pharmacotherapy (e.g. methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone), community-based services and recovery supports
Use “warm handoffs” to ensure opioid overdose survivors and witnesses navigate care across systems
Expand naloxone availability and appropriate use by first responders and community bystanders focusing on naloxone deserts
Establish a database to track CONNECT participants for care coordination and continuous quality improvement
Conduct trainings on protections for “Good Samaritans” (e.g. those who assist during an opioid overdose) and establish safety protocols on fentanyl and other licit/illicit opioids exposure.