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City Opioid Program to Get Leader

April 5, 2018 GMT

LOWELL -- A group that’s credited with saving lives across the city is adding a leadership position.

The Lowell Community Opioid Outreach (COOP) program will soon have a supervisor. The City Council voted 9-0 on Tuesday to create this new position in the Health and Human Services Department.

COOP’s members reach out to people who recently overdosed, helping them navigate the treatment resources in the city.

“They’ve been doing a great job,” Fire Chief Jeff Winward said.

COOP began its efforts in 2016 as a three-person team -- a police officer, firefighter and Lowell House outreach worker.


The team has grown, now including team members from Trinity EMS, Mental Health Association, and the Health and Human Services Department. Today, the day-to-day operations of COOP are being overseen by the substance abuse coordinator of the Lowell Health Department. However, officials wanted a full-time leader for COOP.

“They’ll make sure the team is getting the training they need, and work with community partners,” said Kerran Vigroux, director of the Health and Human Services Department.

The supervisor will be responsible for directly overseeing the day-to-day functions of COOP, including facilitating meetings and scheduling training. They will act as a support for outreach efforts and clinical needs of COOP, in both office and community settings.

In addition, the supervisor will be the point person or liaison for COOP at local committees and task forces. The position has a salary range of $56,821.96 to $66,665.56.

On Tuesday, the council also:

* Approved a citation in recognition of Dennis Moran, Jr., for his efforts alerting his family when a fire broke out last month.

* Approved a citation to Lowell High Air Force JROTC for finishing first in a national drill competition.

* Referred the parking-rates ordinance back to the Finance Subcommittee.

* Approved a license for Broadway Street Holdings, Inc., for storage of flammables at 706 Broadway St.

* Accepted a report on additional engineering staff.

* Accepted information on the Lowell Memorial Auditorium contract award, given to Lowell Management Group.

* Listened to a presentation regarding the class-action opioid lawsuit.

* Approved a city manager request for Lowell Police Department out-of-state travel.


* Approved the transfer of $156,435 for the purchase and installation of equipment needed to meet the intended purchase of mobile production van.

* Approved the transfer of $6,000 in funds for the purchase of new computer equipment for use within the Health Department.

* Referred the Zoning Subcommittee report on marijuana distribution facilities to the Law Department.

* Approved National Grid’s request to install electric conduit in front of 43 Market St.

* Referred three property-damage claims to the Law Department.

* Referred Silvette Figueroa’s request to install a handicap parking sign at 16 Ames St. to the traffic engineer.

* Request the city manager provide a report regarding condition of fire stations in the city.

* Request the city manager provide a list of names and terms of service for city boards and commissions.

* Request the city manager provide an update regarding downtown spring cleaning.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.