National Non-Profit, Facing Addiction selects Fitchburg, MA as Pilot Community

Project aims to address the public response to addiction through grassroots driven campaigns
Facing Addiction announced today that Fitchburg, MA has been selected as one of 15 communities to participate in the organization’s pilot community project. The project, first announced by Facing Addiction ( in October 2015, will work to reform the public response to the addiction crisis in 15 selected communities via a grassroots-driven campaign strategy. Specifically, Facing Addiction will work with Fitchburg, MA and 14 other communities to:
• Secure increases in localized funding to adequately address the crisis
• Train advocates on proper organizational and advocacy techniques to reform their community’s response
• Invest time and resources in communication opportunities with elected officials and other policy makers
• Provide media guidance to garner press coverage to further highlight the solutions to the problem
• Develop political strategies and aid community stakeholders in the development of an overarching “campaign strategy”
“As addiction to alcohol and other drugs now impacts 1 in 3 households in America, we must urgently work to turn the tide on this health crisis. We received over 50 applications from communities across the country for this program,” said Greg Williams, Facing Addiction’s Co-Founder and Executive Vice President. “We are excited about the prospect of working to train,
organize and mobilize citizens in Fitchburg, MA to ensure a shift toward a public, health-centered response to those impacted by addiction.”
The Joint Coalition on Health (JCOH) submitted an application on behalf of the City of Fitchburg after requesting and receiving the full support of Fitchburg leadership including Mayor DiNatale, Chief Martineau and Fitchburg Board of Health Director, Stephen Curry. All three expressed the need for a more collaborative community approach in addressing this deadly issue. Susan Buchholz, Co-Chair of the JCOH Sub-Committee on Opiates and Addiction, coordinated the effort to assist Fitchburg to apply as a Pilot Project with Facing Addiction. “The process of applying to partner with Facing Addiction was a labor of love. So many compassionate, dedicated individuals and organizations, throughout the region, provided their support by helping to gather the necessary information.” stated Ms. Buchholz. She added, “It is clear that here in Fitchburg, like many communities across the country, it is difficult if not impossible to find anyone who has not been impacted by the tragedy of addiction. We are excited about working together to build on existing efforts within the community and to foster further meaningful, sustainable and positive change on the issue of addiction.”
Facing Addiction is a national non-profit organization dedicated to unifying the voices of the more than 45 million Americans and their families directly impacted by addiction. Facing Addiction is bringing together the best resources in the field in order to reduce the human and social costs of addiction, every year, until this public health crisis is eliminated. The organization was launched in historic fashion on October 4th, 2015, in front of tens of thousands on the National Mall at the UNITE to Face Addiction rally and concert, and recently was co-sponsor of the launch of the U.S. Surgeon General’s seminal report on the addiction crisis in America, in Los Angeles on November 17, 2016.
In addition to Fitchburg, MA the following communities have been selected to participate in Facing Addiction’s Pilot Community Project:
Annapolis, MD – Baton Rouge, LA – Billings, MT – Boise, ID – Chicago, IL – Cumming, GA – Martinsburg & Berkeley Springs, WV – New Canaan, CT –
Rochester, NY – Safford, AZ – San Diego, CA – Springfield, MO – West Bend, WI – West Linn, OR
The Joint Coalition on Health (JCOH) is a grassroots public health and human service coalition formed in 1998, whose mission includes advocating for underserved and marginalized populations by addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health. The Coalition has a long history of collaborating with diverse partners to create evidence-based initiatives, guided by assessment data and focused on systems, environmental and policy change.
Prior JCOH initiatives include founding Fitchburg Community Health Connections, the region’s first federally qualified community health center. To date, JCOH has brought more than $7 million in state, federal and foundation funding to North Central Massachusetts. Meetings of the Joint Coalition on Health are open to the public and are held monthly. For more information about the Coalition, contact Susan Buchholz at
Questions on the Pilot Project should be directed to Facing Addiction’s National Director of Outreach & Engagement, Michael King, who can be reached at