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College Town: Anna Maria awarded $30k for addiction, recovery center

Telegram & Gazette - 1/1/2020

PAXTON -- Anna Maria College announced last week its Addiction and Recovery Resource Center had been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Reliant Foundation.

The school plans to use that money to support its latest addiction and recovery initiative, the SOBER Project, short for Substance Use, Outcomes, Barriers and Efforts to Recovery.

"Anna Maria College has a number of students gaining experience in addiction and recovery education through classroom courses, clinical and experiential learning opportunities," Anna Maria President Mary Lou Retelle said in a statement. "The SOBER Project expands on the college's efforts to increase the quality and quantity of mental-health practitioners and substance-use treatment providers in Massachusetts."

In addition to tackling problems directly tied to addiction, the SOBER Project is also intended to address secondary issues like homelessness, joblessness, and family distress. According to Anna Maria, the program will "work to improve community outcomes through specific mental health practitioner, medical practitioner, allied health and law enforcement training that will improve service delivery in Worcester and the surrounding townships."

MWCC provides scholarships for health careers

A new program at Mount Wachusett Community College has provided $21,000 in scholarships to 14 students who are training for a health-related career.

The Health Care Opportunity Program, which was launched last year, also provides extra tutoring and academic and career counseling to enrolled students. Participants in the program are preparing for fields like biology, sports science, pharmacy and veterinary technology.

"HCOP helps students determine their path to a health career early in their education in the hopes of saving them valuable time and money," Lisa Stejskal, the program's director, said in a statement. "We are thrilled to grant these scholarships in support of these students continuing their education."

The initiative is being funded with part of a $3.2 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'Health Resources and Administration division.

MassDevelopment bond for new WPI building

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, has issued a $114 million tax-exempt bond to help Worcester Polytechnic Institute building a new academic building on campus.

The planned five-story, 100,000-square-foot facility broke ground in November, and is expected to open in January 2022. The building will house classrooms, research and meeting space, and staff offices.

WPI also will use the bond to pay for other building renovations and upgrades on campus, according to MassDevelopment.

"Worcester Polytechnic Institute is an esteemed member of the Worcester community and a premier provider of higher education in the commonwealth," the agency's president and CEO Lauren Liss said in a statement. "We are proud to offer tax-exempt financing that will enable WPI to build a new, state-of-the-art academic building and make important improvements to its campus facilities."

MassDevelopment has issued bonds for WPI projects in the past as well, including $56 million for the university's sports and recreation center, and $43 million for Faraday Hall.

"WPI is pleased to partner, once again, with MassDevelopment for tax-exempt financing for these important transformational projects on our campus," said Jeffrey Solomon, WPI's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "Through these ongoing efforts, WPI has been able to responsibly grow and maintain its facilities and its offerings to students and research and industry partners from across the commonwealth and beyond."

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(c)2020 Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, Mass.

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