Prevention professionals honor Zoppo-Sassu

The Connecticut Association of Prevention Professionals presented Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu with the Government Sector All Star Award during its recent annual. CAPP is a statewide network of prevention advocates that identifies and spreads awareness of behavioral health trends and provides resources across the state.

Zoppo-Sassu was recognized for her actions making prevention a priority in f Bristol. The nomination cited her efforts launching the Mayor’s Opioid Task Force and engaging key stakeholders from the community to become part of the process. With input from community partners, two brochures were created; one specifically for community education, and one specifically for use by first responders. Also noted were her efforts in having Bristol designated as a “Recovery Friendly Community” as well as the collaboration among health care providers and the Bristol Police Department to create the City of Bristol Recovery Alliance Program.

“This new COBRA initiative will enable Bristol Police to have discretion when dealing with someone who for drugs or alcohol. Police will offer the choice of arrest or to go immediately to the Bristol emergency room to begin treatment. COBRA allows for all sectors of the community to work together from police, EMT, Bristol Hospital, the Bristol/Burlington Health District and Wheeler Clinic,” said Police Chief Brian Gould in a press release.

“I was motivated to nominate Mayor Zoppo-Sassu based on her involvement with our efforts locally,” said Christina Sanchez, project coordinator for B.E.S.T.-4-Bristol in a press release. “The support the Mayor has provided our community the last two years in the push to raise awareness on youth substance use specifically – and the opioid epidemic in general – has been a tremendous help in what we do every day.”

“The public health crisis we see across the country and more specifically in our own community means that we have to attack this in a more proactive way to change the negative perceptions and to help de-stigmatize the term addiction,” said Zoppo-Sassu in a press release. “I look forward to continuing this effort when we launch the Opioid Task Force PSA’s in the next few weeks and help families and employers navigate this difficult issue.”