December 7, 2017

EDC to Host Public Hearing of State Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion

WALTHAM, MA | Massachusetts’s Special Legislative Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention, hosted by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), and the Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention (MassTAPP), will hold a public hearing to inform its final report to lawmakers. Health advocates, policymakers, and members of the public are invited to share their expertise and recommendations for behavioral health promotion and prevention on Friday, December 15, 2017, from 10 to 2 p.m., at EDC headquarters at 43 Foundry Avenue in Waltham.

Invited speakers include A. Kathryn Power, a regional administrator at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, and addiction expert Michael Botticelli, the executive director of Grayken Center for Addiction, Boston Medical Center, and previous White House Director of National Drug Control Policy.

EDC experts in the areas of prevention, addiction, and substance misuse will provide a panel presentation to inform the commission’s recommendations regarding how Massachusetts communities can work proactively to combat the opioid epidemic and promote health and well-being for all citizens.

“We know that the best solutions are created when the public and private sectors, including experts, advocates, and government, work together,” said David Offensend, EDC president and CEO. “We’re pleased to contribute to such an important discussion and host it at EDC.”

Hearing testimony is expected to focus on the expertise of testifiers regarding what is working in promotion and prevention and the potential barriers and solutions for implementing effective programming and system changes.

As part of a bill signed by Governor Charlie Baker in 2016, the legislature tasked the Commission with identifying policies, practices, and programs to prevent behavioral health issues, including mental illness, addiction, and violence. The Commission, chaired by Rep. Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield), comprises 24 public- and private-sector leaders from across health policy, insurance, and criminal justice, and has been soliciting testimony from across the state.

“We’re so pleased to work with EDC and MassTAPP to present this latest hearing and to help identify ways to expand effective prevention activities,” said Cantwell. “We know if we act early together, we can save individuals and families from tragedy and promote a healthier Commonwealth.”

To attend, RSVP at Those wishing to testify are invited to sign up in advance by e-mailing Sign-up will also be available at EDC on the day of the hearing. For more information about EDC, including directions, visit

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), is a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. Since 1958, we have been a leader in designing, implementing, and evaluating powerful and innovative programs in more than 80 countries around the world. Visit

Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention (MassTAPP) works to improve public health by supporting community-based substance use prevention efforts across the state. Visit