1-15-2019 Press Release

Published: January 15, 2019


Recovery Coach Program Expands to NSMC Salem Hospital
Bridgewell and North Shore Medical Center partner to provide 24/7 support for patients experiencing an overdose

Peabody, Mass. – December, 2018 Bridgewell, a nonprofit that provides social and human services, and North Shore Medical Center (NSMC), the largest medical provider on the North Shore, are pleased to announce the expansion of their recovery coach services to patients at NSMC Salem Hospital. Recovery coaches connect with patients who experience a drug or alcohol overdose and are a critical link to long-term recovery and wellness. The growth of the program follows the successful launch and implementation of a similar recovery coach program in 2017 that engages with and treats overdose patients in the emergency department at NSMC Union Hospital in Lynn.

“Thanks to additional funding from NSMC and continued support from our community partners, we’re now able to provide personalized, one-on-one support to a greater number of people experiencing a crisis and give them access to additional recovery services during a critical time of need,” said Wendy Kent, Director of Behavioral Health and Prevention Programs at Bridgewell. “We know that people with substance use disorders respond to recovery coaches who understand their experience and can provide unconditional support and guidance. Our goal is to reach as many as possible and help put them on a path towards recovery.”

At present there are 10 recovery coaches available to provide support to overdose patients at NSMC Union and Salem hospitals, all of whom have personally experienced addiction or been impacted by it, and can relate firsthand to those struggling. Once contacted by NSMC, the coaches immediately report to the hospital to establish a relationship with the patient and begin discussions about options for treatment.

“We are very pleased with the success of the recovery coach program. The experience and dedication of the coaches are an important complement to the expertise and efforts of our Emergency Department staff and enables us to offer our patients a true path to wellness,” said Jane Clarke, R.N., executive director of emergency services at NSMC.

Bridgewell and NSMC hope the expansion of their recovery coach program to NSMC Salem Hospital will bring much needed support and access to recovery services to North Shore residents who struggle with substance use disorders.

Bridgewell has extensive experience in providing treatment and housing for people recovering from substance use disorders. The agency initially joined forces with NSMC in March 2017 to bring 24/7 emergency response services by trained recovery coaches to NSMC Union Hospital. Since the program’s launch, Bridgewell’s recovery coaches have provided face-to-face support to over 500 people treated for an overdose. Through combined efforts with the Lynn Police Department’s Behavioral Health Unit, Healthy Streets Outreach Program and other community-based agencies, nearly 30 percent of those who met with recovery coaches have sought access to additional services, including detox, psychiatric care, self-help programs, outpatient counseling, intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment, case management and more.

In addition to services provided in partnership with Bridgewell, NSMC provides medication assistance for substance use disorders through its primary care practices, a dedicated Medication Assistance Treatment Clinic, and beginning this winter, through its emergency departments. NSMC has funded the expansion of care services at Lynn Community Health Center and other community organizations and works closely with them to provide a range of treatment, follow-up and support services. The Medical Center also provides support services for families and loved ones struggling with addiction and next year, will be nearly doubling its capacity to care for patients with behavioral health disorders with the opening of an expanded facility on the NSMC Salem Campus.

Together, Bridgewell and NSMC are at forefront of the substance use disorder care in the North Shore community.


Bridgewell is a nonprofit social and human services organization dedicated to strengthening communities. Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., Bridgewell empowers people with disabilities and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed and productive lives. Bridgewell delivers support through community housing, day programs, outpatient treatment, recovery services, education and employment training. Bridgewell’s staff of more than 1,400 professionals serves approximately 6,300 people and their families. Bridgewell is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and fully licensed by the state. For more information, visit bridgewell.org.



NSMC (North Shore Medical Center) is a multi-site health system headquartered in Salem, Mass., which includes NSMC Salem Hospital, NSMC Union Hospital in Lynn, MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center, NSMC Heart Center, and the physician network known as North Shore Physicians Group. NSMC and Massachusetts General Hospital together provide care at the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care and the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center in Danvers. NSMC is a member of Partners HealthCare, which was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. #northshoremed

MEDIA CONTACTS                                                                                                          

Ryan Levasseur
Greenough, on behalf of Bridgewell
(617) 275-6522

Laura Fleming
North Shore Medical Center
(978) 354-2060



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