An immersive community experience of hope, healing, awareness, understanding and action addressing the opioid crisis in New London County, CT.Date: October 7-9, 2019
Hello, I’m Frank W. Maletz, MD, FACS. I’m a resident of East Lyme, Connecticut and have been a long time resident of New London County where I practiced orthopedic surgery, actively served the community in myriad ways including participation on local boards and committees and have lead or supported local movements focused on community improvement and change. I founded HEALTHspital©, a platform organization dedicated to serving as the epicenter for promoting new models for wellness and the prevention of illness. HEALTHspital© is helping hospitals and communities move from sick care to healthcare by promoting preventative strategies to improve health. The current (sickness care) paradigm is expensive and not working optimally and why HEALTHspital© offers a viable, novel alternative.
As one of its first major project launches, HEALTHspital© is offering to serve as the local host and convener for Script the Change© – a three day immersive community experience of hope, healing, awareness, and understanding, addressing the opioid crisis in New London County, Connecticut. The opioid crisis has been designated as a national emergency and it continues to ravage Connecticut and is currently devastating individuals, families and every segment of New London County. What better cause than this for introducing HEALTHspital’s model and approaches? It’s a cause near and dear to me, my friends, my family and the community about which I care deeply and have served for years.
I’m inviting you to sponsor this inaugural Script the Change© event and I’ve prepared the following information to support my invitation that I’m hopeful you’ll find compelling and irresistible.The Current Story:
Opioid death rates and overdosing continue to climb in New London County and, according to mathematical models and trending, are predicted to do so until 2025. We are definitely winning battles - but given the increased doses, potencies, supply chains, and inventiveness of synthetic chemists, we’re losing the war. We are helping but not “curing“ - YET. Our treatment and intervention models must be refined to include brain appreciation, brain Health promotion, prevention and alternative strategies at initial onset. We must provide re-prevention and recidivism options, choices, and opportunities, AND the eradication of stigma and self-stigmatization both societally and culturally. * See NOTE
* NOTE: The current NIH model is that of Volkow / Goldstein and other esteemed contributors named IRISA (Impaired Response Inhibition and Salience Attribution ). The brain dopaminergic pathways have been mapped from the nucleus accumbens to the ventral tegmental area ( VTA ) with final common localization in the pre frontal cortex . This maps what has been referred to as the reward / pleasure pathway .The Future Story:
In my TEDx Hartford talk of December 4, 2018 (https://youtu.be/gWptzCL_W0U
), I offered a novel approach - PSAADS © (PSychoActive Addictable Disorders Spectrum) model.
This model builds on research with living brains through the tools of fMRI, PET scanning, DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging), and connectome mapping. - Using IRISA for funding of research has yielded Narcan and MAT bridging treatments and intervention therapies - saving lives and allowing time for healing and recovery.
This crisis seems overwhelming, complex, and insurmountable, but I disagree. We can assemble ALL existing stories of individuals, valued constituents and invested stakeholders in the New London County community. Combining those stories with the best evidence re: addiction and that status of the problem in the community we can come join together to “SCRIPT THE CHANGE©”. Everyone interested, involved , invested , and committed could take a moment, a day or more to pause, cogitate, reflect, introspect, dream, and idealize on our amazing brain. We will then co-author our new constitution/working document/paradigm/blueprint with full transparency, on all topics – with successes and barriers, difficult and obvious, great and small, quantum and cosmic . These topics will be openly addressed and placed on the common table. Then we will, as a grassroots effort using commingled energy flows and co- design, co create our specific solutions - our New London County “ Play In A Day “ for us to pragmatically use. And for the world to see.Why the Title Script the Change©?
In 2018, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services launched its Change the Script program. It is a statewide public awareness campaign to help communities deal with the prescription drug and opioids misuse crisis. It connects town leaders, healthcare professionals, treatment professionals and everyday people with the resources they need to face prescription opioid misuse - and write a new story about what we can accomplish when we all work toward a shared goal.
The DMHAS program is a public information and awareness campaign and, as it’s intended, is one tool in the arsenal dealing with the opioid crisis. However, based on the science of the addictable brain, its neuroplasticity characteristics, the individual underlying causes of addiction, the current fragmentation of community interventions and programs and the absence of a community wide conversation re: this crisis in New London, Dr. Maletz coined the term Script the Change© for HEALTHspital’s inaugural event. The focus of the new title indicates the power and significance of inviting a community to rewrite its script and community narrative for addressing the opioid crisis. This is a focal point with our unique problem with a New London County co-created community solution. The story we tell ourselves is human scripted. It’s time for a new script without exogenous drugs and behaviors of addictability. It’s time for a new script and time for a new story. A community story of hope, healing, awareness, understanding and action written by the New London County community.An Invitation to Create a Unique Community Story Bridge to Health and Wellness
HEALTHspital©, together with its partners Story Bridge and Aquarian Technology Systems has conceptualized, researched and framed this unique and proven community engagement event and process for facilitating the New London County, Connecticut community to share, listen, experience and create its narrative, story and action agenda for solving its opioid and addiction crisis. This event is like no other that’s been organized in the New London County region and, therefore unfamiliar to most individuals and organizations. It will require a commitment of time, energy and participation and also non-traditional commitment of resources to carry out. Story Bridge is a proven and sustainable method for community engagement that will plant the seeds of change in each participant and provide the nutrients for wellness in the county.The Event
The Goals of this Project are to:
• Gain a compassionate and embodied understanding of the opioid crisis in New London County, Connecticut
• Raise the issues to the level of moral and spiritual imperative
• Move in a whole-systems way towards eradication of the scourge of opioid addiction
• Create a model for replication elsewhereNature of the Project:
• This project will succeed as it is able to ignite the moral indignation of the community. Information is not enough. Persuasive arguments are not enough. The heat of moral indignation will be directed toward changing the system, not against individuals. The project seeks continually to make beloved friends and allies of everyone in the community.Step 1
2.5 day workshop eventAwareness:Day 1
• Provide a new vantage on the crisis and the hope—hope is in collaborative, compassionate action, involving “the village,” professionals, community, people living with addiction and their loved ones.Day 27:30 pm Live Performance Community to Attend Play in a Day:
• Brief restatement of crisis and hope. Creation of safe space through physical and verbal warm-up. Share stories in pairs and circles. Winnow to about eight stories. Put these stories in order. Add music and ritual. Rehearse. Perform for the community that evening.Outcomes:Participants:
• Relationships among diverse participants
• Empowered, creative team
• Willingness to risk
• Commitment to do more
• Participants believe in their power to win through loving, collaborative action
• Unitive experience of hopeAudience:
• Witness diverse groups working in unity
• Belief in possibility of victory through loving, collaborative action
• Unitive experience of hope Day 3Open Space:
• Community self-organizes to move to Phase 2. Speeches and ritual ignite moral indignation. Participants pledge participation Step 2 Year One
• Program hires needed staff. HEALTHspital©, Aquarian, and Story Bridge provide training and facilitation as needed.
• Ideas from Open Space begin to be implemented - wholeminded interventions, innovations, disruptions become compassionate programs.
• Learning circles bring critical consciousness to the subject.
• Local staff partners trained to facilitate year-round Story Bridge processes to carry the torch of compassion and moral indignation.
• Recruit and train speakers and small performing teams to address organizations, businesses, places of worship, groups.
• Ongoing Story Bridge process (local staff plus Story Bridge professionals at key points) keeps the community listening and talking to itself. Story gathering and play process is inter-generational (youth-led, elder-guided), professionally facilitated, driven by volunteer participants. One model is year-long process of story gathering, play development, performance(s) at major downtown theater and tour to schools, etc. Performers in the play are the real people, the stakeholders in this crisis. Discussions and enrollment of new stakeholders, following each performance Step 3 Ongoing
• Compassionate programs grow and spread
• Story Bridge annual youth-led, elder-guided productions and workshops changes the climate in schools and institutions by bringing opioid issues out of the shadows and into the mainstream of the community’s growing compassion.
• Replication by other communities led by New London teams and professional partners (HEALTHspital©, Aquarian, Story Bridge)
Play-in-A-Day: a Story Bridge workshop
Retaining a sense of “community” that cares for one another across divides and differences has never been more challenged than today. Partnering with the Story Bridge team, we will create a space to
• Hold challenging and truthful stories, and
• Envision new stories of co-thriving
Research proven and award-winning, Story Bridge is based on a deep truth: the fundamental assets of any community are in our own stories.
Join us to share your story with others in a powerful community building process, rooting in the experiences of the participants, that culminates in an original play expressing the truth of people and place.
Pioneered for more than twenty-five years, in challenging communities throughout the United States and around the globe, Story Bridge has engaged people of different ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds in discovering their community with one another, and their innate capacity to realize the true Beloved Community they desire.
Story Bridge begins with a daylong interactive session of collective stories, culminating in a community performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
Everyone participates, whether on stage acting, making music, behind the scenes, or being the original source of a story.
Just bring yourself, and any instrument of your own life artistry.
For more information about Story Bridge, please see:
• Website: www.storybridge.space
• Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/storybridgespace
• A short film/documentary: When Currents Cross https://youtu.be/rg9GKkLzTnU
Infographic of a Story Bridge Youth Project funded by Department of Justice: https://create.piktochart.com/output/23486058-harmony-in-the-hills-2017 Who will be invited?Organizations, Groups and Individuals
• Fire Chiefs and staff
• EMTs and Paramedics
• Healthcare providers - all levels
• Mayors and staff- Norwich / Groton / New London
• CT State Senators / Representatives and staff
• Businesses: Electric Boat/General Dynamics, Pfizer, Casinos (Mohegan Sun, Mashantucket/ Foxwoods), Small businesses
• EC Community Foundation
• Recovery Coaches / Navigators
• Addicts/families & extended families (parents, grandparents, multi- generational)
• Ledge Light Health District/Opioid Task Force/Mayor’s Collaborative
• Middle / HS Administrators / Teachers / Students / Parents
• Social Service sector representatives
• Connecticut College (Palmer Auditorium)
• UConn Avery Point
• Mitchell College
• US Coast Guard Academy
• Three Rivers Community College
• US Naval submarine base
• Community Speaks Out / Community Of Hope / Groton Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention / Shine A Light On Heroin - and others doing grassroots work
• Stonington Prevention Council
• CT Department of Public Health
• CT Lawyers Task Force on the “opioid crisis “
• Mohegan Sun
• Faith based representatives
• MediaBudget for the Event
Marketing & Advertising-$2,500
Post Proceedings, Summary & Recommendations-$9,500
Total Expenses-$75,000How Sponsors Can Help
HEALTHspital©, has undertaken the conceptual development of this “Script the Change©” event with its partners without any assurance of financial support for this effort. However, an unprecedented and innovative approach the likes of which is outlined in this Script the Change© invitation to sponsor, does require a significant financial commitment. While there are many disparate and important programs and initiatives to combat this opioid crisis to which corporations, government entities, non- profit organizations, community groups and individuals in New London County have contributed funding, none of these efforts has been coordinated across the entire community or had at its center a focus on the root causes of this crisis, the science behind addictions and on systemic prevention.
The above budget summary is an outline of the request for sponsorship and the proposed budget for the Script the Change© event. It is our hope at HEALTHspital©, as a local stakeholder and local host for this event that you will commit to financially sponsor this incredibly powerful community engagement opportunity that has the potential for long standing impact and participation.
HEALTHspital© submits this proposal for your contributions, along with others, to be a participating sponsor of this unique and groundbreaking event with the potential to transform the New London County community. You and your organization have the potential to be viewed as a pathfinder and positive force for bringing the community together to address a problem that’s tearing at the fabric of the community and devastating individuals, families, the workplace and beyond. Please accept this invitation to sponsor a wellness and health story in New London County.
Contributions are being sought at three levels of giving with sponsors being recognized in event promotion and at the event itself.PLATINUM SPONSOR-$15,000
(Our goal will be reached with 5 sponsors at this level)GOLD SPONSOR-$10,000
(Our goal will be reached with 7.5 sponsors at this level)SILVER SPONSOR-$7,500
(Our goal will be reached with 10 sponsors at this level)
Contributions of any amount are welcome and appreciated.Event Leadership Team