Anna MartinMartin

UPDATED July 6: The town has appointed Anna Martin as Arlington’s new prevention service manager. In this position, Martin will work to help reduce substance abuse in Arlington and provide support for those affected by addiction.

As previously reported by YourArlington, the local community, like those statewide and nationwide, suffers from this problem; at the end of this article, one can see see links to coverage from last year.

The prevention service manager works within the Department of Health and Human Services, directed by Christine Bongiorno. In a news release, Bongiorno wrote she is excited for Martin to enhance community programming. 

Martin began this position in May; it was previously held by Kayla Vodka. According to the town, Martin’s duties include facilitating conversations and decisions around incoming funding for preventing and treating substance use and reducing harm in the community. In a recent email, Bongiorno wrote that Martin is set to work on missions aimed toward addressing opioid- related overdoses and will work alongside police department clinician Christina Valeri and recovery coach Tommy Caccavaro.

Worked for Boston medical center

Before coming to Arlington, Martin worked for Boston Medical Center as a community engaged intervention facilitator. In this role, Martin added experience working in the field of substance abuse prevention. She participated in the state HEALing communities study — a study aimed toward reducing overdose deaths through implementing evidence-based practices, according to the study’s website. 

“I know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to preventing substance use and managing addiction,” Martin said in the news release. “I am ready to learn more about what will work for Arlington and support that work however I can.”

The job pays $74,814 annually, Director of Human Resources Caryn Malloy wrote in response to YourArlington inquiries.

The mission of the health department is to protect the health of the public and assist residents with accessing basic human needs. Learn more about the department here >> 

The town July 6 announced that it is actively seeking input from residents who use opiods or who have done so in the past, and from their family members and friends -- and requests participation in its short online survey by July 31, as described here >> 

A paragraph at the top of the survey says that Massachusetts soon expects to benefit from "multi-billion-dollar resolutions with opioid producers and distributors that aim to address the opioid crisis by providing funds for prevention, treatment and recovery. The town of Arlington will receive funds from these settlements over 17 years."

This news announcement was published Wednesday, July 5, 2023, based on information from Arlington's health department. Brynn O'Connor, YourArlington's assistant to the editor, made queries and prepared the copy. It was updated July 6, 2023, to add a link to a survey currently being administered by town officials; they seek residents' input by July 31, 2023. This data collection is hoped to help establish an updated picture of opiod use locally and help guide future efforts at harm reduction.