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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UMass Amherst Alum Honored by Massachusetts Public Health Association

University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences alumna Ms. Marisa Hebble was awarded the Community Service Award for 2015 at the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) Annual Meeting held November 13 in Worcester, MA. Ms. Hebble was honored for the work of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region, where she is the director. The organization’s mission is to ensure that officials and the community in the region work together to help reduce and prevent opioid and heroin addiction and prevent overdose deaths.

Marisa Hebble Award 2015
[Photo: Northwestern District Attorney Mr. David E. Sullivan, Ms. Marisa Hebble, and MPHA executive director Ms. Rebekah Gerwitz at the Annual Meeting]

“I was totally surprised when I heard about the award. Surprised and thrilled. It’s such an honor to be a part of this Task Force, and to be recognized by MPHA for the good work happening here is very special,” says Ms. Hebble.

Ms. Hebble joined the Opioid Task Force in April 2014, and among her accomplishments during that time are a partnership with the Northwest District Attorney that trains first responders how to administer the overdose reversal drug Narcan, creating a Safe Prescriber Pledge asking healthcare providers to manage pain medication prescriptions to reduce the likelihood of addiction, and successful advocacy for the planned opening of 64 treatment beds for addicts in Franklin County.

“I absolutely feel that my education at UMass plays a daily role in my work. Dr. Gloria DiFulvio in particular was instrumental in helping me understand the real world applications of what I was learning,” says Ms. Hebble.

“During Dr. DiFulvio’s class I had a profound public health ‘aha’ moment. Everything up until that point converged: the theories, understanding the need for assessment and capacity building, the importance of clear and measurable outcomes, implementation of evidence-based practices, continued evaluation….and a really solid logic model! I thought, ‘I am in exactly the right field,’” she adds.

To read more about the award, go to:’06-honored-massachusetts-public-health-association