Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and the founder of the Kraft Center for Community Health, has started a progrm called CareZone to people with opioid addiction.
CareZone is made up of a mobile van with special equipment that will rotate between two locations in Boston. One location is in Dudley Square and the other is near North Station.
Kraft has said he started this program because many people have died from opioid overdoses. Number of people, dying from an opioid, has reached at least six a day. He feels that people are not getting the care they need because there are cracks in the system. He is giving 25 US million dollars to ensure that CareZone brings on-demand care to people who really, really need it.
The Kraft Center paid a part of the cost of the van. Other organizations that helped make the program financially possible are General Electric, Ford Motor and a parent group of Massachusetts General Hospital called Partners Healthcare. This is not first time that GE and Partners have worked. They worked together last year on the Rize Massachusetts, an initiative to find new ways to bring addiction services to the people.
This project for drug-addicted people will first have a test period to see if it works. It could last as long as eight months with an operating budget of 157 US million dollars. This budget will also be helped by the Hearst Foundation. The State Department of Public Health will supply this project with 1,000 Narcan OD packages.
Public Officials like Governor Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh and Attorney Genral Maura Healey as well as Kraft showed this van to the public recently at Boston City Hall Plaza.
Dr. Elsie Taveras, the executive director of the Kraft Center, said it took a year to prepare the van for the public. The main mission of this project is to address the city’s current biggest health crisis, according to this doctor.