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"We have a responsibility to make this community safer. We have to make sure that people getting out of jail are less likely to re-offend than when they got in there," said Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis to an audience of nearly 100 community leaders, elected officials, and others at Spectrum Health Systems' 2011 Annual Meeting.

(L-R) Spectrum COO Peter Rockholz, Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis, Spectrum President & CEO Charles FarisServing as keynote speaker at the meeting, Sheriff Evangelidis indicated that 85 to 90 percent of people entering jail are alcohol or drug addicted.  "We are natural partners," Sheriff Evangelidis said of the relationship between his office and Spectrum Health Systems, which provides the most comprehensive substance abuse and mental health treatment services in Massachusetts. 

"Our mission is to rehabilitate these people, and as many as we can, because we'll all be safer," Sheriff Evangelidis told the audience, which included Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., State Representative James O'Day and former Worcester County Sheriff Guy Glodis.

The evening included two guest speakers -- participants of Spectrum's residential treatment program in Westborough, Mass.

Timothy M. graduated from the program after eight months of treatment and recently celebrated his one-year anniversary of sobriety.

"Everyone in this room has played a part in changing my life," said Timothy, who came to Spectrum's program from the Middlesex Jail.

"Heroin brought me to my knees. It took the life out of me," said Stephanie M., a current resident at Spectrum's  program.  "I came to Spectrum from jail when I was 24, and I never pictured myself being there.  Now the people at Spectrum made me realize what potential I have."

At the meeting, Mark Bilotta, CEO of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, was re-elected chairperson of the Spectrum Board of Trustees. David Grenier, president and managing member of Cutler Capital Management, was elected vice chairperson. Spectrum Board of Trustees Secretary Rev. Susan Suchocki-Brown, Assistant Secretary David Felper, a partner at the law firm Bowditch & Dewey,  President & CEO Charles Faris, and Treasurer Janet Langlois of Spectrum were all re-elected to one-year terms. Trustees Brian Garrity, an attorney with the law firm Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, and Brenda Jenkins, community relations director of the YMCA of Greater Worcester, were re-elected to three-year terms. 

Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. is a private, nonprofit substance abuse treatment and mental health service organization with corporate headquarters in Worcester, Massachusetts. Spectrum currently operates more than 110 treatment programs in community and institutional settings throughout Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, Iowa and Washington State.

CONTACT: 
Andrew Strecker, Development Associate 
(508) 792-5400 x7113 
streckera@spectrumsys.org