Truth Pharm Expands Board of Directors

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Truth Pharm is expanding its board with another credentialed individual who has been personally impacted by the opioid crisis.
 
Truth Pharm has added Stephen Murray, of North Adams, Massachusetts to the board.
 
"Becoming familiar with Stephen's work in his community has been a pleasure, and the Truth Pharm board of directors is looking forward to what he will bring to the table as we roll out big initiatives over the next couple of years," Mary Maruscak, board president for Truth Pharm said.   
 
 Stephen struggled with opioid addiction in his early twenties, but he lives today in long term recovery with more than nine years of remission. 
 
Professionally, Stephen is a Paramedic Supervisor for Northern Berkshire EMS. He has worked as a first responder for the past seven years in both fire and EMS. 
 
According to a press release, his first-hand experience on the front lines of the addiction crisis has given him a tough look into the wave of destruction that this crisis has wrought upon his friends, neighbors and family members. 
 
Stephen is the Founder of First Responders for Harm Reduction, a group that seeks to find additional allies within the ranks of fire, police and EMS workers to align with the ideals and goals of "meeting people where they are at."  
 
He has been featured in The Berkshire Eagle, on WTEN ABC and WAMC Albany advocating on behalf of people who use drugs. Stephen serves on the Massachusetts For Supervised Consumption Sites task force (MA4SCS) and has directly lobbied elected officials for the opening of Overdose Prevention Sites in both New York and Massachusetts. In early 2020, he launched the state lines for Never Use Alone in both Massachusetts and Vermont. 
 
Stephen is the recipient of several awards and honors: the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition awarded him with the 2020 March Spotlight Neighborly Award; several "Save Awards" for reversing cardiac arrest as a prehospital provider; in 2018, his agency named him the Paramedic of the Year. 
 
Stephen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Miami. Stephen and his wife Airaceli have four children. Together, they operate a small farm with about a hundred animals and are involved in racial and social justice movement work. 
 
Truth Pharm continues to seek professionals to fill the following board roles: an attorney, mental health professional, physician, substance use treatment professional and a business development professional. 
 
Potential Board members are encouraged to review Truth Pharm's core values, to subscribe with the philosophy of harm reduction principles and to be passionate about the cause. Those directly impacted are especially encouraged to apply. Truth Pharm are also seeking to diversify their board and organization, BIPOC are encouraged to apply.
 
Truth Pharm is a local nonprofit with a coast to coast reach with a branch in California, Binghamton, Sherburne-Earville and Chenango County. Truth Pharm's mission is to raise awareness, reduce the stigma, educate the public and advocate for policy and law changes surrounding substance use and treatment.
 
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Snow Possible for Berkshires on Friday

The forecast for this week is "soggy and dreary," according to Accuweather, but don't worry, there's a snowstorm on the way as well.

A combination of a winter storm heading eastward and Tropical Storm Zeta moving up the coast will bring drenching rain and potential snow for the Berkshires and Southern Vermont.
 
"With a full changeover to snow now anticipated over the mountains, a moderate to heavy accumulation is appearing more likely over the higher terrain into Friday. Such a scenario could weigh down trees that still have a canopy of leaves and lead to power outages," according to Accuweather.
 
However, a high pressure system could push the wet weather farther east and out to sea by Saturday night, just in time for trick or treating. The rain may leave but the temperatures will still be chilly — 5 to 10 degrees below normal for the end of October.
 
The National Weather Service is predicting a 50 percent chance that more than 2 inches of snowfall will cover the Berkshires and Southern Vermont between Wednesday and Saturday, although most weather predictions are that the storm system will move out by Friday afternoon.
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