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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Biz Briefs: Big Y Closing Stores for Thanksgiving Holiday

Big Y Giving Workers Two Days Off

Big Y has issued a reminder that it will close all stores including Big Y World Class Markets, Table & Vine and Fresh Acres specialty market on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, as well as Friday Nov. 27. Big Y Express Gas & Convenience locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day as well.
 
Big Y officials say this two-day closing is to thank the thousands of employees for their continued hard work and tenacious efforts throughout the challenges of being an essential service throughout the pandemic and so their employees can rest and spend more time with their families. In addition, the closure will allow time for extra cleaning, restocking and preparations for the remainder of the holiday season.
 
Big Y also closed on Easter Sunday and Monday (April 12 & 13) in order to give its teams some much needed rest. In addition to these days of rest for their employees, Big Y has provided thank-you pay and now thank-you bonuses for front-line workers in recognition of their continued commitment to each other and to their customers.
 
All locations will re-open on Saturday, Nov. 28, for their usual hours. More information can be found on bigy.com.
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