Manchester Health Department hires overdose prevention director

Dec. 28—The Manchester Health Department has hired a director of overdose prevention to lead the city's response to drug-related overdoses and fatalities, the city announced this week.

Manchester has been selected as one of 20 communities by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, to receive a $300,000 funding award to bolster local overdose prevention strategies, according to a news release issued Monday.

Andrew Warner, whose most recent position was community education manager in Manchester, Portland, Boston and Lowell, Mass., for Better Life Partners, begins his new role Jan. 3.

"With continued drug overdoses and fatalities persisting in Manchester, this new position has been created and filled to help lower that trend," the city said.

Warner's work creating and overseeing treatment programs includes work as a consultant for Dartmouth Hitchcock's Levy Incubator, a coordinator for tele-health therapy.

"My chief focus is to work with the array of resource providers in Manchester to create and implement a strategic plan to prevent drug-involved overdoses," Warner said in a statement.

According to American Medical Response — the ambulance service for Manchester and Nashua — the number of suspected opioid overdoses in Manchester increased in November and decreased in Nashua.

There were 63 suspected opioid overdoses between Nashua and Manchester during November, bringing the total for 2022 to 879, the Union Leader reported earlier this month.

AMR medics responded to 48 suspected opioid overdoses in Manchester. Suspected opioid overdoses in Manchester increased by 14 from October numbers.

American Medical Response reported there have been 656 suspected overdoses and 71 suspected overdose deaths in Manchester as of November 2022, the city cited in its release.

Anna J. Thomas, the city's public health director, said "strategic, data-driven efforts" will save lives.

"Tapping into the expertise from our national public health leaders and communities across the country that have gone before us in preventing overdoses and fatalities, plus bringing on seasoned professionals such as Andrew and strike team members to implement best practices, is a formula for success" Thomas said in a statement.