State Representative Shawn Dooley Files Massachusetts Trauma Response Preparedness Act

BOSTON – State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) is proud to announce the filing of his bill HD4327 An Act relative to requiring trauma kits in public buildings, or what he dubs The Massachusetts Trauma Response Preparedness Act, with the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Dooley’s bill aims to address the recent growth of Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) throughout the nation by requiring all public buildings in Massachusetts, including public and private schools; libraries; transportation facilities; recreational facilities; entertainment and sporting venues; and buildings of government, to house a basic bleeding control kit and a person trained to use it. The bill has garnered support from a group of bipartisan co-sponsors in the Massachusetts House and Senate as well as from the American College of Surgeons and the Stop the Bleeding Coalition (SBC), a national grassroots group of medical professionals; law enforcement officers; former military personnel; tactical first responders; educators; and concerned citizens dedicated to increasing readiness for MCIs.

According to statistics provided by the SBC, since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 through 2015, there were 91 MCIs nationwide, resulting in 3,487 fatalities and over 7,000 injuries. This does not include the ballooning of these types of events over the last two years. Though MCIs can vary in the location they take place; the motivation for carrying them out; and the method used for killing, the one common thread seen amongst all of them is the main cause of fatalities: Uncontrolled hemorrhage from an extremity. In fact, the SBC estimates that over 80% of all civilian trauma fatalities are caused by this. Worse yet, it is estimated that each year over 1,000 savable lives are lost due to inefficiencies in our emergency response systems.

The provisions of Dooley’s bill directly speak to these glaring issues. The bill would require all public buildings in Massachusetts, including schools; libraries; transportation facilities; recreational facilities; entertainment and sporting venues; and government buildings; to house at least one centrally located bleeding control kit and someone trained to use it. Bleeding control kits, otherwise known as trauma kits, are basic, inexpensive, and readily accessible hemorrhage control kits containing easy-to-use tools such as a tourniquet, gauze, and gloves to allow anyone to help stem serious bleeds before the arrival of first responders. Other provisions of the bill would require schools to report on the availability of bleeding control kits in their mandated emergency response plans and also allow buildings housing an AED to share the same storage space and trained staff member for both the bleeding control kit and the AED.

“As a firefighter and an EMT I know the stakes are high on this issue” said Dooley. “We have done a lot in the Commonwealth to attempt to address the increase in MCIs and we are way ahead of the curve in terms of preparedness, but we have missed this important piece. I know a bleeding control kit could never prevent a tragedy from occurring, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle of how to prevent more lives from being lost.”

In a letter to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Dr. Matt Levy, Chairman of the Stop the Bleeding Coalition, praised Dooley’s proposed legislation which he calls “a progressive and timely bill.” In the letter he writes, “As both everyday trauma, as well as intentional mass casualty events, continue to occur, we must take steps to help make the public safer and increase their likelihood for survival following such incidents. This includes training and access to hemorrhage control resources. We thank you for your leadership in this initiative.” Levy also added that he plans to distribute language of Dooley’s bill to his members as a template to use in other states.

The American College of Surgeons has also weighed in on the Act, writing “We consider this legislation as a major component to ensuring that lifesaving tools and resources are available to the public during mass casualty events…Similar to Automated Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs), trauma kits are a simple and effective way to help save lives of victims suffering severe bleeding injuries as a result of a traumatic event, by stopping life-threatening bleeding while awaiting the arrival of professional emergency responders.”

Additionally, Millis resident Lisa Ferzoco, both a constituent of Dooley’s and a trauma surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and New England Baptist Hospital, has been a driving force behind the bill. “Our goal is zero preventable deaths due to uncontrolled bleeding” said Ferzoco. “We have learned lessons from military experiences as well as recent Mass Casualty events in the community, in particular Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon Bombing, that hemorrhage control saves lives. We have also learned that in situations of mass casualty that first responders such as EMS are often unable to reach victims quickly enough to apply live saving bleeding control techniques. Along with educating the public, Representative Dooley’s bill is a crucial first step toward our goal of giving the public the means to recognize and the tools to provide immediate life-saving treatment for massive hemorrhage.”

Dooley says the next step is to get the bill and into a hearing. “We are forming a wide coalition of supporters to help demonstrate to the leaders on Beacon Hill that bleeding control not only matters but should be a legislative priority this session. Nothing ever comes easy up there; but this is too important, and I won’t stop fighting for it.”

In that spirit, Dooley, along with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has organized to bring the American College of Surgeons’ nationally recognized, revolutionary, and life-saving Stop the Bleed Course to the Massachusetts State House on June 4th to train legislators and their staffs on the basics of bleeding control. “My hope is that by actively engaging my colleagues in this educational and informational training, we will be able to illustrate just how simple, easy, and common sense this initiative really is” said Dooley.

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Our view: Washington could learn lots from local lawmakers

Editorial; May 28, 2018; The Sun Chronicle

If Washington needs an example on how to act, they should look to this area.
All five Attleboro area state representatives last week supported the so-called “Red Flag” bill.
The legislation, which passed the House 139-14, allows for a court order to take away the guns of those found to pose “extreme risk” to themselves or others.
What’s noteworthy is that four of the area’s five state representatives are conservative Republicans who were initially reluctant to back it.
However, those four — Jay Barrows of Mansfield, Shawn Dooley of Norfolk, Steven Howitt of Seekonk and Betty Poirier of North Attleboro — were among those supporting amendments approved by the House that eased their concerns enough to end opposition and make their constituents safer.
One key change was that a provision allowing guns to be taken away for a year was reduced to up to a year, leaving the possibility of the owner getting the guns back sooner.
Other amendments would set penalties for someone who falsely accuses a gun owner of being a danger and speed up the process of returning guns if the owner’s job depended on it.
The gist of the bill remains intact: If someone appears to be a danger to themselves or others, they should not have access to guns.
Democratic supporters called the bill necessary following multiple school shootings in which the killer had previously shown signs of being a danger.
But state Rep. Jim Hawkins of Attleboro, the lone Democrat in the local delegation, cites a more frequent threat: suicide.
“Suicide by gun is all too common and this bill gives the immediate family the ability to act quickly if a person is spiraling out of control,” he said.
We salute our Republican representatives for dropping kneejerk rejection of any gun restrictions, for working for amendments that eased concerns and for ultimately supporting a bill that, if approved by the Senate and Gov. Charlie Baker, will continue to make Massachusetts one of the safest states to live. They proved Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, can find common ground.
“I’m sure we agree people who have exhibited a threat to themselves and to others probably shouldn’t be licensed to carry a gun,” Barrows told The Sun Chronicle.
If only that little bit of common sense could be exhibited in Washington.
Are Massachusetts schools any safer since Newtown?

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Local reps back ‘Red Flag’ gun bill

By Jim Hand; May 24, 2018; The Sun Chronicle
Local state representatives voted for a bill that allows for a court order to take away the guns of those found to pose “extreme risk” to themselves or others.

The so-called “Red Flag” bill passed the House 139-14 Wednesday with the support of all five local representatives, although Republicans were initially reluctant to back it.

Democratic supporters said the bill was necessary following multiple school shootings in which the killer had previously shown signs of being a danger.
If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, the law would allow family members to get acourt order to take away guns from those demonstrating behavior that indicates they might shoot
themselves or others.
State Rep. Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, said several amendments that were attached to the bill made it more acceptable. “We were able to get amendments to make it better. It’s not perfect by any means whatsoever,” she said. One key change, she said, is that a provision allowing guns to be taken away for a year was reduced to up to a year, leaving the possibility of the owner getting the guns back sooner.

State Rep. Jim Hawkins, D-Attleboro, also supported the bill and spoke more favorably about it.

He said it should help prevent suicides. “Suicide by gun is all too common and this bill gives the immediate family the ability to act quickly if a person is spiraling out of control,” he said.

State Rep. Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk, said there were other important amendments adopted that improved the bill. One, he said, would set penalties for someone who falsely accuses a gun owner of being a danger. Another would speed up the process of returning guns if the owner’s job depended on it, he said.
State Reps. Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield, and Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, also said they were skeptical of the bill at first but ended up voting for it.

Barrows said amendments made the bill “less bad” so that he could support it. “It is not perfect, we don’t address mental health,” he said, explaining that that is what the issue was supposed to be about. But, Barrows said, “I’m sure we agree people who have exhibited a threat to themselves and to others probably shouldn’t be licensed to carry a gun.”
Dooley said he thought the bill lacked substance and addressed issues that other laws already provide for, but also voted for it. “I voted for it because it basically did nothing that wasn’t already allowed for in Mass. law, except it added in some due process and created a penalty for false reporting, as opposed to the chief of police just determining it at his or her sole discretion,” he said.

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Norfolk Community Day set for June 2

May 22, 2018; Wicked Local Norfolk
The Norfolk Lions in conjunction with a number of local organizations are in the final planning stages for the 26th annual Norfolk Community Day to be held on June 2 at the Holmes Complex, 22 Myrtle St., Norfolk.
Community Day events start at 11 a.m.
Events at this year’s Norfolk Community Day celebration include a children’s art contest, touch a DPW truck, Tom Antonellis’ bird houses, golf ball drop 50/50 raffle and many new and old favorite amusements including the Sports Obstacle Course, Batter Up, High Striker, Wipe Out and Frozen bounce house.
The black top entertainment will include a number of local groups who have participated for the last 25 years. And back by popular demand will be Mike Piazza and his Flying High Frisbee Dogs. Mike is the top professional K-9 frisbee performer in the world. He and his highly athletic dogs will perform a variety of Frisbee and other entertaining tricks.
Many local organizations are selling goodies to raise funds and providing literature so everyone can find out what’s going on around town.
Did you know that food pantry supplies are at their lowest during the summer months, especially toward the end of the summer? To help alleviate this problem, the Lions are running a food drive at Community Day. Some items that are currently needed are jelly, maple syrup, hamburger/tuna
helper, mayonnaise, tooth paste and hand soap. Help out by bringing a donation to the Norfolk Lions booth at Community Day.
The Norfolk Lions could not undertake this fun event without the wide-spread assistance of all those who volunteer their funds, materials, and time. The Lions would like to thank the Norfolk Fire, Police and Highway Departments and the Norfolk Recreation Department for their ongoing support. They also acknowledge sponsors for this year’s Community Day, as well as annual sponsors.
Community Day Sponsors: Carpentry by Tom Antonellis, Dover Trucking, Dedham Savings Bank, Elite Foods, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Federated Church of Norfolk, Foxboro Federal Savings Bank, Holmes Transportation Company, Minuteman Press of West Newton, Norfolk Community League, Norfolk Cultural Council, Rodman Ford, State Representative Shawn Dooley, Roche Brothers, Rocky’s Auto Body, Stop & Shop and Taylor Rental.
Annual Sponsors: 1776 Financial Services, Berkshire Hathaway Page Realty, Bradbury Insurance Agency, George T. Cronin & Sons, Hamlin Cabinet Corp., Holmes Transportation Company, Next Phase Legal LLC, Norfolk Auto Inc., Norfolk Dunkin’ Donuts, Run & Gun Ranch, Samet & Company, Smartstep Flooring Inc., and William Raveis Delta Realtors.
The Lions are a non-profit organization known for working to end preventable blindness. Norfolk Lions participate in a variety of projects important to the community and proceeds of Community Day are donated back into local charities or to meet community needs.
For more information regarding Community Day, check out the Norfolk Lions website at www.norfolkmalions.org or call Ed Melanson at 508-528-9302 or Patti McCarty at 508-520-0540.

 

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Massachusetts House passes ‘extreme risk’ gun confiscation bill

By Shira Schoenberg; The Springfield Republican; May 23, 2018

The Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow a judge to confiscate someone’s gun if the person poses a danger to themselves or others.
“This is about saving people’s lives and making sure there’s that intervention,” said Rep. Marjorie Decker, D-Cambridge, who sponsored the bill.
The bill passed in a 139-14 vote after hours of debate and closed-door discussions.
Under the bill, a family or household member could petition a district court judge for an “extreme risk protection order” barring a licensed gun owner from possessing their gun or ammunition for up to a year. The judge would hold a full evidentiary hearing within 10 days of an order being granted to give the person a chance to respond and to decide whether to extend the order.
Supporters of the bill say it will save lives by preventing someone in crisis from harming themselves or someone else. Critics of the bill say it will not help someone with mental illness, and it will infringe of people’s civil liberties.
“We take their weapons away, then send them on their way,” said Rep. Bradford Hill, R-Ipswich. “What do you think is going to happen?”
Massachusetts already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and one of the lowest rates of gun deaths.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, said it “makes a lot of sense” to let a spouse who sees danger signs have that person’s gun taken away. “You don’t want a person in that particular state of mind at that particular time to be having a firearm which can cause harm to themselves or others,” DeLeo said.
Police chiefs do have discretion to deny a gun license if they believe someone is unsuitable. But Rep. Harold Naughton, D-Clinton, chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, said that is not sufficient.
“Often times, local police chiefs do not have intimate information that goes on in a household that could cause a family member to doubt the ability of their loved one to possess, safely, firearms,” Naughton said.
The bill was the subject of a strong push by gun control advocates in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Janet Goldenberg, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill will address suicides and homicides. Goldenberg said two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, and suicide is often impulsive. In addition, people who are in a vulnerable moment may end up becoming mass shooters. “This is a bill that lets family members who know their loved ones the best have the opportunity to intervene before it’s too late,” Goldenberg said.
Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, chairman of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight and the sponsor of an earlier version of the extreme risk gun bill, said people cannot continue to accept gun violence “as the new norm.”
“If we can save one life by enacting this legislation then it’s worth it,” Linsky said.
The Gun Owners Action League, Massachusetts’ gun rights lobby, opposes the bill. GOAL says the policy would violate the rights of gun owners without doing any good, since it would let a judge confiscate someone’s guns without ensuring that the person gets any mental health treatment.
“It’s no longer about suicide prevention, it’s a gun confiscation bill,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of GOAL.
Gun rights advocates have said the state should focus on treating people’s mental health problems, rather than confiscating their guns.
Rep. Nicholas Boldyga, R-Southwick, proposed an amendment requiring anyone who is the subject of an extreme risk protective order to get a mental health evaluation and receive state-run counseling.
Although the bill would require the court to give the subject of a protective order information about mental health resources, Boldyga said, “I believe providing someone deemed dangerous and suicidal with a trifold pamphlet isn’t going far enough.”
Other House Republicans agreed that if someone is suicidal or in danger of hurting others, the person needs the state to provide mental health counseling, rather than just confiscate their guns. “We’re quick to go after someone’s fundamental constitutional rights, but not so quick to act when problems may exist,” said Rep. Paul Frost, R-Auburn.
Naughton argued that mandating counseling would enhance stigmatization of mental health issues. Some House Democrats said the issue is about violence, not mental health. They said lawmakers are dealing with mental health in other bills, including the state budget.
Boldyga’s amendment was voted down 42-109, mostly along party lines.
Similarly, Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, introduced an amendment to require a court that issues an extreme risk protective order to use an existing process to pursue emergency restraint and hospitalization for the person.
“If someone is such an extreme risk that they pose a risk to our children, they post a risk to blowing up a school, blowing up a Boston Marathon, blowing up a federal building. … Let’s make sure we use the tools at our discretion,” Norfolk said.
Naughton said emergency hospitalization is “too big a cudgel to use” and would not be appropriate in every incident, such as in cases of alcoholism or domestic abuse.
Dooley’s amendment was rejected 34-116.
Attempts by Rep. Joseph McKenna, R-Webster, to tighten the legal standards to make it harder for a judge to grant a protective order were also rejected.
Similar laws establishing extreme risk protection orders have passed in Connecticut, California, Oregon and Washington.
The bill must still be passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Charlie Baker before it becomes law. Baker, a Republican, has not taken a position but has signaled that he is open to the idea.
The bill would also establish the same licensing procedures for stun guns as for other firearms, after a Supreme Judicial Court decision struck down Massachusetts’ ban on possessing stun guns. Under the decision, Massachusetts has until June 17 to develop regulations for stun guns. Otherwise, they will be allowed to be sold on the open market with no restrictions.
“What the Supreme Court and what the SJC said is that stun guns are incredibly dangerous and they need to be regulated,” Linsky said. “This puts them in the same regulation as other dangerous items like shotguns and like rifles.”
Lawmakers were scheduled to begin their House session at 1 p.m., but they spent most of the afternoon talking behind closed doors, only beginning debate on amendments after 5 p.m. The final vote came after 8:30 p.m.

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Norfolk Getting New Well

By Stephen Peterson; May 17, 2018; The Sun Chronicle

Residents can look forward to a new town well that will ease the local water situation. Besides passing a $38 million budget, voters at last week’s town meeting unanimously backed $2.6 million for the water system, mostly for the new well and pumping station, which will be located on land off Holbrook Street. The money is coming from water revenue. “The existing two wells are aging, and have decreased output,” advisory board member Jonathan Hurwitz said, adding the planned well will provide increased water supply to meet growing demand. Some of the funds will be used for changes in water treatment at the Gold Street and Spruce Road wells, Public Works Director Robert McGhee said. Other money is intended for monitoring the water system. The town has been searching for a suitable well site for a few years. Two articles placed on the warrant by petition of residents generated debate on town meeting floor as expected. One called for town hall to be open Fridays, the other to allow for the recall of elected officials. Former town official Peter Chipman proposed both. Town hall is open four days a week, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. “It doesn’t fit the schedules of many people who work outside the area,” Chipman said. “Many people are not even getting off the train until 6 or 7 at night.” Area towns such as Wrentham and Foxboro have Friday hours, though their town halls and many others open that day close around noon. Most other area town halls have at least one day with night hours, Chipman noted. “The six other towns that touch us seem to have better work schedules for residents,” Chipman said. Town Administrator Jack Hathaway said employees go out of their way to offer flexible hours if a resident can’t make the set hours. “We do think we get a lot of people in the late afternoon,” Hathaway said, noting hours had been changed over the years but standard hours have led to less confusion. Advisory board members successfully opposed any change, with Hurwitz saying the four-day work week and a three-day weekend helps attract and retain employees, and opening town hall another day would reduce daily hours and increase utility and other costs. It was also pointed out more business can be done online now. The measure for recalling elected officials, which would have required the signatures of 200 residents to force a special election, also wasn’t approved. “We think the ultimate checks and balance system should also exist at the town level,” Chipman said. Hathaway countered: “This is a small town. It’s hard to get people to run for elected boards.” He added he didn’t think three-year terms were that long to elect someone else. State Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, backed requiring a 90-day cooling off period from an election and only requesting such a recall once in a term. Advisory board members successfully persuaded residents, at a vote of 64-30, to forward the proposal to the bylaw study committee. “Personally I think this is something that would be helpful for accountability,” board member Art Frontczak said. The only building and equipment expense not being put off to the fall town meeting was nearly $300,000 for a new ambulance. Residents also agreed to create a tow

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Representative Dooley Announces $50K Grant, Housing Choice Designation For Norfolk

BOSTON – State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) is pleased to announce that the Town of Norfolk is the recipient of a $50,000 Planning for Housing Production Grant from MassHousing as well as has been selected to receive special Housing Choice Designation from the Baker-Polito Administration. The grant and designation are a part of the Administration’s newly rolled out “Housing Choice Initiative.” The Town of Norfolk was one of 15 communities to receive a grant and one of 67 communities to be designated a Housing Choice Community at a ceremony at the State House in Boston on May 14th celebrating the first municipalities to participate in the program.

The Planning for Housing Production Grant is designed to help Norfolk meet its housing goals in a way that is consistent with its local agenda. The funds are aimed towards assisting the town in exploring ways to leverage its town center and commuter rail access to develop smart and sustainable housing growth for the future. Along with the grant, the Town will also be able to receive specialized technical expertise and planning services from MassHousing as it works towards achieving these goals.

Norfolk MassHousing  GrantBy becoming a Housing Choice Community, the Town of Norfolk, along with the other participating communities, will also have exclusive access to new financial resources such as Housing Choice Capital Grants and preferred access to many other important state programs like MassWorks, Complete Streets, MassDOT capital projects, and PARC and LAND grants.

“I was so proud to stand with Town Administrator Hathaway and Town Planner McCarthy today to receive these grants for the Town of Norfolk” said Dooley.  “The Town has worked extensively on securing this new line of funding for our residents, and I was excited to be able to play an active role in this endeavor. Since day one on the job, I have been a strong advocate for ensuring that the state government return as much of our taxpayers’ money as possible to our municipalities, and today is another step in that direction. The technical and monetary assistance we will receive from this grant will go a long way towards ensuring smart growth in Norfolk in the years to come. I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for believing in our community.”

 

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‘Gilly’s House': A sober house in Wrentham created with a mother’s love

By Judee Cosentino; May 6, 2018; The Sun Chronicle

The sprawling, 8,000-square-foot house on 1022 West St., created by a mother’s love to become a sober house, is still three weeks away from officially opening, but it is already drawing attention from the local community.
More than 100 members of the community, including family and friends of David and Barbara Gillmeister, who lost their son Steven to an opioid overdose, turned out Sunday to tour the house and offer their best wishes to the parents who gave new life to the former Sheldonville Nursing Home.
Built in 1849, the prominent house contains 12 bedrooms, two public and one private community room, five half-bathrooms, four full bathrooms, a renovated kitchen, as well as “thousands of closets,” according to David Gillmeister.
As the guests toured the winding upstairs hallways with a ceiling close enough to touch, or checked out the semi-furnished redecorated bedrooms, the homey atmosphere was palpable to all who walked through the door.
“The love is painted on the walls,” one visitor observed as she viewed a bedroom with Diane McDonald, a member of the SAFE (Support for Addicts and Families through Empowerment) Coalition.
“So much TLC went into this house,” McDonald said in agreement.
Rooms were dedicated to those who lost their battle with addiction, and that was what Bill and Paula Rollins of Wrentham did for their son Matthew. In that particular bedroom, a fishing rod hung on the wall to honor Matthew’s love for the sport.
“All this was done with love, and that makes all the difference,” Paula Rollins said of the sober house. “God is good, and He’s working through this tragedy.”
It was a donation made to SAFE in Steven Gillmeister’s name last year that prompted the coalition, along with Gillmeister’s probation officer, who approached his parents with ideas about what to do with the money. The result became “Gilly’s House,” in a nod to Steven’s nickname.
Interestingly, when Gillmeister was young, he and his childhood friend, Kyle Willis of Wrentham, used to walk by the property and imagine what they could do with the house if it were theirs.
One idea, Willis said, was a giant roller-skating rink.
“It’s absolutely amazing to see everything that’s been done,” Willis said. “I walked in the door and I just wanted to cry. It’s exactly what this community needs.”
Also present was Gillmeister’s girlfriend, Jamie Desilets of North Attleboro, who remembered Steven for his sense of humor and warm smile.
“What’s happening here is just amazing,” Desilets said. “He would be really happy.”
Gillmeister, who died in October 2016, would have celebrated his 27th birthday on Monday.
“It has truly become a house of healing for the community,” Barbara Gillmeister said just before the ribbon was officially cut to mark the opening of the sober house. “(Steven) believed everyone deserved a chance.”
State Representatives Jeff Roy, D-Norfolk, and Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, presented the Gillmeisters with a citation from the House of Representatives. Dooley praised not only the efforts of the Gillmeisters, but also the community for coming together to face the opioid epidemic.
Also present at the ribbon cutting was Chabad Rabbi Mendy Kivman of Chabad House Jewish Center in Milford who gave his blessing to the house, as well as to the Gillmeisters, through a shema prayer.
For more information, visit gillyshouse.com or email the house director, Chris Sachs, at chris@gillyshouse.com.

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