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Syringe Disposal Pilot Project Launches in Dover with Support from Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and Local Public Health Partners

DOVER, N.H. – Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has contributed funds to the Strafford County Public Health Network (SCPHN) as part of a new pilot project for syringe disposal in Dover.

The project will create an anonymous public sharps disposal program, with a goal of decreasing the amount of improperly disposed of needles and medical waste in the community by providing safe disposal units.

“This is a low-barrier, effective strategy to improve community health and safety,” said Ashley Wright, Public Health Network Manager for SCPHN (a program of Greater Seacoast Community Health). “We’re grateful to Wentworth-Douglass for supporting us in making an impact on public safety and public health by reducing harm and increasing access to disposal resources.”

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The collaboration also includes SOS Recovery Community Organization, the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition, The Doorway operated by Wentworth-Douglass, the City of Dover, and other community members and organizations.  The public health effort was supported unanimously by the Dover City Council and builds upon existing programming and infrastructure already available in the Dover community.

Syringe disposal boxes and resources already exist at Wentworth-Douglass, SOS Recovery, the Dover Public Library, and at various NH Harm Reduction Coalition ‘stops’.  The program will add them at several locations throughout the city.

“We’re proud to work with Strafford County, and all our other community public health partners, on a simple project like this that can make a huge difference,” said Peter Fifield, substance use disorder program manager at Wentworth-Douglass’ Doorway location. “Sadly, substance misuse remains an epidemic in our region, so anything we can do to limit medical waste is very important from both a public health and quality of life perspective.”

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