Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, a coalition of local people who work to improve the health and quality of life in Kennebec and Somerset counties, has been honored with the Maine School Boards Association Business Friend of Education Award.

MSBA President Maureen King presented the award to Healthy Communities Executive Director Joanne Joy on Oct. 25 at the Maine School Management Association’s Annual Conference. The organization was nominated by the School Administrative District 11 School Committee.

The organization’s focus is public health at the local, district and state level, and a key issue is dealing with opiate abuse. SAD 11 has hosted several public forums that have included parents, teachers, students and law enforcement officials. These forums focus on the urgent need to address opiate use and other unhealthy behaviors, including alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among students.

Because of the involvement of Healthy Communities, coalitions are being formed to address other health issues including addiction and depression.

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