Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 11-20-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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4 NORTH PROVIDENCE NOVEMBER 20-26, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION NORTH PROVIDENCE – Yolanda DaSilva-Melo, a licensed clinical social worker at Tri-County Community Action Agency, says "a huge weight" has been lifted after her student debt was virtually wiped out through a program designed to keep people where they're needed in the day-to-day battle against the opioid epidemic. All DaSilva-Melo has to do to keep the money is stay in her job for three years after winning Health Resources and Services Administration Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program award of $75,000. "I felt very, very lucky," she said of winning the award on her first attempt at applying. "That's big." She said she graduated with $68,000 in loans, which ballooned to $78,000 with interest. A college loan is one loan that's not forgiven, she said, and with all the other costs of life, includ- ing car repairs and childcare, it's now an expense she won't have to think about anymore. DaSilva-Melo splits her time between Tri-County facilities at 1126 Hartford Ave. in Johnston and 33 Maple Ave. in North Providence. Her award is part of $319 million in scholarship and loan repayment awards through HRSA, including $80 million to support 1,250 clini- cians providing substance use disorder treatment. Ten awards were made in Rhode Island, including six in the northern part of the state. DaSilva-Melo said she typically works with those ages 10 and up, particularly couples, families, and adolescent females, coming up with medication-assisted therapy and treat- ment plans and guiding them through coping with life challenges, including anxiety, depression and ADHD. She specializes in integrated behavioral health and short-term counseling. "I love being a clinical social work- er," she said. Many of the problems being faced through the opioid epidemic stem from trauma and abuse in all forms and people trying to cope, she said. She partners with them to help them find different ways of responding. "Most want to abstain from sub- stances," she said, but it's difficult when there are day-to-day stresses. Drug abuse is often the result of poor self-esteem, she said, or someone not feeling like they deserve much or better in life. She helps them re-frame the stories they tell themselves, show- ing them that many of the thoughts they hold onto aren't true. She focuses on harm reduction, not expecting to eliminate all drug use, but finding ways to decrease use or increasing safe use. Torey Mack, deputy associate administrator for the Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, said this program is a longstanding one going back to 1972. Awards are part of the HRSA's overall strategy on respond- ing to the opioid crisis. Grants are targeted for vulnerable communities, she said. Retention of workers is important in this fight, she said, and this pro- gram allows grant providers to track applicants on outcomes, including morbidity rates. This program allows improved access for patients and the ability to measure and quantify the "real tangible results" in fighting this "major crisis," she said. As a physician and medical school graduate, said Mack, she herself inherited quite a bit of debt, and she said it's gratifying to be able to see workers such as DaSilva-Melo work where they're needed most while not having to worry about that debt. This program also helps providers at a time of increasing debt, she said, making a big difference in smaller communities that might have trouble retaining such workers. "We're happy about what we've been able to accomplish in Rhode Island," she said. "We're excited to be able to expand access in that way." Opioid worker wins award of student debt forgivness By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor DASILVA- MELO AARP Chapter 4580 meets Thursday NORTH PROVIDENCE – The next meeting of the North Providence Chapter 4580 AARP will be held on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 1 p.m., at the Church of the Presentation, 1081 Mineral Spring Ave. The speakers for this month are "Meet the Porters" and the topic is Alzheimer's disease. Plans for this year's Christmas Party on Dec. 19 at Lancellottas will be discussed and tickets will be on sale. Members and guests are invited. ABOUT US The Valley Breeze is a locally owned newspaper Office location: 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, RI 02865 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Closed weekends and holidays. Call us: 401-334-9555 Fax: 401-334-9994 Online: READER SERVICES DO YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA? Contact Managing Editor Ethan Shorey at or call 401-334-9555, ext. 130. 24-hour, 7-day voice mail. ADVERTISING – Call your sales representative, or Director of Sales Jack Birolini at 401-334- 9555, ext. 141 or email: CLASSIFIEDS – Place ads at, or call 401-334-9555 during office hours. NEWS BRIEFS AND CALENDAR EVENTS Let others know about events sponsored by your non-profit organization, church or school. • Deadline: Entertainment news is Friday at noon. All other news is Monday 3 p.m. • Submit: We prefer receiving news via e-mail. Send yours to You may also fax or mail your item. Receipt does not guarantee publication. Event marketing by for- profit businesses requires paid advertising. DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE? Share the good news of your births, engagements, weddings and anniversaries. This is a free service. Pictures will be returned upon request. • Get forms: Visit, click on "Celebrations" at left, and select a form; or call 401-334-9555; or stop by the office during business hours. OBITUARIES – Obituaries cost $90–$125. They are posted online immediately, and placed in the first available paper. Check with your funeral director for details. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED STORY? All current stories remain free online for one week after print publication. Older stories are now archived online back to July 2001. We're sorry, but we have few back issues of papers in our offices and cannot provide free library services. • Online: Visit, and click on "Search The Breeze Archive." Use keywords to find old stories. Single stories cost $2.95 through our Newsbank partners. Multi-story packages, which provide lower costs per story, are also available. SUBSCRIPTIONS – The Valley Breeze may be delivered anywhere in the United States, in an envelope, by First Class mail only. The cost is $189 per year, or $4 per week. Phone 401-334-9555 for details. COPYRIGHTS – or its content may not be linked to any other Web site without the written permission of the publisher. News aggregators that solicit advertising may not link Northern Rhode Island Animal Hospital Since 1983 We're close, just 15 minutes from Providence off Rt. 146. 152 School St., North Smithfield Open 6 days: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. We speak "cat." (401) 762-2400 • Cat have a language all their own. Fortunately, we speak it too. Visit our full-service feline-loving animal hospital with a team approach to quality veterinary care. Saint Agnes Church Saint Agnes Church Saint Agnes Church 351 Avenue, Providence, RI Christmas Star Festival Friday, November 29th 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, November 30th 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday, December 1st 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Penny Social, Grab Bags, Bake Table, Pot of Gold, Pet Table, Jewelry and Raffles Friday Night: Clam Cakes & Chowder with take out available The kitchen will be open all 3 days 401-861-7265 NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY Notice is hereby given that the undersigned will sell, to satisfy lien of the owner, by public internet sale via for competitive bidding to begin on November 13, 2019 at 11:00 AM and conclude November 27, 2019 at 4:00 PM via the Compass Self Storage located at 711 Branch Ave. Providence, Rhode Island 02904 The personal goods stored therein by the following may include, but are not limited to general household, furniture, boxes, clothes, and appliances. 1150 Efrain Rivera 2270 Alicia Ibarra 2312 Milly Vega 2372 Maria Fuentes 7246-4248 Patrick Conway 7277 Ebunola Jegede 7356 Lamar Harris 9167 Joshua Maldonado 9252 Warren Gomes 9264 Donnetta Hall 9384 Derrisha Bryant Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the time of sale. All goods are sold as is and must be removed at the time of purchase. Compass Self Storage reserves the right to refuse any bid. Sale is subject to adjournment.

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