Anna Maria College Receives Reliant Foundation Grant

Reliant checkpresentation

From left to right: Dr. John Pratico, Director of Psychology at Anna Maria College; Cynthia Monahan, Trustee, Reliant Foundation; Dr. James DiReda, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Anna Maria College; Kelsa Zereski, President, Reliant Foundation; Mary Lou Retelle, President of Anna Maria College; and Tom Sullivan, Board Chair of Reliant Foundation


Anna Maria College Receives Reliant Foundation Grant
Reliant Foundation grant to support the Substance use, Outcomes, Barriers and Efforts to Recovery (SOBER) Project


(Paxton, MA) – December 19, 2019 – Anna Maria College announced that its Addiction and Recovery Resource Center (ARRC) has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Reliant Foundation. The funds will be used to support the College’s latest project on addiction and recovery. Called the SOBER Project, the initiative focuses on Substance use, Outcomes, Barriers and Efforts to Recovery.


“Anna Maria College has a number of students gaining experience in addiction and recovery education through classroom courses, clinical and experiential learning opportunities,” said President Mary Lou Retelle. “The SOBER Project expands on the college’s efforts to increase the quality and quantity of mental health practitioners and substance use treatment providers in Massachusetts.”


The SOBER Project will work to reduce problems stemming from addiction to opiates and other substances as well as secondary problems such as homelessness, joblessness, and family distress. The program will also work to improve community outcomes through specific mental health practitioner, medical practitioner, allied health and law enforcement training that will improve service delivery in Worcester and the surrounding townships.

“Anna Maria has made clear its commitment to investing in addiction and recovery education,” said Kelsa Zereski, Reliant Foundation president. “We’re proud to support the college’s endeavor to bring these critical, hands-on programs to its students.”


About Reliant Foundation

Established in 1988 as a public charity, the Reliant Foundation (formerly operated as the Reliant Medical Group Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the Central and Metro West regions of Massachusetts. As a 501(c)3 charity, the Foundation offers grants to non-profit organizations within its service area for the purpose of supporting programs that battle critical public health issues like the opioid epidemic, children’s mental health and childhood obesity. For more information, please visit


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