New leader named for GOW Opioid Task Force

Posted 2 April 2024 at 7:53 pm

Press Release, UConnectCare

Jay Baran

BATAVIA – UConnectCare (formerly Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse) has hired Jay Baran as the coordinator of the GOW Opioid Task Force.

Baran, 26, is responsible for overseeing the three-county – Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming – volunteer organization that is dedicated to dedicated to saving lives by reducing overdoses and overdose deaths.

A graduate of St. Mary’s of Lancaster, Baran earned a bachelor’s degree in public health with a minor in biology from SUNY Brockport in 2022. She replaces Christen Foley, who accepted the position of project director of the Western New York Prevention Resource Center, a program of UConnectCare.

In her role as coordinator, Baran will provide assistance to the task force’s six work groups – steering committee, access to care, data, community education, law enforcement, and family, loved ones and allies. She also will be setting up quarterly meetings and events, with Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 28 next on the schedule.

“I have a passion for public health and am grateful to be able to serve in that capacity (with UConnectCare),” she said. “The GOW Opioid Task Force has made quite an impact over the past several years and I am looking forward to the initiatives that lie ahead.”

Baran served as a camp counselor for Just for Kids in Orchard Park before taking a position with Citibank in Buffalo for a year. Last year, she managed the social media account and coordinated a team of volunteers at Uplift Irondequoit, a coalition that supports programs and activities related to prevention, education and reduction of youth substance use.

For more information about the GOW Opioid Task Force, contact Baran a or at 585-815-1863.