ST. CLAIRE HEALTHCARE AND NORTHEAST KENTUCKY AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTER AWARDED FEDERAL OPIOID PLANNING GRANT
MOREHEAD – St. Claire HealthCare (SCH), in collaboration with its hosted Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center (NE KY AHEC), was recently awarded a $200,000 grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to establish the Northeast Kentucky Opioid Crisis Response Consortium.
SCH/NE KY AHEC was one of eight Kentucky organizations – and 120 nationwide – to receive the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning grant.
In addition to SCH/NE KY AHEC, the regional consortium will bring together the Clark County Health Department, Tri-State Primary Care, the Kentucky Rural Healthcare Information Organization (KRHIO), and Comprehend, Inc., to focus on prevention, treatment, and recovery related to opioid use disorder. The one-year project, which takes effect June 1, targets the rural areas of Clark, Greenup, Lawrence, Mason, Nicholas, Powell, and Robertson counties.
Specifically, the consortium hopes to: expand treatment options, including access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), by recruiting and training new opioid use disorder providers; reduce treatment costs for uninsured and underinsured patients who seek MAT or other treatment options; and enhance the involvement of peer recovery specialists in both clinical and non-clinical settings.
This new project will build on the efforts of the Northeast Kentucky Opioid Crisis Response Network, which was formed in August 2018 through a separate HRSA grant. The network, which targets St. Claire’s 11-county service region, includes as partners SCH, the NE KY AHEC, Pathways Inc., the Gateway District Health Department, and Sterling Health Solutions Inc.
After 10 months of planning, the opioid-focused network has two clinical intervention grant applications under review in hopes of establishing “bridge programs” from four hospital emergency departments to existing MAT clinics, as well as developing new MAT access points.
“The scope of the opioid epidemic remains so large in our region that it will take multiple approaches, and numerous partners working together, in order to make a significant impact,” said St. Claire’s David A. Gross, who serves as project director for both the opioid network and the opioid consortium. “But with this collection of organizations unifying their efforts, I am confident we will soon begin delivering hope to those individuals currently suffering with opioid use disorder.”