St. Claire gets $900,000 grant to fight addiction, Hepatitis C

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ)St. Claire Healthcare in Morehead has received a $900,000 competitive federal grant to work with Northeast Kentucky Substance Use Response Coalition to provide medication-assisted treatment services, which are lacking in the region.

It also plans to use the funding to address the growing rate of Hepatitis C infections, which are believed to be increasing through intravenous drug use.

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Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, we cannot lose focus on combating the scourge of addiction in our communities. Kentucky sadly remains one of the hardest hit states by opioid and substance abuse, but we are also home to many of the leaders of the national recovery,” said McConnell. “St. Claire continues to make a great positive impact for Northeastern Kentucky families.”

“St. Claire HealthCare is proud to announce our next step in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II, St. Claire HealthCare President/CEO. “This grant will assist us in improving access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder throughout Northeastern Kentucky.”

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 2018 saw the first nationwide decline in drug overdose deaths since 1990. Kentucky’s overdose fatalities fell by nearly 15% — the largest drop in more than a decade — and the rate declined by 5% nationwide.

Kentucky has received more than $240 million in drug-related funds in recent years. McConnell worked with the University of Kentucky to help secure an $87 million competitive federal grant—the largest in school history—to address the opioid crisis in high-risk communities. He has also helped secure the inclusion of some of Kentucky’s hardest-hit counties in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to promote coordination and support for law enforcement in Kentucky.