Treatment programs get $6 million for addiction fight

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Several Kentucky addiction treatment programs in high-risk rural communities received $6 million in competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program was established to reduce the morbidity and mortality of substance abuse by enhancing rural residents’ ability to access treatment.

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According to Sen. Mitch McConnell, among the groups who received funding are:

Treatment Provider Award Amount City
St. Claire Medical Center $1,000,000 Morehead
Kentucky River Foothills Development Council $1,000,000 Richmond
Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency $1,000,000 Jamestown

“In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Kentucky remains focused on treating those suffering from substance abuse. I was proud to help these programs receive vital federal funding to serve rural communities around our Commonwealth,” said McConnell.

The program will use the federal funds for a range of recovery activities, including medication assisted treatment, transitional housing, and workforce readiness programs.

“Through the First Day Forward initiative, many of our most vulnerable rural residents will have access to the treatment and recovery services they so desperately need,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II, St. Claire HealthCare President/CEO.

“Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, Inc. is excited to learn that its request for a Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Implementation grant has been selected for funding. This three year project will enable the MORE (Madison Opioid Response and Empowerment) Consortium to strengthen substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services in Madison County,” said Kentucky River Foothills Development Council Executive Director/ CEO Brian Mullins. “These additional services are greatly needed to intervene in the opioid epidemic that has broken the hearts of many families in our community with the worst cases ending in the overdose deaths of more than 40 Madison Countians annually for the last several years.”

“The $1 million award will be utilized over the next three years to increase this area’s capacity to provide meaningful prevention, treatment, and recovery resources,” said Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency Executive Director Alicia K. Polston. “Together, we represent 30 community partners and private individuals determined to see a positive change in our rural communities and to provide a strong foundation for long-term solutions to the opioid crisis.”

Three other Kentucky organizations were also awarded a $1 million competitive federal grant: Purchase District Health Department (Paducah), Northeast Kentucky Regional Health Information Organization (West Liberty) and Baptist Health Foundation Corbin (Corbin).

In June, McConnell announced he helped St. Claire Medical Center secure a $900,000 competitive federal grant from HRSA to provide MAT services in collaboration with the Northeast Kentucky Substance Use Response Coalition.