$350,000 grant boosts Baptist Richmond behavioral health

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Photo by Tim Webb

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Baptist Health Foundation Richmond was recently awarded $350,000 to implement opioid prevention, treatment and recovery support services in the community.

“When we began the journey to offer behavioral health services in 2015 our vision was simple – to provide support to those in need and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health,” said Greg D. Gerard, Baptist Health Richmond president.

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“Our vision remains the same today. We are and will continue to be committed to providing and enhancing behavioral health services for our community. The KORE grant will allow us the opportunity to advance our mission and we’re extremely excited about the additional services and resources we’re able to incorporate into the behavioral health services team due to our partnership with KORE,” Gerard continued.

The funds are from the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort through a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant.

“This partnership with Baptist Health allows for the expansion of life-saving, evidence-based treatment in the Richmond community,” said KORE Treatment Implementation Specialist Dr. Amanda Foley-Byard. “We are excited to see this standard of compassionate, science-based care reaching more Kentuckians.”

Grant funds will be used to enhance the services available to patients by expanding treatment access, hiring additional staff to support patients through their recovery, providing transportation assistance to seek care, providing targeted case management and peer support in in collaboration with Stepworks, increasing availability of Naloxone kits to care for patients and offering more continuing education for staff.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding opportunity, as it will further our vision of providing holistic services that enhance our behavioral health outreach efforts,” said Chris Holcomb, Baptist Health Assistant Vice President of Behavioral Health. “We desire to reduce health disparities with the ultimate goal to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and our communities.  The impact of this funding will be far reaching!”

Behavioral health – specifically curbing opioid abuse – is major focus for the nine-hospital Baptist Health system, headquartered in Louisville. System-wide efforts include pain management alternatives, provider education and providing easy ways for the public to safely dispose of unused medications.