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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2015
Contact: HRSA Press Office
301-443-3376

Grants aim to reduce opioid overdoses in rural communities

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today $1.8 million to support rural communities in reducing morbidity and mortality related to opioid overdoses. 

The Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (ROOR) Grant Program supports the purchase and placement of naloxone (a drug that reverses symptoms of a drug overdose), and training for its use by licensed healthcare professionals and emergency responders in rural areas.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the effects of prescription opioid abuse are more prominent in rural communities. In 2013, drug overdose rates for deaths involving prescription opioids were higher in rural counties compared to urban counties.

“Opioid injuries and overdoses are very real and have a devastating impact on far too many families,” said Secretary Burwell. “But there are actions we can take to save lives and turn these trends around. This funding is critical to getting naloxone into the hands of the people who can use it to save lives, reducing opioid related deaths in rural communities across this country and curbing the opioid epidemic.”

The pilot program, developed by HHS’ Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will support partnerships formed at the local level to coordinate care.  As a primary requirement of the grant, each awardee must be part of a rural partnership comprising two or more organizations representing local emergency responders, health facilities, academic organizations, fire departments, law enforcement, and other non-profit or for-profit entities involved in the prevention and treatment of opioid overdoses.  The partnerships will collaborate to increase the availability and use of naloxone in rural communities with emphasis on the importance of referring those with an opioid use disorder to an appropriate substance use disorder treatment center.  Each of the 18 recipients, representing 13 states, will be awarded $100,000 over one year.

“The incidence of opioid overdoses in rural communities is alarming,” noted HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae.  “This funding will help communities save lives and direct those who need help to available services.”

Secretary Burwell has made addressing opioid abuse, dependence, and overdose a priority and work is underway within HHS on this important issue.  The evidence-based initiative focuses on three promising areas: informing opioid prescribing practices, increasing the use of Naloxone, and using medication-assisted treatment to move people out of opioid addiction.  The Obama Administration is also committed to combatting the prescription drug and heroin epidemic, proposing significant investments to intensify efforts to reduce opioid use disorder.

For more information on FORHP’s rural programs, visit http://www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth/index.html.    A list of grant awards follows.

FY 2015 Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (ROOR) Program Grants

Grantee City State Award
SAN LUIS VALLEY AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CTR.  INC. Alamosa

CO

$100,000

CLAY COUNTY HOSPITAL Flora

IL

$100,000

SCOTTSVILLE ALLEN COUNTY FAITH COALITION, INC. Scottsville

KY

$100,000

BAYSTATE FRANKLIN MEDICAL CENTER Greenfield

MA

$100,000

MAINEGENERAL MEDICAL CENTER Augusta

ME

$100,000

DOWNEAST AIDS NETWORK INC. Ellsworth

ME

$100,000

DIVERSION ALERT Houlton

ME

$100,000

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE Bemidji

MN

$100,000

FULL CIRCLE RECOVERY CENTER, LLC Franklin

NC

$100,000

GRANVILLE-VANCE DISTRICT HEALTH DEPT. Oxford

NC

$100,000

DESERT VIEW REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER HOLDINGS, LLC Pahrump

NV

$100,000

COUNTY OF ERIE Sandusky

OH

$100,000

QUAPAW TRIBE OF OKLAHOMA Quapaw

OK

$100,000

PENN HIGHLANDS HEALTHCARE DuBois

PA

$100,000

IUP RESEARCH INSTITUTE Indiana

PA

$100,000

MAURY REGIONAL HOSPITAL Columbia

TN

$100,000

PLEASANT VALLEY HOSPITAL, INC. Point Pleasant

WV

$100,000

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS INC. Princeton

WV

$100,000

     

$1,800,000

The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: September 17, 2015

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