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The grants are part of the administration’s continuing focus on rural health initiatives.
Today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded more than $101 million to 116 organizations in order to address substance use disorders (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD).
The awards from the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will go to organizations in 42 states, particularly in highly afflicted rural communities. HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy supported 89 rural organizations in 38 states with $89 million as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation).
"President Trump has focused on expanding access to treatment for Americans with substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder, and that commitment continues during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Alex Azar, MD, secretary of HHS. "The pandemic has created particular stresses for many Americans struggling with substance use disorders, and these HRSA awards will help strengthen prevention, treatment, and recovery services, especially in rural America, at this difficult time."
Award recipients will utilize the funding to expand service delivery for SUD and OUD in their communities, as well as create a set of core SUD and OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery activities through evidence-based or favorable practice models, specified for their community’s needs.
The grants follow a recent series of 4 executive orders on drug pricing that directed Azar to take action to lower costs for patients on prescription drugs, especially high-risk patients living in rural areas, who are disproportionately affected by preventable diseases compared with patients living in urban areas.
"These RCORP-Implementation grants are an essential part of HRSA's overall efforts in helping to combat the opioid epidemic in the rural areas of our country," said Tom Engels, administrator at HRSA.
"In addition, behavioral health paraprofessionals play a critical role in taking care of youth and families struggling with substance use disorder and opioid use disorder. This HRSA funding gives trainees the chance to learn in the communities and with the families that most urgently need their services," he said.
A list of the award recipients can be found here.