NACCHO Awards More Than $450,000 to Support Local Harm Reduction Education Efforts

Apr 01, 2024

Washington, DC, April 1, 2024 – The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the voice of the country’s over 3,300 local health departments, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), awarded $454,053 in funding to pilot harm reduction outreach initiatives through academic detailing, a method providing one-on-one education to clinicians and other key messengers. The goal of this project is to improve the way people in target professions interact with, support, and empower people who use drugs to improve patient health outcomes. This funding cycle is part of the second iteration of NACCHO’s Harm Reduction Academic Detailing (HRAD) project.

Academic detailing is a well-established educational outreach method to improve clinicians’ knowledge of harm reduction and influence their behavior to enhance patient outcomes. Over the course of the HRAD project, these personalized visits can equip the populations selected to receive detailing (people from professions that have contact with people who use drugs) with critical supports, tools, and evidence to encourage behavior change among this population to integrate harm reduction into their practices via action-based key messages. Each award recipient will prioritize specific populations within their jurisdictions and engage people with lived and living experience to develop key messages and action kits for use in clinician education. These funds will equip sites to increase the awareness and knowledge of harm reduction among affected communities, help integrate sustainable harm reduction strategies into their community roles, and make harm reduction services accessible to people who use drugs.

The HRAD project award recipients are as follows:

Faith in Harm Reduction, NY ($59,612): Faith in Harm Reduction will complete academic detailing with faith leaders from the United Church of Christ (UCC), which serves 2,404 congregations in 13 states along the Appalachian Mountain range. As a result of this project, UCC faith leaders will make the following key behavioral changes: alter language used to reduce stigma, incorporate harm reduction messaging in sermons, understand the spectrum of substance use, identify and share harm reduction referrals and resources, and serve as a local touchpoint for inquiries and support for harm reduction resources.

Iowa Pharmacy Association, IA ($60,000): The Iowa Pharmacy Association will support local pharmacists to continue efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and HCV (hepatitis c) and promote overdose prevention. Academic detailing will enhance pharmacists’ understanding of harm reduction principles and how to employ evidence-based strategies, as well as connect patients to resources and expand supportive services for people who use drugs.

Mile High Behavioral Healthcare, CO ($49,343): Mile High Behavioral Healthcare will complete harm reduction academic detailing campaigns with Coloradan Drag Artists. Through this project, Mile High will leverage community leaders as informed health advocates in communities that have been disproportionately affected by various public health issues and underserved by public health interventions. The goal of this academic detailing project is to educate drag artists about harm reduction and overdose prevention, so these artists can integrate harm reduction messages into their art and incorporate harm reduction principles into LGBTQ+ nightlife. This novel approach to LGBTQ+ overdose prevention engages the Queer community in a way that has never been done before, especially in the field of academic detailing.

Positively Living Choice Health Network, TN ($45,287): Positively Living Choice Health Network, a non-profit specializing in harm reduction and medical care for people with living and lived experience in East Tennessee, will use academic detailing with nursing students, nurses, and nurse practitioners within the community who are most often the front-line staff working with this specific population. Detailing will include creating and updating local harm reduction resources, providing education on patient autonomy and patient centered care, and decreasing stigma surrounding substance use.

Rio Arriba County, NM ($60,000): Rio Arriba County will provide academic detailing with firefighters. The goal of this campaign is to incorporate harm reduction into their responses to overdose, community outreach and provision of care and to increase referrals to harm reduction resources and supportive services in the community.

SHRED The Stigma, OK ($60,000): SHRED The Stigma will complete academic detailing with physicians and healthcare providers that work closely with people who have substance use disorders. Academic detailing, with messaging developed by the community itself, will allow them to identify and address providers’ attitudes regarding the overdose epidemic. Education, through academic detailing, enables them to identify and address stigma against people who use drugs, creating a long-lasting impact in the fight against the overdose epidemic.

Community Outreach Intervention Projects- University of Illinois Chicago, IL ($59,811.44): Community Outreach Intervention Projects, a program from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, will complete academic detailing with internal medicine fellows and providers at UI Health. The key messages designed for the academic detailing program will include an emphasis on a continuum of recovery and includes individual health and wellness goals in provider/patient discussions and treatment plans to reduce the harms associated with substance use if a person is not ready to cease all use.

VelNonArt Transformative Health (VTH), CA ($60,000): VelNonArt Transformative Health, a Syringe Service Program servicing LA County, will complete academic detailing with workers at Adult Day Health Centers that serve people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness and have not received academic detailing on harm reduction practices. The goal of the academic detailing campaign will be to reduce the stigma attached to people who use drugs, while shifting toward using harm reduction practices when working with people who use drugs.

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About NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s over 3,300 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.


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