FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chief, Government and Public Affairs
National Association of County and City Health Officials Awards New Overdose Response Project Funding
— Public Health Projects in Georgia, Missouri, New York, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia Receive Funding Ranging from $55,000 to $120,000 —
Washington, DC, January 26, 2021 — The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing the country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments, has awarded over $700,000 in funding to eight Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) efforts to help address the opioid crisis in their communities. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these funds will support eight ORS teams comprising community organizations and local health departments that will explore new collaborative approaches for combatting the opioid crisis through evidence-based, data-driven, opioid-involved overdose prevention interventions designed to address community challenges related to drug overdoses.
“During a pandemic, linking communities to care to address the opioid epidemic is even more of a challenge. NACCHO is honored to work with its health department members to prevent misuse, reduce overdose deaths, and build community resilience,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, NACCHO Chief Executive Officer. “Partnerships with the CDC, and the Overdose Response Strategy states, and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program will advance existing outreach and create new avenues of help and support in local communities most affected. We look forward to supporting these pilot sites to reduce the terrible impact of the opioid crisis and save lives.”
The ORS is a public health and public safety collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, supporting joint efforts to reduce overdose deaths at the local, state, and regional levels. Pilot projects will address drug overdose prevention strategies that engage both local public health and public safety and will be implemented in collaboration with the regional HIDTA program. Goals of the project include building the evidence base for effective overdose prevention and response interventions, improving response to the opioid overdose epidemic, and leveraging the ORS structure to enhance community-level public health and public safety collaborations. NACCHO and CDC will work closely with the ORS state teams in each funded pilot project site to develop, execute, and evaluate the pilots. The proposed projects in the eight funded locations are as follows:
Monongalia County Health Department, West Virginia; $105,966
The Monongalia County Health Department’s Quick Response Team (QRT) has connected over 300 individuals to treatment or services since its initiation in spring 2019, using a more uniform and data-driven process to evaluate where the program may be missing individuals who could benefit from services. Prevention strategies of the QRT include distributing naloxone and contact cards of services offered in the community and training to administer Naloxone and CPR. Goals include improving data sharing among public health and public safety partners to identify overdoses in a timely manner, enhancing response efforts to spikes in overdoses identified from ODMAP, and better use of data with statistical analysis and data visualization.
Springfield Turning Point Recovery Center, Vermont; $120,000
After successfully using a planning grant last year to set up the Springfield Outreach Project (SOP) the SOP will use implementation funds this year to expand the project to Bellows Falls, VT. The SOP engages individuals who experienced an overdose and had contact with the police or fire departments. A recovery team receives contact information from law enforcement about individuals who have experienced a non-fatal overdose or some other drug-related incident and follows up with those individuals to offer linkage to treatment, harm reduction services, ongoing coaching, housing assistance, and other social services.
Engaging Patients in Care Coordination Program, Missouri; $94,668
Missouri’s statewide Engaging Patients in Care Coordination (EPICC) Program serves as a bridge to support people making the transition through different stages of substance use disorder treatment. Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) connect individuals who recently experienced an overdose to recovery-oriented services. The goal of this project is to establish EPICC as a referral option for EMS providers. The program plans to hire both a care coordinator and a CPS to specifically manage referrals, partner with EMS, and connect clients to care.
The Courage Center, South Carolina; $118,750
The Courage Center (TCC) provides traditional and virtual recovery support services for people with substance use disorder and their family members. This grant builds off the Community Outreach Paramedic Education (COPE) program, which engages a team of a paramedic, peer support specialist, and law enforcement officer to conduct outreach visits and enroll individuals in treatment who have been administered Naloxone. The COPE program struggles to engage clients, so the Coordinated Overdose Response and Engagement (CORE) project will expand the COPE program by connecting it to a Recovery Community Organization providing broader access to treatment services and doing mobile outreach to all overdoses.
Metro Drug Coalition, Tennessee; $55,000
The Metro Drug Coalition (MDC) is partnering with Knox County public health and public safety to pilot the development and use of a cloud-based telehealth platform to host virtual Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) Team meetings, after the COVID-19 outbreak made convening in person to hold OFR team meetings no longer viable. MDC is a harm-reduction coalition comprising 18 organizations,
including first responders, syringe service providers, treatment and recovery providers, public safety, and community-based organizations. The grant will be used to create an advisory board of experts in OFRs, evaluation, and IT to work with a telehealth organization to develop the platform. The platform will be used to hold meetings, share documentation, record meeting information, and administer a user experience survey to evaluate and get feedback on the platform.
Grady Health Systems, Georgia; $55,000
Now in its third year of ORS pilot project funding, Grady Hospital’s Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) Program’s Post-overdose Outreach Program (POP) will partner with the Atlanta Police Department’s (APD) Training Academy and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Senior Coordinator of the State Opioid Response to teach a select group of police officers in crisis intervention, de-escalation techniques, identifying symptoms of opioid use and mental health crisis, the proper use of naloxone, and working within the community to build substance abuse prevention relationships through DBHDD’s State Opioid Adapted Response (SOAR) training.
North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, North Carolina; $55,000
The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) developed an overdose education and Naloxone distribution program with expert stakeholders during its first year of ORS pilot project funding. In the second year of funding, NCHRC secured MOUs with three additional jails, developed a rigorous evaluation, plan, and started implementing weekly jail classes. In the third year of funding, the goals of the project are to continue implementation efforts to provide education and outreach, increase evaluation efforts by collecting data on naloxone distributed, and assess program successes and barriers by surveying participants post-release, and conducting stakeholder interviews with sheriffs, healthcare personnel, and outreach specialists.
Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services, New York; $55,000
The Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services (CCCCS) joined the Albany County Corrections and Rehabilitative Services Center in their effort to provide MOUD and linkage to CCCCS’ Harm Reduction Re-Entry Wrap Around services for inmates with SUD last year as an ORS implementation project. In the first year, the project exceeded the initial objective to connect over 150 releasees to Re-Entry services, despite limitations from COVID-19. This year, the project will expand the follow-up survey period to six months in order to capture primary outcome events like relapse, arrest, overdose, and re-incarceration. Program objectives include multiple evaluation and community-engagement activities to develop strategies for improved use of the CCCCS Harm Reduction Re-Entry Services among racial and ethnic minorities. Another goal is to explore data sources to objectively capture the program’s long-term impact on overdose mortality and morbidity, as well as recidivism across criminal justice jurisdictions, and to administer a program experience survey to improve services for clients.