Public Health Projects in Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Vermont Awarded Up to $120,000 —
Washington, DC, March 22, 2022 — The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing the country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments, has awarded more than $450,000 in funding to six Overdose Response Strategy pilot projects to help address the opioid crisis in their communities. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these funds will support Overdose Response Strategy teams crossing the public health and public safety sectors 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.
The Overdose Response Strategy is a public health and public safety collaboration between the CDC and the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area 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 High Intensity Drug Trafficking 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 Overdose Response Strategy structure to enhance community-level public health and public safety collaborations. NACCHO and CDC will work closely with the Overdose Response Strategy state teams in each funded pilot project site to develop, execute, and evaluate the pilots. The proposed projects in the six funded locations are as follows:
The Courage Center, South Carolina; $119,477
The Courage Center has been awarded a second year of funding after receiving an Implementation Grant in 2020, during which The Courage Center and partners established the Coordinated Overdose Response and Engagement in Lexington. Through this post-overdose outreach program, Emergency Medical Services provided a pouch with resource cards and a prepaid cell phone to overdose survivors following naloxone administration. Within 72 hours, a recovery coach would call the phone provided in the pouch to offer survivors assistance accessing services like treatment, recovery, housing, and employment. Through the current Expansion Grant, The Courage Center will extend the reach of the Coordinated Overdose Response and Engagement program using mobile technology, develop partnerships with their local hospital, enhance their response to stimulant and polysubstance use, and focus community outreach in high-burden areas to increase successful linkages to treatment and recovery.
North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, North Carolina; $101,602
The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition previously received a Planning Grant, Implementation Grant, and Continuing Grant to develop, implement, and evaluate an overdose education and naloxone distribution program for jails in Cumberland, Catawba, and Haywood Counties in North Carolina. Through the current Expansion Grant, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition will support the expansion of overdose education and naloxone distribution through the development and deployment of a digital training course for use on jail tablets. Additionally, through the current round of funding, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition will continue their current use of outreach specialists in several jails and continue their evaluation efforts to identify program successes and barriers.
Springfield Turning Point Recovery Center, Vermont; $120,000
The Supportive Outreach Project has received funding as an Overdose Response Strategy Pilot Project for the third year in a row following a Planning Grant and Implementation Grant in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The Supportive Outreach Project will continue to build off this work and use the current Expansion Grant to extend the project to additional areas – Windsor and Windham Counties, VT. The Supportive Outreach Project is modeled after the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative; it engages people who have experienced an overdose and had contact with law enforcement or emergency medical services agencies within the greater Springfield, Vermont region. Survivors of overdoses are referred to a police social worker and a trained recovery coach from Turning Point Recovery Center who conduct outreach to offer linkage to treatment, harm reduction services, ongoing coaching, housing assistance, and other social services.
Fayette FACTOR, Georgia; $50,000
Fayette FACTOR will use their planning grant to expand their Opioid Accountability Court Program to provide early intervention for opioid possession with education, assessments for opioid use disorder and mental health, and treatment referrals. They will seek to replace the binary legal solution (incarceration or release) with an enhanced assessment, education, and referral to treatment process, and build capacity to apply this to a greater portion of the justice-involved community in Fayette County. Through this project, they will convene multidisciplinary stakeholders, study best practices, engage available technical assistance, and chart current legal, evaluation and diversion processes, with the aim of launching and subsequently evaluating a pilot program.
Maine Medical Education Trust, Maine; $42,188
Maine Medical Education Trust will use their planning grant to conduct a readiness assessment and Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat analysis with an aim of establishing Public Health and Safety Teams in all the counties across Maine. The Public Health and Safety Teams will work to reduce fatal and nonfatal overdoses across the state. During this project, Maine Medical Education Trust will identify and engage key public health and public safety leaders to form leadership teams in each county, as well as broader multidisciplinary stakeholders in each county including people from the healthcare, criminal justice, social service and transportation sectors; people in recovery; harm reduction service providers; and tribal communities. This project will support each Public Health and Safety Team to (1) increase knowledge and improve cross-sector collaboration, coordination, and shared accountability; (2) build an evidence-based library that can be used by future Public Health and Safety Teams in Maine and other states; and (3) identify service gaps and needs and make recommendations to implement and enhance programs and policies to the Governor’s Office of Opioid Response.
York Opioid Collaborative, Pennsylvania; $25,045
York Opioid Collaborative, in partnership with Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, will use their planning grant to develop a post-overdose multidisciplinary team to support and engage survivors of non-fatal overdoses, as well as their families, to reduce fatal overdoses. Through this project, York Opioid Collaborative will also build capacity for their multidisciplinary post-overdose outreach team by analyzing the barriers and challenges faced by people with substance use disorders and their families and will develop a shared understanding around the role of harm reduction.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local 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.