Governor Cooper today announced $1.5 million in grant awards to 12 community partners to implement projects that combat the opioid crisis by advancing the goals of the NC Opioid Action Plan.
The one-time, state-funded grants of up to $150,000 from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services enable partner organizations to implement activities in their community which improve access to harm reduction, treatment and recovery supports.
“Community efforts to turn the tide on the opioid crisis deserve our support,” Gov. Cooper said. “These grants are another example of the collaborative effort we need to fight opioid overdoses, save lives, and connect people to treatment statewide.”
Awardees include the following local health departments, federally qualified health centers and community non-profit agencies:
- Appalachian District Health Department and the Watauga County Sheriff's Office (Serving Watauga, Ashe, and Allegheny counties)
- Appalachian Mountain Community Health Center (Serving Jackson, Graham, and Buncombe counties)
- Bakersville Community Medical Clinic, Inc. (Serving Mitchell, Yancey, Avery, and McDowell counties)
- C. W. Williams Community Health Center (Serving MecklenburgAnson, Cabarrus, Gaston, and Union counties)
- Fayetteville Area Health Education Foundation, Inc. /Southern Regional Area Health Education Center (Serving Cumberland, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Greene, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Moore, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrell, Washington, and Wayne counties)
- Haywood Pathways Center (Serving Haywood County)
- Johnston County Public Health Department (Serving Johnston County)
- Lumbee Tribe of NC (Serving Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke, and Scotland counties)
- Metropolitan County Health Services, Inc. (Serving Martin and Beaufort counties)
- Public Health Authority of Cabarrus County/ Cabarrus Health Alliance (Serving Cabarrus, Rowan, and Mecklenburg counties)
- Scotland County Health Department (Serving Scotland County)
- Wayne County Health Department (Serving Wayne County)
“These grants will provide local organizations with funding to make real changes in their communities,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “The overwhelming number of applications received shows there is significant need in communities across our state for funding and support to combat this epidemic.”
DHHS received 99 applications with projects covering all 100 counties across the state, with a total request of more than $12.5 million. Activities supported by the funding include:
- Funding certified peer support specialists and North Carolina certified peer support training.
- Connecting people involved in the justice system to harm reduction, treatment, and recovery supports, including establishing or expanding pre-arrest diversion programs like Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD).
- Establishing post-overdose reversal response teams to prevent repeat overdose and connect those who have had a non-fatal overdose to harm reduction, treatment, and recovery supports.
- Training first responders, community members, or others on naloxone administration.
- Creating or expanding syringe exchange programs including referral networks for naloxone access and treatment services.
- Providing training on substance use disorders, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and naloxone administration to audiences that interact with people with substance use disorders and individuals receiving MAT.
- Projects were selected competitively based on factors including the potential impact, the assessment of need, organizational sustainability, and evidence of collaboration and community support.
“Effective community-based actions are critical to combatting the ongoing opioid epidemic,” said Jennifer Greene, Health Director at the Appalachian District Health Department, one of the organizations receiving a grant. “This grant will help build capacity to respond effectively to the epidemic in Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga counties, increasing the number of people we can connect to services.”
The NC Opioid Action Plan was launched in June 2017, with collaboration from stakeholders across the state. The plan identified key strategies to combat the opioid epidemic, including expanding treatment and recovery oriented systems of care, making naloxone widely available, and linking overdose survivors to care.