Missouri will receive more than $14.7 million in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help communities address the opioid epidemic. As Labor/HHS chairman, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt has led efforts to increase resources for programs targeting the opioid epidemic.
Big Springs Medical Association, Inc. in Ellington received a $1 million grant to expand access to substance use disorder treatment and prevention services in rural areas. This funding is part of the $120 million provided in FY2019 for the rural health-related opioid response. Washington County Memorial Hospital in Potosi was also awarded a $1 million to helpght expand access to substance abuse use disorder treatmentand prevention services.
Big Springs Medical Association also received a $167,000 grant to expand access to mental health and substance use disorder services. Great Mines Health Center in Potosi was also awarded a $167,000 grant as well as South Central Mis- souri Community Health Center in Rolla.
“More than 1,100 Missourians lost their lives to opioid-related overdoses last year,” said Blunt. “Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control projects that, from 2017 to 2018, our state saw around a 16 percent increase in overdose deaths. This is nothing less than a public health crisis. This grant funding will help more people get the treatment they need, especially in rural areas. Our subcommittee has worked in a bipartisan way to make opioid-related programs a priority. As we work on next year’s funding bill, we will continue focusing resources where they are urgently needed to address the opioid epidemic.”
Blunt prioritized a total of $3.8 billion for opioid programs in the FY2019 Labor/HHS appropriations bill. Under Blunt’s chairmanship, funding for opioid-related Labor/HHS programs has increased by more than $3.5 billion over four years.
The grant funding also includes:
$1.56 Million in Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) Grants: Saint Louis University received $1,050,013 and St. Louis Community College received $514,170 from the OWEP program to train behavioral health care workers focused on opioid and other substance use disorders. OWEP is funded through the behavioral health workforce education and training program that received $75 million in the FY2019 bill.
$672,000 in Graduate Psychology Education Program Grants: The University of Missouri System received $400,739 and Saint Louis University received $271,450 to train doctor- al health psychology students, interns, and post-doctoral residents to provide prevention and treatment services for opioid and other substance use disorders in high-need areas.