Health center granted $175,700 to fight opioid crisis

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A recent grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will help a Libby-area health facility face the opioid overdose crisis.

The Northwest Community Health Center received $175,700 out of approximately $200 million awarded to almost 1,200 health organizations and facilities, Maria A. Clemons, executive director of the center, said via email.

“We are planning to add additional professionals to our staff to expand access to substance abuse services,” she wrote.

Funding was awarded in every state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services, according to a news release.

The services are intended to help improve “treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse in the primary care setting by increasing personnel, leveraging health information technology and providing training,” the news release continues.

Almost 500 of the organizations receiving funding are, like Northwest Community Health Center, located in rural communities that are “more likely to have higher rates of overdose death, particularly from prescription opioid overdose,” the news release states.

The funding is part of a Department of Health and Human Services plan to address the opioid crisis by improving access to treatment and recovery services; targeting use of overdose-reversing drugs; better understanding the epidemic through better public health surveillance; supporting research on pain and addiction; and improving pain management.

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