The grant, awarded by RIZE Massachusetts, is part of the organization’s inaugural “Saving Lives, Improving Health: Redesigning Opioid Use Disorder Care” program. The goal of the grant program is to establish or expand systems of low threshold, on-demand treatment to prevent death, support long term treatment and improve health and quality of life.
Rural western Massachusetts demonstrates a high need in a low-resourced area, according to a news release about the grant. The region has a lower rate of admissions into Department of Public Health-funded treatment programs, and has been disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic. The Center for Human Development (CHD) is the largest social service agency in western Massachusetts and delivers social and behavioral health services to 25,000 people per year.
CHD’s services include outpatient counseling for substance use disorder and a residential recovery program for women.
In collaboration with the Community Health Center of Franklin County in Greenfield, CHD will use the grant funding to develop a rural-based, comprehensive treatment plan using the “hub and spoke” model. The program will support a network of primary care providers using medication-assisted treatment, and create a hub to coordinate complex opioid addiction and dependence and co-occurring disorder care.
Jim Goodwin, president and CEO of CHD, said the grant will be used to pull all key stakeholders in the area together to talk about designing a system that would work to reduce problems related to opioid deaths and hospitalization in the area.
“What we have now is a situation with lots of different services, but the connections need some work,” he said. “For the most part, people are under distress when all of this is going on, and what we need to do is organize and focus the services so we create a continuum.”
Goodwin said people in recovery need detox, short-term medical treatment, residential treatment, sober homes and other services — most of which are offered locally.
“What this grant will do is pull all of those people together, including people from the courts, people from social service agencies, people from government, people from the schools, emergency departments, hospitals, primary care practices,” he said. “We can take a look at what’s available and begin to design a coordinated set of services that will make it easier for people to access them and to tie them in at the right time.”
CHD will also plan comprehensive treatment programs for individuals reentering the community from correctional facilities.
RIZE chose six organizations in the state from a broad pool of applications to award a total of $300,000. The grants are part of a $2.3 million, two-year program to improve treatment and recovery for people at the greatest risk of opioid overdose.
Article by Aviva Luttrell, Recorder Staff. Originally appeared on the Greenfield Recorder on December, 22, 2017. http://www.recorder.com/Center-for-Human-Development-awarded-grant-to-better-coordinate-opioid-addiction-recovery-services-14478403