The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities has awarded $332,601 to Marshall Research Corporation from a State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis supplemental grant. The federal funding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will be used to build and strengthen the infrastructure that supports the long-term recovery of individuals with opioid use disorder and reduce opioid overdose deaths in the state.
The grant will support a pilot project in Cabell and Kanawha counties with a goal of designing and executing a strategy that serves, educates, and treats individuals with opioid use disorders from identification in the emergency department through and beyond initial stages of addiction treatment and recovery. The funding also allows for the establishment of telehealth services to better assist West Virginia’s rural areas.
“DHHR is pleased to partner on this innovative community project, which will enable many residents to achieve long-term recovery and become engaged members of society,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch. “With collaborative initiatives such as this, West Virginia will continue to make progress in the ongoing fight against substance use.”
Individuals with opioid use disorder who seek treatment through a hospital emergency department will be linked with peer recovery coaches for support, offered the option of medication assisted treatment while in the emergency department and referred to community-based treatment and recovery services under a program called Project Engage. Individuals will additionally be referred to a unique community-based one-stop-shop program called PROACT (Provider Response Organization for Addiction Care and Treatment) to address the clinical, behavioral, spiritual and professional issues of those affected by the epidemic of substance use.
Partner institutions include Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center and Marshall Health, which have each committed financial and human resources to the collective organization. Additionally, Thomas Health and Valley Health have become members of PROACT, extending and expanding the reach of the partnership. PROACT, a non-profit organization, will rely on funding from its founding institutions, grant awards, business operations and private donations to sustain its efforts in the years to come.
“We are very excited to see this partnership of health care providers using their collective resources to address a very significant public health issue,” said Gene Preston, vice president at Cabell Huntington Hospital and president of the PROACT board of directors. “Our community’s strength is harnessed to make a substantial difference in this area.”
The project will be administered by the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health with oversight from DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.
“Linking individuals to resources in a timely manner and following them through their recovery journey is a valuable approach,” said Nancy Sullivan, Acting Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities. “This program will help assure early identification and an immediate and sustained response of skilled, empathic supports for opioid overdose survivors.”