10 Hawaii health centers receive over $1.6 million to fight opioid crisis

HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently announced they will award $1.67 million in funding to 10 Hawaii health centers in an effort to combat the opioid crisis. The funding is part of $400 million awarded to HRSA-funded community health centers, rural organizations, and academic institutions across the country.

$200 million of the total funding will go to 1,208 health centers through the Integrated Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program to increase access to treatment and prevention services for substance use disorders and mental health conditions.

 

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In Hawaii, the ten health centers will each receive $167,000 in grant money.

 

 

One of the awardees, Bay Clinic, Inc. in Hilo, says the new funding will be used to support their behavioral health services through activities like professional development and training, pain management, telehealth advancement, and the continued development of other health information technology. They will also use the funding for workforce development so that clinicians are able to provide care in underserved communities.

$111 million of the $400 million in HRSA funding will go to 96 rural organizations in 37 states as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), $70 million will go to Opioid Workforce Expansion Programs (OWEP), and $17 million will go to Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Programs.  

There were no Hawaii organizations included in the list of RCORP and OWEP awards. However, I Ola Lahui in Honolulu received $417,309 through the GPE program “to plan, develop, operate, or maintain graduate programs in behavioral health practice to train psychologists to work with underserved populations.

“Health centers and behavioral health providers are on the front lines of the fight against the opioid crisis and substance abuse, especially in rural communities,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a statement announcing the $400 million. “With our evidence-based strategy, HHS is working to support local communities in fighting back against substance abuse, and our united efforts are yielding results. Together, we can end our country’s opioid crisis and lay a foundation for a healthier country where every American can access the mental healthcare they need.”