MEDFORD, Ore. — Local health professionals are better armed to combat the opioid crisis in Southern Oregon after receiving a $295,000 grant, according to a statement from Rogue Community Health (RCH).
RCH said that it has slated the grant money for the renovation of their health center at 19 Myrtle Street in Medford — with the intention of having the resources to better facilitate medication-assisted treatment, behavioral health counseling, and the care of patients with substance use disorders. It also plans to hire additional staff to meet rising demand.
“There is still so much work to be done,” said Daniel Weiner, DO, Chief Medical Officer for RCH. “This funding will help RCH greatly enhance access to both addiction and mental health services in our community."
The Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) awarded $352 million to a total of 1,232 health centers — 25 of which are in Oregon, according to RCH.
These grants are earmarked for expanding access to those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders, and represents an effort to address the opioid crisis across the U.S. — part of the Department of Health & Human Resources and Services Administration's "Five-Point Opioid Strategy," which began last year.
Jackson County issued a "yellow alert" on September 27 in response to a spike in reports of accidental overdoses from illegal opioid drugs — all of them non-fatal, thanks in large part to the drug Naloxone (Narcan), which first responders now keep on hand to reverse the effects of potentially lethal overdoses.