The St. Francois County Health Center has been selected as a 2018-2019 Local Opioid Overdose Prevention and Response (LOOPR) awardee.
The Health Center will receive up to $100,000 from NACCHO (National Association of County and City Health Officials) and the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control to increase its capacity to respond effectively to the opioid epidemic at the local level.
The funding will help the health center work with community partners to develop an action plan and implement a community initiative to address the opioid epidemic in St. Francois County through academic detailing and other evidence-based strategies.
The health center held a meeting of the county opioid consortium at 1p.m. Tuesday at the Farmington Library in the Dayse Baker Conference Room to further explore the funding opportunity and continue the discussion started at their previous meeting in July. The group focused on identifying gaps in the county’s ability and capability to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts in St. Francois County.
“Obviously we were disappointed to not receive the previous opioid response grant we applied for back in September,” Amber Elliott, St. Francois County Health Center assistant director, said. “But Director Jessica McKnight and I never stopped looking for funding to help our community address this problem.”
“In October we worked on gathering data to submit a determination of need request to the CDC that supported our need for funding to address opioid use disorder,” Elliott said. “Our data was reviewed by a panel of experts and we received a determination of need from the CDC. St. Francois County is currently the only jurisdiction in the state of Missouri that has submitted a determination of need request.”
The health center was contacted by NACCHO in late November about the LOOPR funding opportunity and after several conference calls was notified right before the holidays about the award.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. Drug overdoses are currently the leading cause of unintentional injury in the United States. The impact of the opioid epidemic has been seen in our community. St. Francois County was among the top counties in the nation recently identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at risk for HIV and Hepatitis C infections due to injection drug use.
"St. Francois County’s drug overdose rate (36/100,000) is higher than the US average (19.8/100,000)," Elliott said. "We have seen increases in reports of injection drug use and heroin use in substance use treatment admissions, increases in drug-related hospitalizations, and in arrests for both adults and juveniles for drug-related offenses"
For more information on the opioid consortium please contact Elliott at 573-431-1947 ext. 113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.