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Health centers get grants to expand substance abuse and mental health treatments

September 26, 2018

Two Douglas County community health centers were recently awarded grants to expand access to treatment for substance use and mental health treatment.

From the $7.16 million that was approved for health centers in Oregon, Adapt will receive $330,500 and Umpqua Community Health Center will get $285,000.

Umpqua Community Health Center officials said they were eligible for the grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration because the clinic is designated as a nonprofit and Federally Qualified Health Center.

“Given the significant need for substance use and mental health resources in the area, coupled with our experience delivering these types of interventions, it made sense for us to apply for this type of funding,” said Umpqua Health Center spokesman Mark Tsuchiya.

Tsuchiya said the efforts to enhance and expand care come at the perfect time, while the clinic is working with a group of community organizations to establish a rural family medicine residency program. Part of that, he said, will include curriculum on addiction medicine, which is an area of clinical focus that few family medicine residency programs offer.

Tsuchiya said the HRSA has identified Douglas County as a “medical health professional shortage area.” The health center plans to use the grant to hire a full-time licensed clinical social worker to improve access to counseling and behavioral therapy. Some of the money will also go for training to certify more providers to offer medication-assisted therapy. They hope to expand the services, not only in Roseburg, but also in outlying clinics in Sutherlin, Myrtle Creek and Glide.

The grant for Adapt will be used to focus on the treatment, prevention and awareness of opioid abuse at SouthRiver Community Health Center in Winston.

Behavioral Health Program Director Dr. Cora Hart said the grant will be used to increase staffing at SouthRiver to support access to promising non-opioid treatment options for patients with certain chronic pain conditions.

“The opiate crisis is big, and this allows us to get kind of creative in how we’re approaching it,” Hart said. “So it becomes much more than just not prescribing a medication that is unsafe because it gives us the opportunity to really think about how we can offer the best treatment for our patient.”

The center has already started recruiting for one position and plans to get started implementing the expansion of the programs as soon as possible.

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