2018-11-08 / Community News

Doing good

SMHC receives grant to address opioid use


The Lacone Society, with members throughout Maine and New Hampshire, announced that the recipients of the Presidents Award for Man of the Year given in recognition of excellent service and outstanding commitment to the promotion of Laconian cultural values was shared this year by Michael Kalagias, right, and Peter Scontras, both of Saco. The Lacone Society presented the award and honored the men at a meeting held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Courtesy photo) The Lacone Society, with members throughout Maine and New Hampshire, announced that the recipients of the Presidents Award for Man of the Year given in recognition of excellent service and outstanding commitment to the promotion of Laconian cultural values was shared this year by Michael Kalagias, right, and Peter Scontras, both of Saco. The Lacone Society presented the award and honored the men at a meeting held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Courtesy photo) Southern Maine Health Care was named the recipient of a Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning grant through the Health Resources & Services Administration. The purpose of this grant is to support treatment for and prevention of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, in rural counties at the highest risk for substance use disorder.

SMHC was one of 95 grant awardees nationwide, and received $200,000 in support of the Rural York County Opioid Planning Project. The grant period began Sept. 30 and will end Sept. 29, 2019.

“In 2016, York County recorded the highest rate of naloxone administrations of any public health district in the state and in 2017, 20 percent of overdoses and 19 percent of opioid deaths in Maine were in York County,” said Dr. Jessika Morin, medical director of the SMHC Integrated Medication-Assisted Treatment Program, in a press release. “This grant provides funds to further address these issues affecting so many in York County and enhance the work underway through our “Integrated Medication-Assisted Treatment) Program.”

The program provides patients with access to acute and long-term treatment for opioid use disorder throughout the MaineHealth system. It combines medication and behavioral health therapy and ensures that patients who need intensive services receive care by providers with addiction training. Once stable and healthy, patients receive treatment from their primary care providers and integrated behavioral health clinicians.

“We are very excited to be leading the way in addressing these issues in York County,” said SMHC CEO Nate Howell. “This work will build upon the strong partnership that exists today between Southern Maine Health Care, Maine- Health and Maine Behavioral Healthcare, and improve the collaboration with our project partners. We are dedicated to improving access to care in our communities and see this collaborative work as another big step in addressing these needs.”

The planning grant will be used to bring together a consortium of community organizations to develop a strategic plan to identify opportunities and gaps in opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery and support services offered. Members include SMHC, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Nasson Health Care (affiliated with York County Community Action Corporation), Frannie Peabody Center, Kennebunk Police Department and North East Mobile Health Services.

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