Indiana University receives grant for rural communities opioid response planning

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three Indiana University centers will receive $45,000 of a $200,000 federal Health Resources and Services Administration planning grant as part of the Indiana Rural Opioid Consortium.

The Indiana Rural Health Association is convening the consortium to collaborate on plans to address opioid abuse in rural Indiana communities. The consortium includes the Center for Rural Engagement at IU Bloomington, the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy at the IU School of Medicine, and the Center for Public Health Practice at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI.

A person hands out naloxone samples at a table at the IU Grand Challenge naloxone training in 2018.View print quality image
Naloxone samples are handed out during the IU Grand Challenge naloxone training at IUPUI's Hine Hall in September 2018. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

The consortium supports prevention and treatment for substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder in the rural Indiana counties that are among the 220 counties across the U.S. identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being at risk for HIV and hepatitis C infections due to injection drug use.

The Indiana Rural Health Association created the consortium composed of experts to develop a comprehensive plan to address four areas:

  • Increasing awareness of best practices for opioid use disorder treatment through targeted education efforts.
  • Increasing access to available treatment options, including new telehealth options.
  • Building additional recovery communities in the targeted counties.
  • Creating initiatives and programs to reduce the stigma associated with addiction resulting from the opioid crisis.

The consortium will also identify strengths and gaps in existing programs and additional means to expand continuity of opioid use disorder care that includes medication-assisted treatment and waivers available through the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, as well as other recovery initiatives.

"Even with increased national attention and the addition of select prevention and treatment facilities throughout Indiana, opioid use disorders remain a chronic, persistent and very serious public health concern in the state, including rural areas," Indiana Rural Health Association Executive Director Don Kelso said.

Indiana University will identify opportunities and gaps in prevention and treatment, a workforce plan, and a framework for community-based programs to address stigma. Additionally, IU will promote academic programs and activities, develop educational materials and curricula, and facilitate professional development initiatives to connect providers and peer recovery leaders to the training they need to positively impact opioid issues in Indiana.

The Center for Rural Engagement at IU Bloomington improves the lives of Hoosiers through collaborative initiatives that discover and deploy scalable and flexible solutions to common challenges facing rural communities. Working in full-spectrum community innovation through research, community-engaged teaching and student service, the center builds vision, harnesses assets and cultivates sustainable leadership structures within the communities with which it engages to ensure long-term success.

The Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, serves to advance policies that improve human health and well-being through commitment to service and research contributions. The Bowen Center is dedicated to advancing this mission through a partnership with the state of Indiana and collaboration with a myriad of stakeholders, including health professional training programs, provider organizations and nonprofit agencies at local, state and national levels.

The Center for Public Health Practice at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI helps practitioners by increasing local public health value in Indiana through public health accreditation preparedness; providing technical assistance to local health departments around community-identified public health needs; enhancing workforce capacity building through authentic, community-centered learning opportunities for public health students; and supporting the Indiana Public Health Practice Council, an inclusive, statewide group that brings together representatives from state universities, associations, public health practice and policy-making bodies.

Indiana University has made it a priority to bring IU experts and resources to bear to help combat the devastating effects of addiction. IU's Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge engages a broad array of IU's world-class faculty, as well as business, nonprofit and government partners, to create a comprehensive plan to reduce deaths from addiction, ease the burden of addiction on Hoosier communities, and improve health and economic outcomes. This collaborative, statewide initiative is the nation's largest and most comprehensive university-led response to the opioid addiction crisis.

Media Contact

Kyla Cox-Deckard

IU Center for Rural Engagement

Phone: 812-855-4992

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Email: knblanke@indiana.edu

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