May 20, 2019

Van Hollen, Cardin, Trone Announce $200,000 Rural Communities Opioid Response Grant to the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Representative David Trone and (All D-Md.) announced $200,000 in funding from the Rural Communities Opioid Response Grant to the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center, located in Cumberland, Maryland.

“The opioid epidemic has plagued communities all across Maryland for far too long. This funding will help provide Western Maryland with the resources and flexibility needed to expand access to treatment for substance use disorders, reduce overdoses, and ultimately save countless lives,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “In addition to grant programs like this, last year Congress passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 to escalate our efforts to combat this public health crisis. Our work must continue until we win this fight – for those suffering from addiction and the children, families, and communities impacted.”

“The opioid and heroin epidemic is a public health crisis that hurts every state in our country, and every part of Maryland,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “Facing this challenge head-on means supporting those who have been directly affected and ensuring that they can recover, get back on their feet and support their families. This federal investment represents a commitment to that, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure the federal government remains an active partner in Maryland’s response to the opioid crisis.”

 “I’ve seen firsthand how hard the opioid epidemic has hit Allegany County,” said Rep. David Trone (MD-06), founder of the bipartisan Freshmen Working Group on Addiction in Congress. “This grant will provide financial support for Allegany County to develop comprehensive strategies tailored to their communities. All of us must work together in order to support those that need it most.”

“With a 2016 per-capita death rate second only to Baltimore City, Allegany County is on the front lines of the opioid epidemic ravaging our state, the Appalachian region, and the U.S. as a whole," said Susan Stewart, Executive Director of AHEC West. "Working through the Allegany County Opioid & Overdose Prevention Taskforce, this planning grant, Healing Allegany, will help the county identify and address gaps in  programs that are critical to not only beating addiction, but remaining drug-free.  We are grateful for this opportunity to help Allegany County fight opioid misuse and improve recovery services.”

The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) is a multi-year initiative supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to address barriers to access in rural communities related to substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD). This is the second year that grants have been awarded.