August 07, 2020

Van Hollen, Cardin, Trone Announce Western Maryland Area Health Education Center to Receive $1 Million in Funding to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressman David Trone (all D-Md.) announced that Western Maryland Area Health Education Center will receive $1 million dollars in funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to help combat the worsening opioid crisis in the region.

The Western Maryland Area Health Education Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to improve access and quality of care in Western Maryland, servicing Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties, and portions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The funding comes through a $101 million grant to help states address substance use and opioid use disorders in high-risk communities.

“For too long, the opioid crisis has plagued communities in Maryland. Now, many are facing additional complications as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding directs support services to areas that have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. We will continue fighting for additional resources to address addiction and mental health issues in communities across Maryland,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Local organizations like the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center that are on the front lines of this public health crisis are being asked to do more with fewer resources as they respond to the challenges of COVID-19,” said Senator Cardin. “While communities are still battling the opioid crisis, stay-at-home orders and isolation due to COVID-19 have taken a toll on mental health and those with substance use disorders. Our local health centers must have the ability to address the specific needs of their residents, while keeping them safe from this virus.  With these funds, the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center will be able to continue to deliver quality substance use disorder treatment to patients in need and better address the priorities of Western Maryland residents.”

"The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening the addiction crisis in our country, placing millions of Americans at risk,” said Congressman David Trone, founder of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction. “Right now, we need to be getting resources in the hands of states to confront this crisis and help the communities that are most impacted by this disease. This funding for the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center will help the organization tailor their prevention and treatment methods to the communities they serve. I look forward to seeing this funding in action in Western Maryland.”

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services working to expand access to health care services to vulnerable Americans.