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URMC Psychiatry Dept. awarded $6.7 million grant to fight rural opioid abuse

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A $6.7 million federal grant will help the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Rochester Medical Center to help rural communities use evidence-based practices to overcome opioid abuse. (WCYB file photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A $6.7 million federal grant will help the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Rochester Medical Center to help rural communities use evidence-based practices to overcome opioid abuse.

The award is one of the three given to Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorder in the country. The grant comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will be disseminated over the course of three years.

Leaders in substance use disorder and rural medicine from the UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence will partner with community leaders and health care providers across 23 counties in New York, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Using evidence-based practices, the UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence aims to fight against the opioid epidemic in those rural areas.

“Part of our charge involves looking beyond the crisis, at the underlying factors like pain management, economic despair, education and opportunity, which may lay a foundation in which epidemics like this can take hold,” said Michele Lawrence, associate vice president of Regional Development for URMC. “We need to think about how to better prevent and respond to those conditions, in order to foster the hope patients, families and communities need to move forward leading healthy, productive lives.”

The UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence's efforts will be focused in New York's Southern Tier, along with the southern tip of Ohio, the Southern Coalfields region of West Virginia, and the Mountain and Kentucky River regions of Kentucky.

Webinars will begin in the spring to review evidence-based best practices. A website will follow.

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