Submitted by Trish Burchette
Early last month, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy awarded $24 million for the second round of Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) planning grants.
Recipients across 40 states will now receive $200,000 for one year to formalize partnerships with local stakeholders, conduct needs assessments, and develop plans to implement and sustain substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions.
That is, of course, great news for the Johnson County A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition, just one of the 120 recipients nationwide to receive the grant.
“RCORP-Planning is part of a multi-year initiative by HRSA to support treatment for and prevention of SUD/OUD,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “The goal is to reduce the morbidity and mortality of the diseases in high-risk rural communities.”
Associate Administrator for the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Tom Morris added, “Rural communities continue to face several challenges in accessing SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”
“The A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition has been a part of Johnson County for over ten years, and the grant will help us connect with all sectors of our community in an even more targeted approach to be able to openly discuss what will help our community better serve its residents,” said A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition Executive Director, Trish Burchette. “We applied for this grant in January as part of our initiative to replace funds from the Drug-Free Communities Grant, which after this, our 10th year, we will no longer be eligible to receive. We are very excited to be able to continue our work in our community alongside our grant partners, the Johnson County School System, Ballad Health, Johnson County Ministerial Alliance and the Johnson County Health Department.”
Director of Schools Michelle Simcox stated “We are very thankful for the partnership we have with Action Coalition and all of the wonderful things they do for the students of Johnson County. We look forward to working with them on the HRSA grant.”
Andrew Norman, Associate/youth pastor of First Christian Church said, “We, as the alliance of churches in Johnson County, are excited for what A.C.T.I.O.N has done for our community, and we are looking forward to what they will do in future, especially with this newest grant.
Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor was also pleased with the announcement, praising both the organization and Burchette’s efforts.
“First of all, I am very proud of the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition for their dedication to end the opioid problem we face in Johnson County,” Taylor said. “Trish Burchette and her staff have worked very hard on this grant, so I am very pleased to hear they have received the $200,000. The funds from this grant can really make a difference in our county, and I am sure the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition will do some remarkable things with this grant.”
For more information on A.C.T.I.O.N and what they are doing in our community, please visit their website at www.actioncoalition.org, or check out our facebook page facebook.com/ACTIONcoalitionTN/
Stop by our office at 138 East Main St. Mountain City across from Tri-State or call us at 423-727-0780.