Helping Hand:EBNHC Receives U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid Grant

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center recently received a grant from the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help the Health Center expand patient access to quality substance use disorder and mental health services.

EBNHC will share in over $1 billion in opioid-specific grants nationwide to help combat the crisis ravaging the state and country. The EBNHC grant supports HHS’s Five-Point Opioid Strategy, which was launched last year and enhanced last month.

The Health Center will receive $269,561 towards its ongoing successful opioid treatment programs that includes integrated mental health services.

“We are so thrilled to have the support of the US Department of Health and Human Services” said Michael Mancusi, Chief Behavioral Health Officer at EBNHC.  “The Health Center is fully committed to helping our community in combating the opioid crisis and additional resources will help us greatly.”

Manny Lopes, President and CEO of EBNHC was very appreciative of the grant.

“We could not do the work that we do without the help of our friends in federal government,” said Lopes. “In particular, they have really stepped up to provide funding which will help empower communities and families directly in addressing the opioid epidemic, not just here in East Boston, but throughout the nation.  We greatly appreciate their support.”

The grant to EBNHC aims to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment using the three Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder.

EBNHC has run the widely successful MAP (Medication Assisted Pathway) program that helps Health Center patients combat their addiction to opioids. MAP is EBNHC’s  treatment plan for opioid dependence that includes heroin and narcotic painkillers. In this program, physicians and behavioral health providers work together to manage each patient’s care.

“Addressing the opioid crisis with all the resources possible and the best science we have is a top priority for President Trump and for everyone at HHS,” said Secretary Alex Azar. “The more than $1 billion in additional funding that we provided this week will build on progress we have seen in tackling this epidemic through empowering communities and families on the frontlines.”

HHS 5-point strategy to combat the opioids crisis: 1. Better addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services 2. Better data 3. Better pain management 4. Better targeting of overdose reversing drugs 5. Better research. More info on hhs.gov/opioids

“This week, HHS updated its strategic framework for tackling the opioid crisis, which uses science as a foundation for our comprehensive strategy,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health and Senior Advisor for Opioid Policy. “With these new funds, states, tribes, and communities across America will be able to advance our strategy and continue making progress against this crisis.”

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