Funding takes opioid fight to new levels
Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) will receive some $5.3 million per year for the next three years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ramp up its efforts in the fight against the disease of addiction.
Called the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program, the grant focuses on the complex nature of the opioid overdose epidemic and will help fund the comprehensive public health approach toward reducing the epidemic’s damage. The funds will support recipients in obtaining high-quality, more comprehensive and timely data on overdose morbidity and mortality. The data will then be used to better focus on prevention and response efforts.
“For the past three years, we have been producing a daily report of overdose activity and emergency runs for overdoses,” says Tim Ingram, Hamilton County health commissioner. “The report helps our partners in healthcare, treatment and law enforcement prepare for activity and better manage their resources. This grant will allow us to continue to laser-focus our data for the most benefit to our partners, while ramping up prevention efforts,” Ingram added.
Jurisdictions receiving OD2A funds will focus on a number of strategies, including the following:
- Collecting and disseminating timely emergency department data about suspected overdoses involving opioids, heroin, stimulants and other drugs;
- Collecting and disseminating descriptions of drug overdose death circumstances using death certificates and medical examiner/coroner data;
- Implementing innovative surveillance activities to support interventions.
- Strengthening prescription drug monitoring programs;
- Establishing linkages to care;
- Improving state/local integration;
- Improving provider and health system support;
- Developing and promoting innovative prevention approaches;
- Improving partnerships with public safety and first responders;
- Empowering individuals to make safer choices.
“We have been performing the fundamentals of this program since the outset of the opioid epidemic,” Ingram continues. “This funding will provide us the resources to continue to leverage our partnerships for more timely and comprehensive data sets, while adding members to our linkage to care team. It is imperative that we provide treatment opportunities for those struggling with addiction so they can access the best, scientifically-proven methods to enter into recovery.”
HCPH will use the resources to add to its epidemiology team responsible for data collection, generation and maintenance. Data will also be used to study continuity of care – that is, what happens to people who enter treatment; why they drop out and how to re-engage those who have. The funds will also create new infrastructure within HCPH, beginning with growing the harm reduction team charged with working on all aspects of the opioid epidemic.
CDC is awarding funding to 47 states; Washington, D.C.; 16 localities; and two territories through the OD2A program. In Ohio, recipients of the grants in addition to HCPH are the Ohio Department of Health, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and Franklin County Board of Commissioners/Public Health.
Contact: Mike Samet
Posted by: Christy Cauley