The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be releasing a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for a new Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) initiative called RCORP-Implementation (HRSA-19-082).

Successful RCORP-Implementation award recipients will receive up to $1 million for a three-year period of performance to enhance and expand substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), service delivery in high-risk rural communities. Award recipients will implement a set of core SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis (PDF – 76 KB).

Award recipients are encouraged to leverage workforce recruitment and retention programs like the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). We encourage you to learn more about how to become an NHSC site and NHSC site benefits. NHSC-approved sites provide outpatient, primary healthcare services to people in health professional shortage areas.

All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, will be eligible to apply and all services must be provided in HRSA-designated rural areas (as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer). Applicants do not need to be current or former RCORP-Planning award recipients to apply for this funding opportunity.

The applicant organization must be part of an established network or consortium that includes at least three other separately-owned (i.e., different Employment Identification Numbers) entities. At least two of these entities must be located in a HRSA-designated rural area.

RCORP is a multi-year initiative by HRSA aimed at supporting treatment for and prevention of SUD/OUD. In FY18, HRSA awarded 95 grants to rural communities under the RCORP-Planning initiative and funded a technical assistance center to support RCORP award recipients. In FY19, in addition to the RCORP-Implementation awards, HRSA anticipates awarding a new round of RCORP-Planning grants and launching a pilot grant program aimed at expanding the number of small rural hospitals and clinics that provide medication-assisted treatment.

You can subscribe to receive updates on this and other funding opportunities through grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/manage-subscriptions.html. Potential applicants are encouraged to register early with grants.gov, SAM, and DUNS, as the registration process can take up to a month to complete.

For more information about RCORP, please contact Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. To learn more about how HRSA is addressing the opioid epidemic, visit https://www.hrsa.gov/opioids.

FDA approves prescription app for outpatient use disorder patients

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved a Mobile Medical application to help increase retention in outpatient treatment programs for opioid use disorder. The app can be downloaded to a patient’s mobile device with a prescription from his/her doctor to use while participating in an outpatient treatment program under the care of a health care professional, in conjunction with treatment that includes buprenorphine and contingency management.

“As part of our efforts to address the misuse and abuse of opioids, we’re especially focused on new tools and therapies that can help more people with opioid use disorder successfully treat their addiction,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Medical devices, including digital health devices like mobile medical apps, have the potential to play a unique and important role in contributing to these treatment efforts.”

The Associated Press: Clinic 1st In Virginia To Treat Opioid-Addicted Moms-To-Be

A Charlottesville clinic has become the first in the state to offer a treatment program specifically for pregnant women trying to break opioid addictions before they give birth.

“We were realizing that as the dependent population continued to grow, that the pregnant and addicted population would grow along with that,” said Dr. Christopher von Elten, a co-founder of Addiction Allies. “We kept asking why no one was addressing it, and we decided we would.” Many doctors and clinics are hesitant to offer medications to pregnant women addicted to opioids, said von Elten said, and it can be burdensome for providers to navigate necessary regulations. (Smith, 11/30)

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The Star Tribune: Opioid Epidemic Drives Thousands Of Minn. Kids Into Foster Care

The number of Minnesota children being removed from drug-addicted parents has reached crisis levels, flooding a state child welfare system that was already operating under heavy strains. As the opioid epidemic has tightened its grip on the Upper Midwest, drug abuse by parents has emerged as the eading reason why children are taken from their parents. Children have been removed from their families because of parental drug abuse on more than 6,000 occasions from 2015 to 2017, according to new data from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). (Serres, 12/1)

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