August 12, 2019
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Maine has received a total of $5,997,351 to help combat the opioid crisis. The investments will enable Maine community health centers, rural organizations, and academic institutions to establish and expand access to integrated substance use disorder and mental health services. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.
“The opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across the state, claiming the life of nearly one Mainer per day on average last year,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This important funding will give Mainers who are struggling with substance use disorders access to the treatment programs they need to achieve recovery and healing.”
The funding was awarded as follows:
MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, MaineHealth in Portland, and Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor each received $1 million to support prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.
The University of Maine received $492,351 to enhance community-based training for students preparing to become behavioral health professionals with a focus on opioid use disorder and prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
The following 15 Maine community health clinics each received $167,000 to help increase access to high quality integrated mental health and substance abuse disorders services, including opioid use disorder:
· Bucksport Regional Health Center
· D.F.D. Russell Medical Center, Inc.
· Eastport Health Care Inc.
· Fish River Rural Health
· Harrington Family Health Center
· Health Access Network, Inc.
· Healthreach Community Health Centers
· Katahdin Valley Health Center
· Maine Mobile Health Program, Inc.
· Penobscot Community Health Center
· Pines Health Services
· Portland Community Health Center
· Regional Medical Center At Lubec Me Inc.
· Sacopee Valley Health Center
· Sebasticook Family Doctors
The funding provided by HHS was authorized through the 21st Century Cures Act, which was championed by Senators Collins and King and signed into law in December 2016. That Act included five provisions authored by Senator Collins.
Last year, a sweeping opioids package known as the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act was signed into law. Senator Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee, authored two provisions included in the final legislation that will help to ensure that unused prescription drugs do not fall into the wrong hands and to bolster peer support networks for long-term recovery. The legislation also included provisions reflecting King-led provisions to expand opioid treatment capabilities, including a permanent authorization for nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to medication-assisted treatment and removing an arbitrary limit to allow residential treatment facilities to expand their efforts to save lives.