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Michigan AHEC awarded HRSA funding to address opioid crisis

November 14, 2018

The Michigan Area Health Education Center recently received a one-year $230,000 grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for workforce training to support opioid use disorder diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The funds will be divided among Michigan AHEC's five regional centers for activities that help address unique aspects of the opioid crisis in their regions.

The Mid-Central Regional Center plans to conduct training on behavioral health integration with a focus on opioid misuse and abuse among tribal populations. The center will serve as the title sponsor for a conference on the opioid crisis with a specific focus on native populations in partnership with Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal leaders. This event will include objectives that target advance action steps for new and innovative methods of grass roots community-based treatment, development of new and non-traditional community-based access points, community participation in native healing therapies, and emphasize early prevention and intervention for Native American youth who reside in tribal and non-tribal communities.

The Western Michigan Regional Center will conduct training for three groups: pre-professionals, health care professionals and community health workers. The pre-professional training concerns behavioral health integration with a focus on opioid misuse and abuse. The professional training will increase access to treatment interventions for physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

Buprenorphine is an evidence-based pharmacological treatment that can be used as a part of an opioid dependency treatment plan. To prescribe or dispense Buprenorphine, health care providers must first complete a training program and obtain a health care provider waiver. This project will develop and provide the necessary education required to obtain a health care provider waiver to support the drug enforcement application to prescribe this medication.

The community health worker training will focus on substance use disorder training, including strategies to address prescription opioid misuse and addiction in rural and underserved communities.

The Upper Peninsula Regional Center will provide pre-professional training on behavioral health integration with a focus on opioid misuse and abuse. The goal of the project is to train a total of 80 nursing and social work students using the Mental Health First Aid Training program. The training will also address sustainability by having four faculty members complete a train-the-trainer workshop. MHFA is an evidence-based, eight-hour mental health and substance use disorder awareness training class.

The Northern Lower Regional Center activity involves behavioral health integration with a focus on opioid misuse and abuse, and community health worker training on substance use disorder, including strategies to address prescription opioid misuse and addiction in rural and underserved communities. The goal of the project is to train health professionals and health professions students during the next year using the Mental Health First Aid Training program. The training will also address sustainability by having one or more staff members complete a train-the-trainer workshop.

The Southeast Regional Center will focus on behavioral health integration with an emphasis on opioid misuse and abuse for community health workers, health providers and youth. The center will support several workshops and continuing education events with supplemental funding. Community health worker training on substance use disorder will be conducted and will include strategies to address prescription opioid misuse and addiction in rural and underserved communities. Center representatives will also work with youth and the general community by conducting opioid use disorder outreach in community-based settings.
The center is partnering with the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority and Project Recovery to focus on training Detroit Public Schools Community District and communities on substance use disorder and opioid addiction.

The Michigan AHEC program, overseen by the Wayne State University School of Medicine and College of Nursing, is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number U77HP26852.

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