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Federal grant awarded for rural opioid response planning

HSHS St. Francis Hospital, Litchfield, was awarded a $200,000 federal grant to fund a one-year project that creates the Heroin Opioid Prevention Education (HOPE) Telehealth Consortium. This funding is provided for planning to support treatment for and prevention of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in several rural Illinois communities.

The grant is provided by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning Program. The federal grant awarded to St. Francis Hospital will be matched by $20,000 from the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation.

Jim Timpe, HSHS St. Francis Hospital President/CEO, commented, “We are pleased to be awarded this competitive grant. The overall project goal is for the HOPE Telehealth Consortium to conduct strategic and workforce planning to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses in high-risk rural communities.”

The project will begin June 1, 2019. Activities at St. Francis Hospital will include conducting a detailed needs assessment and analysis, developing a comprehensive strategic plan and workforce plan, and completing a sustainability plan. The long-term project goal is to strengthen organizational and infrastructural capacity to address prevention, treatment, and recovery.

The nine HOPE Telehealth Consortium partners carrying out the project include:

  • HSHS St. Francis Hospital (Litchfield, IL)
  • HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital (Breese, IL)
  • Locust Street Resource Center (Carlinville, IL)
  • Mason District Hospital (Havana, IL)
  • Illinois Telehealth Network (Litchfield, IL)
  • Illini Community Hospital/Blessing Health System (Pittsfield, IL)
  • HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital (Shelbyville, IL)
  • HSHS Medical Group (Springfield, IL)
  • Sav Mor Pharmacies (Atwood, Louisville, Mount Pulaski, Neoga, and Tuscola, IL)

This new HRSA grant award will help support a separate USDA DLT grant that secured telemedicine equipment at several sites involved in this project. The HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning Program will help support SUD and OUD prevention, treatment and recovery, both in an acute care emergency room setting, and also in a non-acute virtual urgent care setting.

Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services, Gibson City, and Jersey Community Hospital, Jerseyville, also each received this $200,000.