Ohio Announces Grant Awards Totaling More Than $13M to Help Local Communities Continue Fight Against Opioid Addiction- Meridian HealthCare Receives $343,543.71

Governor Mike DeWine recently joined with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and RecoveryOhio to announce funding awards totaling more than $13 million to help communities throughout Ohio continue the fight against opioid addiction and prevent overdose deaths.

These State Opioid Response (SOR) 2.0 grants come at a time when many communities are seeing increased demand for behavioral health services amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Meridian HealthCare received $148,386.78 from the ‘Use of Community Partners’ funding to provide prevention education, a sensory room, and parenting classes to the children and families Meridian serves in the community. Meridian also received $195,156.93 from the ‘Use of Innovations’ fund to improve telehealth services and patient care coordination.

“This federal funding will expand our ability to work with local community partners and use innovative means of technology to support Ohioans in need and on their recovery journeys, especially as we work through the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and substance use treatment needs,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

“Meridian is grateful to receive this funding from OhioMHAS,” stated Larry Moliterno, President/CEO for Meridian. “Both of our projects take an innovative approach to reach our patients and their families – allowing us to continue to provide patient-focused care.”

The state agency announced a total of 57 awards, including nearly $4.9 million to 36 community organizations under the “Use of Community Partners” program, and $8.3 million to 21 recipients of the “Use of Innovation” program.

“While the pandemic has rightfully been front and center in everyone’s minds, the opioid epidemic hasn’t gone away – it persists as a threat to our citizens and our communities,” said OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss. “This funding will help local partners like Meridian HealthCare connect even more Ohioans to treatment and recovery services and support their use of new technology and innovation to stem the tide of addiction and overdose deaths.”

The ‘Use of Community Partners’ funding initiative seeks to strengthen Ohio’s integrated behavioral health system by closing gaps in the local continuum of care. Funding under this planned investment supports traditional and nontraditional community partners such as faith-based and minority organizations to engage all Ohioans more effectively in services to support long-term community recovery and health equity.

The ‘Use of Innovation’ funds, meanwhile, will support technology and innovation advancements in Ohio’s behavioral health care delivery system. Examples include the use of digital cafes and expanded telehealth service provision and increasing access to Smartphone applications designed to support individuals in recovery.

For more information about Ohio’s State Opioid Investments, visit https://mha.ohio.gov/About-Us/Grants-and-Funding/Federal-Funding/State-Opioid-Response.