Jackie Ward

Proposals will help goal to increase treatment access, reduce drug-related deaths

(Nov. 1, 2019) The Worcester County Health Department’s Local Behavioral Health Authority is seeking proposals for projects that address the county’s opioid abuse problem.

With funding from the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration, the initiative is looking for projects from partners working with the state’s Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance Program, as well as faith-based and community organizations. 

According to Jackie Ward, health planner for the Worcester County Health Department’s Planning, Quality and Core Services, the project proposals should detail outreach, information and education on opioid use, as well as training on educational prevention strategies.

Ward said that some of these strategies include Naloxone/Narcan use and distribution, harm reduction services, health educations and referrals/links to treatment and other recovery support services. 

“Proposed projects would ideally model after an evidence-based practice or promising practice,” Ward said. She added that the proposed project activities must specifically target minorities and those in tribal communities with opioid use disorders and those at risk for opioid use, misuse and overdose death.

Since 2011, drug intoxication deaths have steadily increased across Maryland, as well as opioid related deaths, according to Ward. “Heroin has been declining in its influence in local drug fatalities and opioid related deaths has remained fairly stable,” Ward said, “but the influence of fentanyl on drug-related deaths has been impactful over the past several years in Worcester.” 

She also pointed out that joined efforts by local, state and national agencies have led to a decrease in drug- and alcohol-related deaths in the county from 2016 to 2018.

The health department hopes to reinforce that trend by adding community projects that increase access to treatment, reduce unmet treatment needs for opioid abusers and reduce opioid-related deaths. 

Contact Jessica Sexauer at 410-632-3366 or Jessica.sexauer@maryland.gov for an application packet. Hard copy proposals should be submitted to Worcester County Local Behavioral Health Authority at 6040 Public Landing Road in Snow Hill by 1 p.m. on Nov. 8. Online proposals can be sent to Lisa.Shockley1@maryland.gov. Organizations can apply for up to $250,000 in project funding, which must be spent by Sept. 29, 2020.

A local team will review proposals and make recommendations on which projects should advance to the state level. Questions regarding the project should be sent to Kimberly.Qualls@maryland.gov.

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