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St. Claire to Receive $900,000 to Combat Opioid Crisis

June 15, 2020

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead, Kentucky was awarded a $900,000 competitive federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). St. Claire plans to use the federal funding in coordination with the Northeast Kentucky Substance Use Response Coalition to provide medication-assisted treatment services, which are lacking in the region. It also plans to use the funding to address the growing rate of Hepatitis C infections, which are believed to be increasing through intravenous drug use.

Senator McConnell contacted HRSA on behalf of his constituents’ grant application and their mission to help save lives from addiction.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, we cannot lose focus on combating the scourge of addiction in our communities. Kentucky sadly remains one of the hardest hit states by opioid and substance abuse, but we are also home to many of the leaders of the national recovery,” said Senator McConnell. “St. Claire continues to make a great positive impact for Northeastern Kentucky families, and I was proud to help them secure these much-needed federal funds. As Senate Majority Leader, I’ll continue mobilizing the federal government to deliver for Kentucky’s fight against the addiction crisis.”

“St. Claire HealthCare is proud to announce our next step in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II, St. Claire HealthCare President/CEO. “This grant will assist us in improving access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder throughout Northeastern Kentucky. We are tremendously grateful to Sen. McConnell for his support.”

“St. Claire HealthCare is thrilled to receive this award on behalf of the Northeast Kentucky Substance Use Response Coalition, as it will allow us to expand prevention and treatment efforts across the region,” said David A. Gross, St. Claire’s administrative director for education and research, who will co-direct the project. “Senator McConnell’s support was instrumental to St. Claire and the Coalition being selected for this funding, and we look forward to continued collaborations with his office in our ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.”

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 2018 saw the first nationwide decline in drug overdose deaths since 1990. Kentucky’s overdose fatalities fell by nearly 15% -- the largest drop in more than a decade -- and the rate declined by 5% nationwide.

Since becoming Majority Leader in 2015, Senator McConnell has prioritized the fight against the opioid and substance abuse epidemic by increasing federal funding for the response. Under McConnell’s leadership, Kentucky has received more than $240 million. Senator McConnell worked with the University of Kentucky to help secure an $87 million competitive federal grant—the largest in school history—to address the opioid crisis in high-risk communities. He has also helped secure the inclusion of some of Kentucky’s hardest-hit counties in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to promote coordination and support for law enforcement in Kentucky.

Senator McConnell consistently draws attention to Kentucky’s prevention, treatment and enforcement efforts with the President’s Cabinet and federal agencies. Multiple Drug Czars, the federal official responsible for coordinating the national response, have visited Kentucky at his request to see the innovative work being done in the Commonwealth. Most recently, last year Director Jim Carroll visited Louisville, Northern Kentucky, and Eastern Kentucky.

In 2018, President Trump signed into law the landmark opioid and substance abuse bill Senator McConnell helped shepherd to enactment. In addition to the CAREER Act – which Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) supported in the House -- the legislation contained the Senator’s Protecting Moms and Infants Act, which authorized an increase in federal funding to help babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).