Harm Reduction – A Community Conversation

LOST RIVER, W.Va. February 1, 2021 – The Community Education Group (CEG) will be convening a statewide roundtable on the topic of harm reduction in West Virginia on Monday, February 8th, 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.

This open panel discussion will be moderated by CEG’s Founder & Executive Director, A. Toni Young, and will feature local and state elected officials, private business representatives, public health experts, and harm reduction providers from across the state.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what ‘harm reduction’ actual is, whom it serves, and the impacts it has on our communities,” said Ms. Young. “After two decades of dealing with the opioid crisis in West Virginia, emotions are fraught and tempers are high. This roundtable is meant to bring all of the stakeholders to the table to come up with some answers and recommendations.”

This roundtable discussion will occur during the regular monthly meeting of the West Virginia Statewide Stakeholders Coalition (WVSSC), a coalition of over 100 individuals, Community-Based Organizations, government agencies and departments, healthcare providers, insurers, and pharmaceutical partners that meets on the second Monday of each month (excluding federal holidays). Each meeting averages between 40-60 attendees, making this one of the best-attended coalitions in West Virginia.

Registration is open to the public, and the WVSSC invites community members, community organizations and businesses, and healthcare providers, alike, to participate in this important roundtable. Those interested in attending my register using the following link:https://cutt.ly/JoinWVSSC

All questions for the panelist should be submitted in advance to:

The Community Education Group (CEG) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with offices in Lost River, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., working to eliminate disparities in health outcomes and improve public health in disadvantaged populations and under-served communities

Register For February

Download Press Release

Join The WVSSC

West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc. Launches Project to Discern Community Perceptions of Harm Reduction Efforts

During January 2021, the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc. will conduct an analysis of community opinions on SUD, harm reduction, and syringe exchange. The project is not intended to assess or evaluate any specific program but will assess community perceptions and attitudes and determine gaps that exist in addressing SUD (specifically in Kanawha County). The research will include an online (anonymous) short-survey individuals can complete. The survey will be open to the public via the Institute’s website, www.wvdii.org, from January 8 through 22, 2021. Individuals wishing to participate in the additional discussion (listening sessions or focus groups in late January) can choose to identify themselves and share contact information. The project will culminate in the release of a document summarizing the survey data and focus groups along with recommendations for addressing SUD in Kanawha County and the State.

Take the Survey

Read more on Harm Reduction

New RCORP Funding Opportunity

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation)—March 12.  The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making approximately 78 awards of $1 million each to rural communities to enhance substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), service delivery.  Over the course of a three-year period of performance, grant recipients will implement a set of core prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis.  Award recipients are strongly encouraged to leverage workforce recruitment and retention programs like the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).  All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, are eligible to apply and all services must be provided in HRSA-designated rural areas (as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer).  The applicant organization must be part of an established network or consortium that includes at least three other separately-owned entities.  A majority, or at least 50 percent, of members in each consortium must be located within HRSA-designated rural areas.  Applicants are encouraged to include populations that have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities, as compared to the rest of the target population, when addressing SUD/OUD in the proposed service area.  FORHP will hold an hour-long webinar for applicants on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 1-2 p.m., ET.  A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.  Please reference page ii in the NOFO for the dial-in information for the webinar and contact ruralopioidresponse@hrsa.gov with programmatic questions and bmirindi@hrsa.gov with fiscal/budget-related questions.

The vClinician: Mom and Babies Opioid User Disorder App

JBS International is a proud Phase 1 and Phase 2 winner of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau Grand Challenge: Addressing Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women and New Moms. Their response to HRSA’s Challenge provides a mobile decision-support application (i.e., vClinician: M&B OUD [Moms and Babies Opioid Use Disorder]) or “virtual clinical guide” to health care providers and educators in diverse medical settings.

You are invited to utilize this app where content focuses on one the following:

To download this free mobile app, go to the App Store (for iPhones) and Google Play Store (for Android phones) and search for vClinician: M&B OUD. For more information, please download vClinician: M&B OUD App Guide in the link.

Need Free Opioid CEs?





This news just couldn’t wait.

Read on for some important news from our community coalition team and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

PDMP Virtual Training Sessions Now Available

Quality Insights and the PA Department of Health have teamed up to present virtual Prescription Drug Monitoring Program learning sessions. In an effort to empower medical professionals to identify patients struggling with substance use disorder, the PA DOH, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have released a series of learning modules and tools to promote evidence-based prescribing. Each Module is presented in a one hour session.

Participants are eligible to receive free CME credits and select modules meet the Act 124 of 2016 opioid education licensing and relicensing requirements.

More information about these sessions can be located on the Quality Insights website. Click here to view the session calendar and register.

Contact Us

If you have a question about any of the information contained in this e-bulletin, please contact Dawn Strawser.

Visit Quality Insights at www.qualityinsights-qin.org.

This material was prepared by Quality Insights, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Pennsylvania and West Virginia under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. Publication number 12SOW-QI-CC-120920

HHS Community Health News, Nov. 16- 20, 2020

As new infection rates and restrictions increase around the country, we join those of you, your families, and communities who will lament this year’s loss of a traditional Thanksgiving gathering around a table, shoulder to shoulder with loved ones.  We give thanks for the deep commitment and sacrifice of our front-line workers and healthgivers, for those who have survived the experience of COVID-19, and for all those who will be prevented from infection by a steadfast adhearance to prevention practices.  This season let’s fully engage the 4 W’s–  Watching distances, Washing hands, Wearing masks, and most importantly, maintaining our Will to persevere—until our future traditions, lives, and livelihoods are fully restored to us.

Please review and share CDC’s newly released considerations for Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings to help minimize risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19 including their Thanksgiving Tip Sheet and Considerations for Traveling During the Holidays.

Also – promising news in the headlines today – Moderna/National Institutes of Health (NIH) vaccine candidate is now the second vaccine to show the potential for very high efficacy in Phase 3 trials.

E-Learning Opportunities and Conference Calls

Providing Help, Restoring Hope: DOJ National Elder Fraud Hotline

Thurs., Dec. 10, 2020. 2:00 PM ET. Register here.
This webinar will review the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Elder Fraud Hotline which provides services to adults aged 60 and older experiencing fraud and exploitation and help them report the crime and access appropriate resources.

COVID- 19 Related News

Join the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network

The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is working with Morehouse School of Medicine to establish the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN) which will share important messages and linkages to healthcare and social services in communities across the nation and in areas hardest hit by the pandemic. Organizations and individuals across the country are invited to be a part of this initiative.

Planning Your Holidays During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this blog post NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins shares ways that millions of Americans, including his own family, will break with tradition this year to celebrate the holiday in ways that will help to keep us all safe and healthy.

CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

Last week CMS announced that Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency. This applies to the monoclonal antibody infusion bamlanivimab which received an emergency use authorization from the FDA last week.

FDA’s Recommendations on Designing and Executing Clinical Trials with Underrepresented Populations

The FDA issued final guidance on designing and executing clinical trials of drugs and biologics that include people with different demographic characteristics (e.g., sex, race, ethnicity, age) and non-demographic characteristics (e.g., comorbid conditions, and disabilities).

HHS Community Health News

HHS “All In” Adoption Initiative

November’s Adoption Month champions the importance of a permanent family for the 122,000 kids awaiting homes. Find out how citizens, businesses, and organizations can be ALL IN for children and youth in foster care.

New National Addiction Peer Recovery Center of Excellence

University of Missouri, Kansas City announced the launch of the SAMHSA-funded National Addiction Peer Recovery Center of Excellence (APR CoE)—the first of its kind focused on providing direct training and technical assistance to the nation’s peer recovery support workforce and recovery communities.

Grant and Funding Opportunities

Apply for the Mayors’ Institute on Job Creation and Economic Opportunity to Improve Health and Equity

The National League of Cities has opened an RFP for mayors and city teams to participate in this opportunity to strengthen their capacity to guide strategies that will advance economic opportunity, spur job creation, and build community wealth.  City teams will explore a diverse array of strategies including collaboration with state and federal governments, social enterprise, entrepreneurship, the role of anchor institutions, data, and technology, among other efforts.

**Join the Upcoming Web Forum, Mon., Nov. 23, 2020, 4:00 p.m. ET, Register here.

Head Start/Early Head Start Grant Programs

Head Start grants are awarded directly to public or private nonprofit organizations, including community- and faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies within a community. Check Grants.gov for current funding opportunities in your state.

Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

HRSA-21-027 — The Outreach Program is a community-based grant program aimed towards promoting rural health care services by enhancing health care delivery to rural underserved populations in the local community or region. Closing date: Dec. 1, 2020.

Jobs Plus Initiative

From the Dept. of Housing and Urban Developmemnt (HUD), this initiative develops locally-based, job-driven approaches that increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. Closing Date: Dec. 1, 2020.

NIH Support Available to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities

The “Community Interventions to Address the Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Health Disparity and Vulnerable Populations” program provides support to implement and evaluate community interventions testing the impacts of mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission in NIH-designated health disparity populations and other vulnerable groups. Closing date: Dec. 1, 2020.

Dept. of Commerce – The SPRINT Challenge

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA’s) SPRINT Challenge seeks to rapidly address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation. Closing Date: Dec. 3, 2020.

Community Opioid Intervention Pilot Project (COIPP)

HHS seeks to address the opioid crisis in American Indian/Alaska Native communities by increasing knowledge and use of culturally appropriate interventions and to encourage an increased use of medication-assisted treatment. Closing Date: Dec. 15, 2020.

Youth Garden Grant

Youth Garden Grants are awarded to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Closing date: Dec. 18, 2020.

Community Connect Broadband Grant Program

Grants for communities without broadband access to provide residential and business broadband service and connect facilities such as police and fire stations, healthcare, libraries, and schools. Closing date: Dec 23, 2020.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants

Funding for programs designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education, and rural intermediary organizations. Closing date:  Jan 6, 2021.

Farm to School Grant Program

From the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Food and Nutrition Service grants to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Closing date: Jan. 8, 2021.