The Greater Flint Health Coalition has received a two-year $499,950 grant to implement a communitywide strategy to address the opioid epidemic by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The project will be lead by the GFHC Mental Health & Substance Use Task Force and will include an extensive list of partner agencies including Genesee Health System, Genesee County Medical Society, New Paths, Families Against Narcotics (FAN), local school districts and hospitals.
“With the diversity of factors influencing the opioid epidemic in the community as well as nationwide, the support of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund will allow the Greater Flint Health Coalition to implement a multi-sector strategy to both treat opioid addiction and prevent future misuse in Genesee County,” said Kirk Smith, president & CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition.
The project will focus on community residents most impacted by the opioid crisis including children and seniors through a host of services that go beyond treatment and prevention. The project will include strengthening workforce capacity, using upstream prevention strategies, and coordinating care and services.
Genesee County ranks as 18 highest rate of opioid deaths out of Michigan’s 82 counties. In 2015, Genesee County residents were given 14,820 prescriptions for every 10,000 residents — equivalent to 1.5 opioid prescriptions per person, a 48 percent increase since 2009.