Opioid fighting grant workshop to be held

Sen. Portman’s staff to lead discussion

By Dean Wright - deanwright@aimmediamidwest.com

GALLIPOLIS — With the continuing opioid problem plaguing much of southeast Ohio, Senator Rob Portman’s staff will be holding a grant funding workshop in Holzer Medical Center Monday in hopes of providing area citizens guidance in navigating grant application and writing processes.

The workshop is intended for residents of Gallia, Jackson and Meigs Counties and starts at noon and lasts until 1 p.m. in the conference rooms A and B on the lower level of the Holzer Medical Center on Jackson Pike. Appointments are not necessary but the senator’s staff do ask for individuals to register at Dhruv_Shah@portman.senate.gov. Further information inquiries can be directed to Senator Portman’s District Representative Todd Shelton at 740-238-8337.

Shelton will be present to answer questions from those attending.

“In the State of Ohio, it’s my understanding that we got $26 million in the state for (the 21st Century CURES Initiative),” said Shelton. “Basically, that goes to the state and it’s up to the state to distribute it how it sees fit. It’s my understanding that most of the ADAMH (alcohol, drug addiction and mental health) boards will be the ones who are receiving the funding at some level and then the state reserves some to do its own thing.”

Shelton said the ADAMH board funding would rely on application processes. ADAMH boards support local behavioral health centers and efforts.

“One of the first things I do (at the workshop) is explain the CARA bill that Senator Portman introduced last year called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was passed into law,” said Shelton. “I go through some of the grants that have become available and how to apply. I have some best practices (tips) because a lot of the rural counties may not have someone to write grants, such as a full-time person.”

The $26 million in funding is meant to compliment the CARA legislation funding. CURES funding is federal money but meant to be used with state direction. Shelton said he would be providing contact information for individuals and organizations interested in navigating the grant funding system. The funding is meant to help fight the opioid epidemic on multiple fronts by providing resources to law enforcement, education efforts and more.

“I’ve worked with mental health groups, the sheriffs and prosecutors and judges and I encourage anyone in the public who is working or volunteering (with questions to attend),” said Shelton. “We want all walks there and not just people who work for certain agencies.”

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

Sen. Portman’s staff to lead discussion

By Dean Wright