Drug prevention, education grant received by PRMC

Andie Dean
Pratt Tribune
DeWayne Bryan, Pratt, leads the new Ninnescah Opioid Workforce Coalition.

In September 2020, Pratt Regional Medical Center (PRMC) received a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to understand the use of opioids and other substances in Pratt and six surrounding counties, and then create a plan to improve prevention education and services for people who use or have used drugs. In addition to Pratt County, the grant serves Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Harper, Kiowa and Stafford counties.

Money from the Rural Communities Opioid Resources Program (RCORP) grant is being used for staff to carry out the work, education materials and other prevention resources, and travel for staff to accomplish their tasks. The RCORP grant has also been given to organizations in rural parts of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and a handful of other states to address opioid and substance use.

DeWayne Bryan, Pratt Health Foundation Executive Director, has brought together a group of organizations in the seven counties to form the Ninnescah Opioid Workforce (NOW) Coalition. The NOW Coalition, made up primarily of hospitals in the seven counties, is conducting a needs assessment/gap analysis by listening to focus groups, having one-on-one conversations with and providing surveys to people who might have knowledge of opioid/substance use in their counties.

Participants in these activities include people who use or have used substances and their loved ones, medical providers, clergy, school counselors and administrators, law enforcement, mental health providers, substance use counselors and many others. They are answering such questions as: “What do you know about the availability of and access to substance use prevention, treatment and support of recovery services in your county?” “What are the underlying social determinants of health that are relevant to substance use in your county?” and “What part does stigma play in substance use in your county?”

A first draft of the needs assessment/gap analysis report is due January 20, with the final report due March 2. On March 3, the NOW Coalition will begin to develop a strategic plan to help prevent future substance overuse and help those people in the region who seek treatment and need support in their recovery. The strategic plan is due July 2, then the Coalition will write and sign a memorandum of understanding that they will work together to accomplish the plan’s goals. The final work of the current grant, which will be completed on February 28, 2022, will be on prevention education.

The NOW Coalition and PRMC hope to receive an implementation grant that will provide funds to carry out the strategic plan.

To participate in the ongoing needs assessment/gap analysis, contact Stacy Hanson at shanson@prmc.org.

 or 620.450.1796 no later than February 1.