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Sawtooth Mountain Clinic gets AIMS grant

Sep 22, 2017 10:35AM ● By Editor
Sawtooth Mountain Clinic is one of 16 medical facilities in Minnesota to receive an AIMS grant. The money will be used to help fight opioid abuse and can be used to help those suffering from mental health issues. Staff photo/Brian Larsen 

By Brian Larsen - The Cook County News Herald - September 22, 2017

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic is one of 16 health centers in Minnesota which will receive a grant to help tackle mental health and substance abuse issues in the community.

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will get $175,700 through the Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS).

Sawtooth Mountain Director Rita Plourde was out of the office and couldn’t be reached for comment about the grant. 

The announcement came on September 14 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

All told $2,718,877 will be given to 16 health centers in Minnesota to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services.

These services focus on the treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse in the primary care setting by increasing personnel, leveraging health information technology, and providing training.

The expanded funding is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ five-point strategy to fight the opioid epidemic by: . Improving access to treatment and recovery services.

. Targeting use of overdose-reversing drugs. . Strengthening understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance. . Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction. . Advancing better practices for pain management.

“Nationally, about half of all care for common mental health conditions happens in the primary care settings,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas. “In health centers, where people are often most comfortable, staff with varied expertise have a unique opportunity to provide mental health and substance abuse services to patients who wouldn’t otherwise seek or have access to treatment.”

Nationwide, HRSA awarded more than $200 million to 1,178 health centers. And, since rural states are more likely to have higher rates of overdose death, particularly from prescription opioid overdose, 496 health centers located in rural communities will receive the Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) award. Further, an additional nearly $3.3 million will support 13 rural health organizations across the nation to increase access to treatment and recovery services for opioid abuse under the Rural Health Opioid Program (RHOP) and the Substance Abuse Treatment Telehealth Network Grant Program (SAT -TNGP). The organizations will use these awards to advance evidence-based, opioid use disorder interventions to overcome challenges in rural communities, such as longer emergency response times and lack of access to substance abuse treatment providers.

As a federally qualified Community Health Center, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic has operated since 1979 as a nonprofit organization. It is run by a volunteer board of directors who governs the clinic and establishes its operating policies. The clinic employs physicians who provide health care in Cook County. Medical fees, individual contributions, federal, state and private foundation grants finance the clinic. 

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