St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Miners Campus in Coaldale has been awarded $200,000 by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create a “Rural Communities Opioid Response Plan.”
St. Luke’s Department of Community Health & Preventive Medicine will lead a consortium of school districts and other community organizations in the development of the plan, which will address gaps in prevention, treatment and training for opioid abuse in the Coaldale area, a federally-designated medically underserved rural area, and in the surrounding region, which has been severely affected by the opioid crisis.
“Stigma, transportation and cost of treatment prevent many people from accessing treatment and working toward recovery,” said Gregory Dobash, MD, of St. Luke’s Ashland Family Practice, who is the site director of the Rural Training Track of St. Luke’s Family Medicine Residency Program. “Proper planning can help our community overcome these obstacles and curb the swelling rate of opioid use disorder.”
St. Luke’s involvement in this project is part of its Community Health & Preventive Medicine program’s broader mission to help increase health awareness, encourage appropriate access to health services and improve the health status of the community.
Among St. Luke’s Miners Campus’s partners on the project are the Panther Valley and Tamaqua Area school districts; Child Development Inc. (Tamaqua HeadStart program); PathStone Corporation (Coaldale HeadStart program), and Schuylkill County’s VISION.
Editor’s Note: This area health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.