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July 15, 2016

Pennsylvania receives nearly $3 million grant to combat opioid addiction

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has received a federal grant to expand treatment for opioid addiction, state officials announced Friday.

The nearly $3 million grant will double the number of primary care physicians delivering care in the state.

“The opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic affects all Pennsylvanians, from the most urban areas to the most rural,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “My administration has been working diligently to serve all of our citizens, no matter their location, and help folks struggling with addiction overcome their disease. I’m thrilled that we have been given the opportunity to expand our efforts through this federal grant.”

The grant, which will go into effect on Sept. 30, 2016, and last three years, will be used to educate and train primary care providers to combat the opioid epidemic in rural Pennsylvania.

“When Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid we were able to provide critical access to health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “This next step will allow us to expand the high-quality care available in the rural parts of the state where finding the resources needed to combat opioid addiction may be more challenging.”

The grant will also bolster the Wolf administration's commitment to battling the opioid epidemic, which was one of three key provisions that Wolf wanted addressed in the budget negotiations.

Wolf announced Thursday that 20 Centers of Excellence will operate across the state.

DHS will partner with HealthChoices’ Medicaid managed care organizations and the University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute.