Here's how that federal grant will help the opioid problem in Kentucky

Posted at 5:38 PM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 18:22:56-04

(LEX 18) -  — Community Health Centers in the Commonwealth will soon see new funding to help tackle the opioid crisis.

During his visit to Manchester Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence announced a $10 million dollar grant for the state. One of those organizations is a rural health center.

Vice President Pence told the crowd that rural health centers are on the front lines of battling the opioid crisis and that the work they're doing is paying off. He noted that last year, overdose deaths decreased by nearly five percent nationwide.

Grace Health is one of the centers that received a grant from the federal government. CEO Mike Stanley says the $167,000 will help them meet the needs of treating substance abuse disorders. It's funding that is key in an area ravaged by opioids.

"Our staff can only handle so many patients. So, that's a very difficult thing for us to do is to turn patients away," said Stanley.

With the grant, they can hire more staff, including another psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, as well as support staff to provide more resources and allow those most vulnerable to walk through those doors, whether they have insurance or not.