Appalachian Recovery Project 

In March 2018, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation (DRC) closed the Hocking Correctional Unit in Nelsonville, Ohio, resulting in the relocation of 110 jobs to nearby facilities. A coalition of local organizations, led by OAPH, submitted a proposal to DRC to turn the 93,000 square-foot campus into an opioid addiction recovery model. The facility will include jail space for up to 210 women and residential space for accommodating a model similar to a community-based correction facility for 100 women.

The vision is to provide opioid recovery services on one campus including incarceration, diversion programs, crisis housing, medically assisted treatment, inpatient and outpatient therapy, GED programs, job training and placement, and mentoring programs upon release.

The State of Ohio has backed the project with a $12 million capital appropriation. The Hocking County will operate the facility, STAR Community Justice Centers and local partners will provide services and OAPH researchers will determine best practices and program effectiveness. 




School-Based Health Initiative

School-based health can mean anything from a school nurse or behavioral health counsellor all the way up to a full outpatient clinic that serves the entire community from the school facility- and everything in between. Alliance partners, including Ohio University, Wright State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio Association of Community Health Centers, will be providing a proven, year-long series of 5 full-day workshops to help schools, community groups, public health departments and providers determine what kind of school-based health program is best for their school districts. Currently, 16 school districts and approximately 100 participants are enrolled in the sessions. Topics will include conducting a community needs assessment, judging provider capacity, integrating programming into the facility and school day, and identifying funding and technical support. 




Community Health Assessments

Alliance partners including Ohio University, University of Toledo, and the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio (HCNO) teamed up to conduct regional Community Health Assessments (CHAs), Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs), and Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) in Southeast Ohio. This service is a proven strategy for producing quality, cost effective plans that meet Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and IRS requirements. The Alliance worked with Genesis HealthCare System and local health departments in Muskingum, Perry, Noble, Coshocton, Morgan, and Hocking counties to complete this project.




HEALing Communities Study

Through a $65.9 million federal research study to address the opioid epidemic, a consortium of academic partners (including OAPH partners Ohio University, Wright State University and the University of Toledo) aims to reduce overdose deaths by 40% over four years in 18 Ohio counties. The HEALing Communities Study will use evidence based approaches to improve access to treatment and recovery supports. 


Tracy Plouck, Behavioral Health Lead,



COVID-19 Mortality Patterns 

The Alliance is facilitating interdisciplinary research on underlying illness that complicate COVID-19 infections. Initial research will focus on identifying mortality patterns through vital statistics records with emphasis on quantifying mortality risk for key demographic groups and communities throughout Ohio. Alliance staff are also producing statistical summaries of the COVID-19 infection and death rates for Ohio and the nation.


Orman Hall, Research Lead,



Southeastern Ohio Older Adult Coalition

In collaboration with AAA7, AAA8, 04A, Leading Age Ohio, the Alzheimer’s Association and others, the Alliance is identifying regional responses to issues impacting older adults in southeastern Ohio. The Coalition has been focused on meeting the needs of older adults around COVID and social isolation as well as providing supporting system for staff during this difficult time.


Melissa Kimmel, Aging Lead,