Athens, Ohio (April 18, 2019) — Ohio University has announced that it will partner with multiple universities across the state as part of a $65.9 million federally-funded study geared toward reducing Ohio’s opioid overdose rate by 40 percent over the next three years.
The new Ohio-based initiative, part of the federal HEALing Communities Study, plans to utilize real-time research to provide a combination of prevention, treatment and recovery programs within 19 Ohio counties, including Athens County.
Tracy Plouck, an executive in residence within the College of Health Sciences and Professions and a population health expert for The Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health (OAIPH), said that the initiative will provide a collaborative outlet that will improve the state’s ability to curb opioid abuse at a community level.
“This coordinated, collective approach will enable us to form evidence-based approaches geared toward positively impacting the Ohio communities that have been most affected by opioid abuse,” said Plouck, who is also OHIO’s lead individual for the grant. “I’m excited to work with our academic, state and community partners to leverage our expertise in a way that will encourage addiction treatment and save lives."
According to a recent study by the OAIPH, more than 500,000 years of life expectancy were lost in Ohio during a seven-year period. Approximately 13,059 Ohioans died from opioid overdose during the 7-year period of the OAIPH study (2010-2016).
Joining OHIO as part of the consortium is Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Toledo and Wright State University — and leaders from state agencies and community organizations.
In addition to Athens County, the initiative will focus on a cross-section of urban and rural communities within 18 other counties, including: Allen, Ashtabula, Brown, Cuyahoga, Darke, Franklin, Guernsey, Greene, Hamilton, Huron, Jefferson, Lucas, Morrow, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Williams and Wyandot.
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About the College of Health Sciences and Professions
Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP) is a place where innovative education and research happen every day. Each year, more than 3,600 students graduate from our Athens and Dublin-based campuses prepared to serve as passionate professionals who are ready to change the world. As one of the largest health-focused colleges in the country, CHSP has a growing portfolio of degree and certificate programs housed in six academic units: the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness; the School of Nursing; the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences; the Department of Social and Public Health; the Department of Social Work and the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Studies. All six connect faculty and students across multiple disciplines to explore the best approaches to addressing health and wellness in various settings. Find out more at: www.ohio.edu/chsp.
About Ohio University
Ohio University strives to be the best student-centered, transformative learning community in America, where approximately 40,000 students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders. OHIO is committed to fostering, embracing, and celebrating diversity in all its forms. Our Athens Campus offers students a residential learning experience in one of the nation’s most picturesque academic settings. Additional campuses and centers serve students across the state, and online programs further advance the University’s commitment to providing educational access and opportunity. Visit www.ohio.edu for more information.