Ohio University

$1.35 million grant awarded to OHIO to create new opioid workforce project

$1.35 million grant awarded to OHIO to create new opioid workforce project

ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 23, 2019) – The Appalachian Ohio Opioid Workforce Expansion project award was made to Dr. Deborah Henderson, director of Ohio University’s School of Nursing (SON), for $1.35 million. The grant was awarded through the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.

Co-investigators on the grant are Drs. Char Miller and Sherleena Buchman of the School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP); Kerri Shaw, Drs. Mingun Lee and Terry Cluse-Tolar in CHSP’s Department of Social Work; Orman Hall, CHSP executive in residence; and Drs. Yegan Pillay, Mona Robinson, Adrienne Erby and Bilal Urkmez in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education in the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.

Designed to increase the number of professionals with interprofessional skills, CHSP will work with the College of Education to expand the number of behavioral health professionals educated in interprofessional teams through classes and clinical experiences.

“The grant team is excited to collaborate with our graduate students and partnering community behavioral health organizations to increase the number of behavioral health providers for the region,” Henderson said.

The grant will apply in the counties of Athens, Hocking, Jackson, Meigs, Perry, Ross, Vinton and Washington. These counties were chosen in part because of their higher-than-average drug overdose rates. Meigs County has the third highest overdose death rate in the state while Hocking, Perry and Jackson also have significantly higher rates than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“These counties need assistance, and The Patton College’s George E. Hill Counseling Center is pleased to offer its services to our region in this most important work,” said Robinson, director of the Hill Center.

The grant’s work will occur from September 2019 to Aug. 31, 2022.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our faculty to have an impact on the drug epidemic in Ohio,” said CHSP Dean Randy Leite. “This project will give professionals new experiences in addressing substance use disorder and also allow us to train more new behavioral health professionals to aid in combatting the opioid epidemic.”

The grant approval also notes that Ohio University has a strong team of faculty from various disciplines to participate in curriculum development, experiential site expansion and enhanced partnerships with community behavioral health providers.

“The interdisciplinary collaboration between nursing, social work, and counseling and higher education is an innovative and forward-thinking approach to preparing well-trained and versatile leaders in these behavioral health fields,” said Renée A. Middleton, dean of The Patton College of Education. “I am proud that Ohio University — and our colleges — have an opportunity to support our communities in need.”

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1.35 million. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


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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 the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education
Ohio University’s Patton College of Education strives to be an equitable, effective, and interactive learning community that makes a difference to education and human development through excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. We prepare educators, practitioners, and human service professionals who share our commitment to lifelong learning and serving society responsibly as change agents in meeting diverse human and social needs. The Patton College has more than 100 faculty members serving approximately 1,500 undergraduate and 825 graduate students. Housed in McCracken Hall, we have a proud history spanning 125 years. The Patton College is comprised of five departments: Counseling and Higher Education, Human and Consumer Science, Educational Studies, Recreation and Sport Pedagogy, and Teacher Education. Find more at: www.ohio.edu/education.


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.