Nearly $500,000 in grants awarded to 4 SUD recovery communities in Upper Peninsula

Funding to address gaps in services for families and individuals facing substance use disorder
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 10:54 AM EST
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DETROIT, Mich. (WLUC) - Four community organizations dedicated to addressing gaps in service for individuals and families facing substance use disorder (SUD) and supporting the development and growth of recovery communities in the Upper Peninsula will receive $490,000 in grant funding.

From 2017 to 2018, per the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the average overdose death rate in the Upper Peninsula was 16 deaths per 100,000. Counties that exceeded that rate include Marquette (18.33), Alger (21.4), Iron (26.37) Baraga (27.2) and Dickinson (32.47).

Per the Michigan Inpatient Hospitalization Files dashboard, in 2019, the 15 Upper Peninsula counties reported 49 hospitalizations specific to opioid-related overdoses. Preliminary data from 2020 suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated substance use trends.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan joins these grantees in recognizing the public health crisis that is substance and opioid use and abuse,” said Ken Hayward, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations. “This grantmaking is essential to improving the health and well-being of Michiganders and their programming will help those in recovery navigate their futures with confidence.”

The organizations’ grant programming begins in January 2022 and lasts 24 months. Organizations receiving grants include The Easter Upper Peninsula Opioid Response Consortium serving Alger and Luce Counties and Great Lakes Recovery, which serves all 15 UP counties. Western Upper Peninsula Health Department serving Baraga, Gogebic and Houghton counties will also receive a grant. Lastly, Superior Housing Solutions which serves Alger, Dickinson, Delta, Iron and Marquette counties will receive grant money.

Selected members of the Michigan Opioid Partnership (MOP) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and Superior Health Foundation – along with community partners, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, and the Upper Peninsula Health Plan, partnered on the grantmaking project.

“The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation joins a motivated collective of partners to make this grant program possible to equip Upper Peninsula residents and families with the tools for a successful recovery,” said Audrey Harvey, executive director and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. “Substance use disorder has claimed too many Michiganders’ lives this year alone. Building sustainable, intervention-focused recovery communities is key to helping end this crisis.”

Recovery communities offer a wide range of services to support people in recovery from SUD and their family members. This includes health and behavioral health care, peer recovery coaching and self-help groups, in addition to reducing barriers to employment, education, and offering whole health services to their families. Ideally, these services are developed in partnership with people in recovery.

Since 2017, the Michigan Opioid Partnership has awarded grants statewide to hospitals, jails, and community organizations to prevent and treat opioid use disorder, including grants to support coalition development, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment programs. The MOP partnered with hospitals and community-based organizations to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in the Upper Peninsula. Through this work and meetings with community leaders, the partnership identified the need to provide additional grant funding to address recovery from substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder.

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