Archive

ShareThis Page
Allegheny County Health Department gets $350K grant to combat opioid crisis | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Allegheny County Health Department gets $350K grant to combat opioid crisis

AFPZS8F4
AFP/Getty Images

The Hillman Foundation has given a $350,000 grant to the Allegheny County Health Department to help fund the department’s outreach in communities affected by the opioid crisis.

The funds will be used to conduct in-depth interviews to help come up with intervention strategies, and some will be given out as mini grants, a county news release said.

According to county data, there were 670 overdose deaths last year from opioids and fentanyl, up from 598 in 2016 and 390 in 2015.

The crisis has affected some communities in the county disproportionately, the release said.

According to county data , Wilmerding, Pitcairn, McKees Rocks, Braddock Hills, Mount Oliver and Rankin have high rates of overdose deaths for their population sizes.

The department will work with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh led by Dr. Judy Chang, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, the release said.

The team will interview community stakeholders, first responders, service providers, intravenous drug users, those in recovery and those whose family members have died from an overdose, the release said.

The county’s overdose death rate is increasing faster than any other cause of death, according to a 2015 mortality report the department published in January.

In 2016, 93 percent of overdose deaths in the county were opioid-related. It was the third consecutive year in which the number of fatal overdoses was higher than in any prior year.

“The opioid overdose epidemic has had a devastating effect on residents and communities in Allegheny County,” Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker said in the release. “We are very grateful to the Henry L. Hillman Foundation for providing us with this funding, which will allow us to get a more-detailed understanding of how this public health crisis is impacting our local communities. This is just one more action step in our fight to address the opioid overdose epidemic, and we will continue to fight this head-on so that we can save as many lives as possible.”

The county will announce later this year where the mini grants will go.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.