Pictured , Members of the RCORP steering committee meet at JCC. In foreground Diana Porebski, Director of Chemical Dependency and Outpatient Behavioral Health of UPMC Chautauqua and Misty Pennington, Project Coordinator, Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene. Seated from left to right are: Pastor Steve Kilburn of the Addiction Response Ministry; Patricia Brinkman, Chautauqua County Community Mental Hygiene Services Director; Tom Tarpley, Coordinator of CAER; Ann Abdella, Community Member; Michael Nordin of the Mental Health Association; Melanie Witkowski, Executive Director, CASAC; and Jasmine Griffin, Administrative Assistant, Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene.
JAMESTOWN, N.Y.: – Members of the steering committee created to oversee the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) Planning grant met at Jamestown Community College to continue their work on the project to support prevention of and treatment for substance use disorders in rural counties at the highest risk for substance use disorder. The steering committee is working to establish sub-committees to take on additional tasks including data assessment, strategic planning, workforce development, and sustainability.
In late 2018 the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene was awarded the $200,000 grant from The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This grant funding supports the Countywide Alliance for Enforcement and Rehabilitation (CAER) project activities. CAER was formed in early 2018 by County Executive George Borrello to address rapidly-increasing opioid use across Chautauqua County. CAER’s goal is to bring all sectors of the community together to reduce the incidence and prevalence of opioid use disorder across the county.
“The Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene is glad to support CAER through the activities of the RCORP steering committee,” said Patricia Brinkman, Chautauqua County Community Mental Hygiene Services Director. “This project, supported by HRSA grant funds, will strengthen the efforts of CAER and will further support the collaborative work to combat the opioid crisis in the County.”
Through the grant funding the group is working to develop and strengthen its collaborations between local organizations, conduct a detailed analysis of opportunities and service gaps for individuals struggling with addiction, and complete strategic workforce and sustainability plans to address key capacity and planning necessary for the effective implementation of opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery in the County.