Jefferson County’s CHIP Program receives $200,000 federal grant

Jefferson County’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) has been awarded a $200,000 federal grant to work for one year with a Consortium of community stakeholders to focus on Opioid and Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. The grant, a Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Planning (RCORP-P) grant, has been awarded by HRSA, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant period runs from June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020.

The grant will fund a project that is set in Jefferson County and focuses on Opioid and Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. This project will engage key county and resource players to collectively explore potential solutions that will address the need to provide access to Opioid and Behavioral Health Services in Jefferson County. It will also develop a comprehensive plan that will explore the feasibility of a number of options to address this challenge, including the possibility of a Crisis Stabilization Center based in Jefferson County.

“Right now, if the police or Emergency Medical Services are summoned because of a mental health or drug related crisis,” said John Nowak, CHIP CoDirector, “people are either sent to jail or the emergency room, and it’s just an endless cycle for a lot of people.” This recurring cycle is also resource intensive, as each instance costs taxpayers money, and those who come to the attention of first responders don’t get the long term treatment they need. According to Lori Fleming, CHIP CoDirector, “In terms of impacting people with mental health and chemical dependency issues in our community, I can’t think of a single project that could be more of a game changer.”

Initial explorations for the Consortium will focus on the feasibility of a Crisis Stabilization Center located in Jefferson County. If this approach is deemed feasible, the Consortium will move on to develop an Implementation Plan for the project. If the Crisis Stabilization Center option doesn’t appear feasible, the Consortium will move on to develop another option to address the same challenge.

The CHIP partnership is an innovative collaboration between Jefferson Healthcare (JCH)and Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) devoted to identifying the most pressing health priorities for Jefferson County and actions that will lead to improvements.

The CHIP partnership focuses on four Jefferson County health priorities, which were identified through a rigorous community data assessment study and ranked at data assessment meetings, as follows: (1) Access to care; (2) Access to mental health and substance use disorder  treatment services; (3) Healthy eating, active living and chronic disease prevention; and (4) Immunizations.

For additional information, contact CHIP CoDirectors John Nowak ( or Lori Fleming ( Or visit us on Facebook and Instagram .

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 $200,000 with zero percentage financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Read more about the CHIP initiative here

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