WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded $900,000 in funds to Shawnee State University to help combat Ohio’s addiction crisis. The funding comes from the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP), a HRSA grant program. Funds will go toward the improvement of training for students pursuing careers as behavioral health paraprofessionals focused on opioid use and other substance use disorders.
“We must do everything in our power to fight this crisis on all fronts,” said Brown. “This federal funding will provide a critical investment in the training of healthcare professionals at institutions all across the state to better prevent and treat addiction through traditional and creative approaches.”
This year, the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) Professionals and Paraprofessionals has provided approximately $70 million to 64 awardees to enhance community-based training for students preparing to become behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals with a focus on Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and other Substance Abuse Disorders (SUD) prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The awards support a number of trainings across the behavioral health provider spectrum such as community health workers, social workers, psychology interns and post-doctoral residents.