WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded $250,000 in funding through the health law to Ironton and Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization’s health center to help support and expand its mental health and substance abuse treatment services. This funding will enable the health center to hire additional mental health professionals, to better integrate mental health and substance abuse care programs into primary care models, and to increase the number of services available to patients.
“Health centers play a vital role in helping Ohioans obtain access to primary and preventive health care services,” Brown said. “This funding from the health law will help more Lawrence County residents receive affordable and accessible mental health and substance abuse care.”
Ohio’s 43 health centers provide primary and preventive health care, including substance abuse services, to more than 550,000 Ohioans, regardless of their ability to pay. Ohio received $1,750,000 total to expand services at seven of its health centers.
Brown has led the fight against substance abuse in Ohio communities. In July, he cosponsored The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act (TREAT Act), legislation that would change U.S. law to enable more health care providers to provide medically-assisted treatment for larger numbers of patients struggling with addiction. Federal law disallows physicians from treating more than 30 opioid abuse patients during their first year and they are restricted to treating only 100 patients per year afterwards. Brown’s TREAT Act would ease restrictions for qualified healthcare providers, allowing more substance abuse patients to receive the help they need.