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WUPHD awarded Overdose Prevention and Response Mentorship Grant

Western U.P. Health Department was recently awarded a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to participate in an Overdose Prevention and Response Mentorship Program. The mentorship program will provide 19 health departments across the country the opportunity to learn from their peers, share experiences, and implement a program related to community opioid prevention and response activities.

The complex and ever-evolving nature of the opioid crisis requires a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and collaborative public health approach to reduce overdose deaths and health risks associated with drug use. With support from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NACCHO developed the mentorship program to help health departments improve and expand their ability to respond to this public health crisis.

“We are excited to have been selected and grateful for this opportunity,” said Kate Beer, Health Officer, “As a public health department, we are all well-aware of the opioid crisis and the devastation it has caused in our communities. The peer support, guidance and technical assistance we will receive through the mentorship program will help us play a more active and effective role in addressing those issues in our communities.”

Western U.P. Health Department has been paired with Mount Rogers Health District, a six-county health department based in Bristol, Virginia. Gail Ploe, Health Education Coordinator, will work closely with a designated mentor to begin coordinating local substance misuse efforts and establishing linkages to care in the five counties of the Western U.P. Ploe said, “It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the problems associated with the opioid crisis, but this this project is focused on solutions. I can’t wait to get started.”

The National Association of County and City Health Officials represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, or the Overdose Prevention and Response Mentorship, please visit www.naccho.org.

Western U.P. Health Department is the regional public health agency serving Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Ontonagon, and Gogebic counties with environmental, personal and community health services. Western U.P Health Department has offices in Hancock, L’Anse, Ontonagon and Bessemer.

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