In Columbus, Portman Tours Southeast Healthcare Services and Participates in a Discussion with Local Leaders on Frontlines of the Opioid Crisis

Southeast Healthcare Services Awarded Nearly $1.6 Million in Federal Funding Through Portman’s Bipartisan CARA Legislation

March 29, 2019 | Press Releases

COLUMBUS, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) toured Southeast Healthcare Services, a comprehensive provider of mental health, chemical dependency, health care, and homeless services assisting diverse populations regardless of their economic status. Portman saw firsthand how Southeast Healthcare Services is using a $1.6 million, three-year federal grant through his bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) to expand its Medication-Assisted Treatment services. 

Following the tour, Portman participated in a discussion with leadership from Southeast Healthcare Services, first responders, Franklin County ADAMH Board members, and other regional stakeholders. The discussion highlighted the $799,105 CARA grant the Columbus Division of Fire received to improve response teams that follow up after overdoses. In addition, the discussion focused on how the Franklin County ADAMH Board, City of Columbus, Franklin County Sherriff’s office, and other regional stakeholders are working together to expand their programs called the Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Team (RREACT) and the Heroin Overdose Prevention & Education (HOPE) Task Force with the help of $950,000 in funds from Ohio’s State Opioid Response (SOR) grant – which is funded through the federal 21st Century CURES Act

“I had a productive meeting today with employees of Southeast Healthcare Services, first responders, and other local leaders on how the opioid epidemic is impacting communities in Franklin County,” said Portman.“Southeast Healthcare Services is making terrific use of the CARA grant money it was awarded, and I know these additional resources will help save lives. I applaud the City of Columbus, the Franklin County ADAMH Board, and others for their work together to create the Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Team and the Heroin Overdose Prevention and Education Task Force.  This is a wonderful example of how community leaders are working together to find innovative ways to address this crisis in meaningful ways. I will continue to work with local communities across Ohio to help ensure they have the support and funding they need to continue their good work.” 

“We were pleased to host Senator Portman and our community partners for this critical visit targeting the opioid crisis that affects all of our communities,” said Southeast Healthcare Services CEO, Bill Lee.  “The Senator’s frontline approach to assess how these coordinated partnerships are addressing this crisis will inform his advocacy efforts for continued and much needed financial resources to combat this epidemic. As a Federally Qualified Health Center and large behavioral health provider, Southeast, along with its partners, has been able to leverage services we all offer to more effectively provide outreach in the community and link individuals to expanded MAT treatment services provided through the SAMHSA/CARA funding that Southeast was awarded.  This funding will allow Southeast to increase its MAT capacity fourfold to reach patients who may lack the resources for needed treatment.” 

Senator Portman has led efforts in the U.S. Senate to provide more resources to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.  His CARA law authorized an additional $181 million annually in discretionary spending for new programs to support evidenced-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs.  Over the last three years, Ohio has received roughly $32 million from Portman’s CARA legislation.  The most recent bipartisan funding agreement actually funded these CARA programs at $647 million, much higher than the authorized amount.  Portman’s CARA 2.0 Act would increase these authorization levels further.  In addition, Portman worked to secure $1 billion in new funding for state grants to fight opioid abuse in the 21st Century CURES Act.  He’s also fought for more overall opioid funding, and helped secure approximately $3 billion in new opioid funding in the most recent bipartisan funding agreement. 

Photos from the event are below:

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