Hospital Leads $200,000 Opioid Response Project

MONTROSE, CO: Montrose Memorial Hospital has been awarded a $200,000 grant to develop a community-wide response to the opioid epidemic.

Called the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), the $200,000 award will enable Montrose Memorial Hospital (MMH) to form a consortium of community partners to tackle issues related to opioid addiction. The project will allow the group to analyze the issue of opioid use disorder and develop a comprehensive plan to address gaps and opportunities in prevention, treatment, and recovery services related to the issue.

“Our top priority is to ensure the health of our Friends & Family,” said James Kiser, CEO of Montrose Memorial Hospital. “By working closely with our community partners, we believe we can make an impact and help our community in significant ways.”

The consortium will produce evidence-based, promising, and innovative approaches proven to reduce the fatal consequences associated with opioid overdose. It will also allow for the partners to develop strategies for reducing uninsured and underinsured patients’ costs for treatment.

Stephen Tullos, Director of the Montrose County Health & Human Services added, “Montrose County Health and Human Services is committed to building programs and strategies to create a healthy community. We are excited to partner with Montrose Memorial Hospital and other agencies to research and develop plans to address a growing opioid use disorder. Collectively, our aim is to improve health outcomes for our community members and this grant will help us move one step closer towards achieving that goal.”

“The Center for Mental Health is delighted to be a part of the planning consortium tasked with comprehensive planning to address the prevention, treatment, and recovery of individuals with opioid use disorder,” said Janey Sorensen, Marketing Director for The Center for Mental Health. “It is a privilege to work along side others in the community to help address this complicated issue. Opioid abuse is a complex problem with many layers, and it is only through a community-wide effort that we can find the right answers and put services and support in place that will change the rising trend of addiction and death associated with the abuse of opioids.”

The consortium includes various organizations in the community working together to address the opioid crisis, including The Center for Mental Health, Partners in Integrated Care (The PIC Place), Montrose County Health & Human Services, Hilltop Resource Center, Montrose Memorial Hospital, River Valley Health Center, and the 7th Judicial District Drug Court.

The grant is funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and follows both national and state level conversations about how to address opioid addiction and its effect on communities. In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. In May 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed a package of five bills into law to address the opioid epidemic. According to the Colorado Rural Health Center, the State’s opioid crisis kills one person in Colorado about every 9 hours and 36 minutes.