A group of university, healthcare, faith-based and local government entities is partnering to fight the opioid epidemic in two east central Indiana counties. Purdue University says Blackford and Jay counties were chosen for the effort because they have medically underserved populations with “significant” mortality and opioid use rates.
The Consortium for Opioids Response Engagement-East Central Indiana, or CORE-ECI, is being led by Purdue Healthcare Advisors, a nonprofit healthcare outreach initiative from the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue. Indiana University Health will serve as the clinical lead for the consortium, operating out of IU Health Blackford and IU Health Jay hospitals.
“Public health outcomes in Indiana as compared to other regions of the country are in the bottom quartile,” said Melanie Cline interim director for CORE-ECI. “We need to do better job of thinking creatively to utilize existing resources and build new ways of working together, particularly in our rural communities, so we can thrive. We are using the power of Purdue’s land-grant mission for outreach in health care at the community level. Purdue and its partners can help to build the relationships and connections to the health system that have been missing.”
The effort is being launched with a three-year, nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Purdue says the consortium seeks to increase access to medication-assisted treatment, provide early intervention, and form a seamless system of evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery services.
The other entities involved in the consortium include the Jay County Drug Prevention Coalition, Blackford County Community Corrections, Hester Hollis Concern Center in Hartford City, and A Better Life-Brianna’s Hope Inc. in Portland.
The program is slated to run through August 2024.