Baystate Franklin awarded $1M grant to fight opioid epidemic

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Franklin Medical Center received a $1 million grant to help fight the opioid crisis in western Massachusetts.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center is one of 96 rural organizations in the U.S. to get the grant aimed at combating opioid use disorder. The $1 million grant will go towards bridging the gap between patient care in and out of the medical center.

According to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region overdoses have increased by 166 percent between 2017 and 2018.

The center’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kinan Hreib told 22News, that the center needed to improve on medical assistance to patients after they were treated for opioid-use related illnesses.

He said the grant money will go towards mobile access programs for people suffering from or at risk for opioid use disorder.

“We’re going to be able to create a 360 essentially coverage for patients even if they can’t come for a follow-up visit,” Chief Hreib explained. “We are able to figure out a way to reach them, connected with them, and continue their treatment somehow.”

The programs the medical center wants to provide with the grant include transportation for patients in the rural areas to get to treatment at the medical center and to improve community resources for patients aftercare.

The grant lasts for three years and focuses mainly on patient outreach.

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