The Sanatoga administrative offices of Community Health and Dental Inc.
SANATOGA PA – Community Health and Dental Care Inc., a non-profit provider of medical and dental services that operates an office at 700 Heritage Dr., won a $379,167 federal grant to expand programs for substance abusers and particularly those needing treatment for opioid-based drugs like heroin and prescription pain killers, it was announced Friday (March 11, 2016).
The Department of Health and Human Services named Community Health as one of five winners in Pennsylvania, where $1.78 million in grant money will be distributed. Overall, the department will hand out a total of $94 million under the Affordable Care Act to fight an “opioid epidemic (that) is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” the department said.
It charged Community Health and 270 health centers like it across 45 states with using the money to expand “access to medication-assisted treatment” and “integrate services … to curb opioid misuse and abuse.”
The local agency opened its first office on Robinson Street in Pottstown in October 2008. It expanded by opening its Sanatoga office in June 2014.
Nationally, heroin-related deaths rose 39 percent between 2012 and 2013, the department claimed. Unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain medications nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2013, it added.
Centers like Community Health can use the money, according to the department, to screen for substance use disorders and connect patients to treatment, provide medication-assisted treatment for users, and supply training and educational resources “to help health professionals make informed prescribing decisions.”
The department estimated its $94 million grant would help treat nearly 124,000 new patients nationwide, or an extrapolated cost of about $759 per new patient. At that rate, Community Health might expect to treat about 500 new patients during the course of the grant. As of Friday it had not issued its own statement on the award.
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