BEDFORD, NH – By many estimates, New Hampshire sits at ground zero of the opioid issue, gaining national attention for the prevalence of overdoses and deaths from drugs such as fentanyl. While fentanyl has been identified as the one of the bigger culprits of this current crisis, uses of other illicit drugs is also on the rise.
As part of its response to the opioid issue, insurer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care recently announced the launch of a $40,000 Opioid Misuse Prevention, Recovery and Treatment Grants program.
“Given the severity of the drug crisis in New Hampshire, we felt it was important to step up and support those organizations helping to prevent and treat individuals and their families affected by opioid misuse in the state,” said William Brewster, MD, Vice President of New Hampshire Regional Market at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “Addiction is a disease, and with New Hampshire leading the nation in overdose deaths per capita for fentanyl, we hope this grants program will help organizations providing health, hope and support for freedom from addiction.”
Dr. Brewster added that the grants program, funded by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, will offer individual grants up to $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire that serve residents dealing with opioid addiction with evidence-based prevention, treatment or recovery services.
“We’ll be looking for two key components among those applying for grants,” says Harvard’s Susan Walsh. “The programs should be sustainable and have measurable results.”
Walsh, Harvard’s Marketing Strategy Manager, is overseeing the grant process. “This work is a true of passion of mine,” she says. “The community response to our announcement has been very favorable to date.”
She added that the company was outreaching to health agencies and other stakeholders to share information on the grant and application criteria.
Walsh said that grant funds must be used to:
- Provide evidence-based prevention, treatment or recovery services to those with opioid addiction
- Serve individuals from New Hampshire
- Support projects that prove sustainability and provide measurement of results from current efforts as well as a plan to track and measure proposed services to be covered by grant.
The applicant must be a non-profit, 501(c)(3) program or organization. Grant requests can be for $5,000 or $10,000. Grants will be awarded in September 2018, with the expectation that funds will be used by March 30, 2019.
The announcement of the grant process continues what the company called an ongoing effort to combat opioid abuse in New Hampshire. Harvard was the first commercial carrier in the region to eliminate copays for naloxone and says that it has not charged its members co-pays for Narcan since 2014.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care insures about 100,000 members in New Hampshire.
To receive an application or for further information, please email Walsh at Susan_Walsh@harvardpilgrim.org by June 15. Deadline for applications is Friday, June 29, 2018 by 4 p.m. All applicants will be notified of award decisions by September 4, 2018.
To learn more about Harvard Pilgrim, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org; to learn more about the Harvard Pilgrim Charitable Foundation, please visit https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/public/our-foundation.
Chris Dugan is Principal at Dugan PR, where he provides strategic communications, public relations and marketing/communications support to a broad range of non-profit and for-profit clients across New Hampshire. Prior to starting his consulting practice, Chris held senior leadership communications roles at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the American Lung Association of NH, Optima Health and St. Joseph Hospital. A New Hampshire native, Chris is an active community volunteer and is a member of the Queen City Rotary Club, where he chairs the Marketing/Public Relations Committee. He has been recognized by the American Academy for Health Services Marketing and the NewEngland Society for Health Care Communications. He is a graduate of Leadership Greater Manchester and Leadership Greater Nashua.