VALPARAISO - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a nearly $450,000 grant to Porter-Starke Services Inc. to help address the opioid epidemic. The funding will be used to increase access to medication-assisted treatment plans, improve services to people in the criminal justice system and increase the use of telepsychiatry services.
The nonprofit community health center has offices in Valparaiso, Knox, Portage and Gary. The office of Representative Pete Visclosky (D-01) says the funding will also be used to engage the community in the design and evaluation of the treatment and response to opioid-related issues.
"This funding will build on our services to help those with an opioid use disorder to overcome addiction, and address transportation or financial barriers that may have prevented someone from obtaining care," said Matthew Burden, chief executive officer of Porter-Starke Services. "We believe that treatment can and does make a difference, and our program has even been shown to help individuals improve their employment status and overall health. Through this grant, we will be able to reach even more people who are ready to begin their path to recovery."
The grant is the first year of an anticipated $1.2 million Center for Substance Abuse Treatment program, aimed at addressing the increased instances of opioid addiction and overdose deaths.