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USDA Partners with Communities to Support Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Opportunities in Rural Tennessee

Sherri McCarter
Release Date

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with rural communities in 22 states to support opportunities for opioid prevention, treatment and recovery. Tennessee Rural Development State Director Jim Tracy is pleased to announce that six of those projects are in Tennessee, with a total investment of $643,300.

   “Opioid misuse impacts our rural communities in many ways other than just being a medical issue; it impacts quality of life, workforce and economic prosperity,” Tracy said. “USDA is committed to being a partner to rural Tennessee communities and to helping bring positive change.”

   USDA is investing $10.7 million in 85 projects in 22 states through the Community Facilities program. Below are the projects in Tennessee that USDA is supporting:

  • In Campbell County, Dayspring Family Health Center, Inc. is receiving a $53,300 grant to purchase a medical device that assists in the treatment of patients who have developed Hepatitis C or liver damage due to substance misuse, including opioids. The facility where the equipment will be housed provides services to nearly 2,400 area residents.

  • Hope Family Health Services in Sumner County is receiving a $150,000 grant to buy a facility and equipment to combat opioid misuse. Vehicles, computers and telehealth equipment will be purchased to allow the grantee to provide care to individuals who misuse opioids or have other health concerns. The recipient serves a community of about 2,200 residents.

  • Johnson County is receiving a 150,000 grant to establish a diesel mechanics program at the local Tennessee Center for Applied Technology. The program will assist those affected by the opioid crisis by providing skills training. Additional funding includes a $250,000 Appalachian Regional Commission Grant and a $163,000 applicant contribution.

  • Overton County is receiving a $41,500 grant to buy an ambulance and transport ventilators to provide advanced emergency care to opioid and substance misuse patients, as well as to other individuals, needing treatment. The equipment will serve 4,100 residents.

  • In Hawkins County, Rural Health Services Consortium, Inc. is receiving a $150,000 grant to purchase telecommunications equipment to improve treatment and recovery services for individuals who misuse opioids in five counties.

  • In Cocke County, Rural Medical Services, Inc. is receiving a $98,500 grant to purchase vans and ultrasound equipment for two clinics. The equipment will serve opioid misusers who become pregnant. Staff will also use the vans to offer in-home visits and conduct outreach education and clinics for farmworkers. The equipment will serve 4,500 residents.

   In addition to Tennessee, Hazlett announced that USDA is also making investments in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.

    In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

   To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

   USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.