Building SUD Workforce Capacity in the Appalachia Region

Grants and Contracts Details


This multi-disciplinary proposal is a systematic strategy to meet the prevention, intervention and recovery needs of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, including Appalachia, by developing workforce capacity to address SUD in Central Kentucky and the surrounding areas. The opioid epidemic and surging overdose mortality rate is a painful reality for Kentucky who is third nationally in overdose deaths with rural counties exceeding urban rates of deaths per capita. Nearly all counties in Kentucky are officially designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) for mental health. Access to mental health professionals, including those trained in SUD prevention, intervention and recovery, is extremely limited. This proposal builds the OUD/SUD workforce capacity in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky, encompassing the Appalachia region. The specific population to be addressed are the agencies, their clients and the communities in the Central and Appalachia Kentucky who seek practitioners trained to combat OUD/SUD. The specific, identified need for this proposal is the workforce capacity gap which is addressed by developing practicums for graduate social work and counseling psychology students as well as training those future practitioners, and the practicum agency personnel, in telehealth, ultimately providing a long term, sustainable solution to meeting the needs of all Kentuckians, including those in rural areas, related to SUD. The University of Kentucky College of Social Work has an accredited MSW program with sites in Lexington, Ashland, Morehead and Hazard, Kentucky and seeks to broaden and deepen our interprofessional collaboration with the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Kentucky whose accredited doctoral program offers different, but overlapping skill sets and areas of expertise that will strengthen the training and delivery of mental health services designed to address SUD, and specifically, opioid addition. This proposal further develops existing relationships in communities to provide critical training to meet the service needs for underserved residents of the Commonwealth who are struggling with OUD/SUD. Program goals: Goal 1: Increase availability and access to SUD prevention, intervention and recovery services in Central Kentucky and Appalachia. Goal 2: Develop SUD resources across a spectrum of agencies including schools, health care, recovery and community health agencies. Goal 3: Engage interdisciplinary professionals to effectively respond to the OUD/SUD crisis. Proposed services include establishing an SUD oriented pedagogy, including learning an evidence based practice for screening, intervention and referral for substance misuse (SBIRT), training in telehealth to meet client needs no matter their location and completing a practicum within agencies that serve individuals and families affected by OUD and SUD. Both social work and counseling psych students will receive stipend support to develop and apply skills through practicums in agencies that serve those with OUD and SUD. Communities across the Commonwealth and through the Appalachia region will gain skilled practitioners who are able to better serve those affected by OUD and SUD.
Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/23


  • Health Resources and Services Administration: $1,349,457.00


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