Mercy College receives grant to help families affected by opioid addiction

An aerial view of Springfield Regional Medical Center taken in 2017.  The hospital is part of Mercy Health, which also runs Mercy College of Ohio. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
An aerial view of Springfield Regional Medical Center taken in 2017. The hospital is part of Mercy Health, which also runs Mercy College of Ohio. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Mercy College of Ohio, associated with Mercy Health, received a four-year grant totaling at $740,998 in order to increase the number of peer support specialists that will work with families impacted by the opioid crisis.

The grant was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration and will also be used to train behavioral health-related paraprofessionals who will work with those impacted by substance abuse disorders.

Those positions will provide community-based services for people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Those services aim to promote recovery, self-determination, well-being and independence, according to a news release from Mercy College.

The grant will be used to provide assistance and stipends totaling up to $4,000 to students in Mercy College’s two-semester Community Health Worker Program.

The program will also be expanded to prepare students to meet the needs of recovering opioid addicts. Once the program is completed, graduates will be able to be placed in a one-year paid apprenticeship, which will also include an additional stipend of $7,500.

“There is an increasing need for professionals to fill this critical role in every aspect of healthcare and social services,” representatives of Mercy College said in the news release. “Families affected by Opioid Use Disorder need support from a network of professionals that can work together to address medical and non-medical needs.”

The CHW program is available to Ohio residents with the lecture content provided online. Mercy College will assist in establishing a clinical facility in students’ local areas that will meet the requirements of the program.

Mercy College of Ohio is part of the Mercy Health network and has a campus in Toledo and a location in Youngstown.

Mercy Health also operates the Springfield Regional Medical Center in Clark County and the Urbana Hospital in Champaign County.

For more information regarding the CHW program, go to mercycollege.edu or contact the admissions office at admissions@mercycollege.edu.

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