HHS awards more than $20M for addiction fellowships

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it has awarded $20.3 million to 44 healthcare facilities around the country to increase the number of addiction fellowship programs in underserved areas.

Funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the grants will go towards training addiction specialists at facilities that integrate behavioral and primary care services.

“This new funding will increase the number of support specialists available to treat Americans with addiction, addressing a serious need that could be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “President Trump and HHS have prioritized tackling our country’s addiction crisis by increasing access to evidence-based treatment services, and HRSA’s new Addiction Medicine Fellowship will advance that work.”

The new Addiction Medicine Fellowship (AMF) program through HRSA will increase the number of fellows these programs can train, the agency said, and in turn, increase the number of addiction specialists across the country to help those with substance use disorder, opioid use disorder, and other mental health disorders.

“The need for physicians with the expertise and skills to provide substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services is essential,” HRSA Administrator Tom Engels said. “Addiction specialists can respond to patients’ specific behavioral health needs and help communities that are hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.”

The awards ranged from $58,341 for the Family Residency of Idaho in Boise, Ida., to $800,000 for the Regents of the University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco. Awards were given to organizations in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

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