HRSA Announcement – Rural Communities Opioid Response planning grants

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently announced plans to award planning grants to rural communities as part of their new Rural Communities Opioid Response initiative through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). This funding will specifically cover costs associated with the development of a plan to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations. There are targeted counties (CDC-at-risk-communities), however any eligible organization is encouraged to apply. The lead applicant in any community or region must be part of a group including at least three (3) other partners committed to participating in the effort.

While the funding opportunity has yet to be announced, states have been encouraged to begin organizing efforts to support local applications in a coordinated fashion.  Based on this recommendation from FORHP, The State Office of Rural Health has initiated a partnership with state level organizations with staff, technical expertise and other resources to support local efforts. These partners currently include the Missouri Hospital Association, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Primary Care Association, and the Missouri Rural Health Association.

To facilitate strong planning efforts, and to reduce duplication of effort, these statewide partners will support applications from any partnerships interested in collaborating to address the opioid issue in their areas.

These partners will support applications through the provision of:

  • Data
  • Content to strengthen and align efforts
  • Grant-writing support
  • Gap analysis
  • Connecting partners not already engaged at the local level
  • Commitment to provide on-going technical assistance during the funding period and into implementation

We will be offering a conference call for all interested applicants on May 15th from 10:00 am – 11:00 am.  The dial in information is:  Access Number: 877-820-7831;  PIN Number: 35666479#.   During this call, additional information will be provided specific to the grant process, accessing support from state partners, and timelines based on the most current information provided to the State Office of Rural Health from FORHP.

Please notify Melissa VanDyne, Director of the State Office of Rural Health, via email if you are interested in applying. Her email is:  In this email, please include a list of the partners you anticipate will be part of your application, as well as a brief overview of the community, county or region the project will cover.  This information will assist the state partners in planning for application support.

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