MOLINE – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) – a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee – announced that health centers across the district will receive $668,000 in total grant funding to combat the opioid crisis. These federal dollars were awarded through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Integrated Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program and will be used to the prevent and treat mental health conditions and substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder.
“I’m pleased these federal dollars will support the efforts of health centers across our region as they work to address the health care needs of our communities – including those impacted by the opioid epidemic,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Too many lives have been taken by this crisis and too many families have been torn apart. Our communities should be able to turn to their health centers during times of need, and it’s vital they have the resources available to treat Illinoisans battling addiction.”
Henderson County Rural Health Center, Knox County Health Department, Crusaders Central Clinic Association in Rockford and Whiteside County Health Department will receive $167,000 each. Congresswoman Bustos is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Department of Health and Human Services.
Last year, Congresswoman Bustos helped pass legislation to address the opioid epidemic that included two key provisions she originally introduced. Included in the package was the Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act, which was designed to increase access to treatment for those suffering from opioid and drug addiction. Specifically, this legislation instructed the Attorney General to take the necessary steps to allow for the prescription of medication-assisted treatment and other controlled substances via telemedicine. Physicians and health care providers will need to undergo special registration in order to participate in this program. Also included was the Preventing NAS and Protecting Babies Act, which would improve treatment options for babies born with dependence on heroin or other opioids due to their mother’s use while pregnant. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to submit a strategy to Congress to implement recommendations from a report, which related to parental opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome. In addition, last year Congresswoman also helped pass into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which included legislation she introduced—the Addiction Recovery for Rural Communities Act—which helps rural residents better leverage USDA Rural Development programs to combat opioid and heroin use. Specifically, her legislation would direct federal funding towards rural development projects focused on substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services, which could lend itself to the establishment of new treatment centers.