State Government
NCDHHS Announces Grants For Treating Opioid Addicted Prisoners PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 21 October 2021 10:14
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today released a funding opportunity that will award a total of $5.8 million to at least nine organizations statewide to increase access to high-quality opioid use disorder treatment for people in the criminal justice system.
 
"The pandemic is shining a bright light on the substance abuse crisis in our country," said Governor Roy Cooper. "We know that many people in our prisons need treatment and these resources will assist them in leading safe, productive lives when they re-enter society."
 
"The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for people who struggle with substance use disorders," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "This funding will connect people involved in the justice system to high quality treatment for opioid use disorder, helping us build a more resilient infrastructure for a stronger and healthier North Carolina."
 
This program, made possible by an award from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, is soliciting applications for the NC Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Program, which will reduce opioid-related deaths, improve access to evidence- based treatment and reduce future criminal justice involvement among the people served by these programs. Organizations can apply for grants to establish or expand: 

 

Pre-arrest or pre-conviction diversion programs, such as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD Programs) and Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiatives (PAARI), that divert people who commit low-level crimes to appropriate treatment options.

 

Comprehensive jail-based medication assisted treatment programs that provide medication assisted treatment (MAT) during incarceration and connect people to continued treatment upon release. Comprehensive MAT programs, which include providing buprenorphine, methadone or both, are the gold standard for opioid use disorder treatment.

 

Overdose prevention education and naloxone distribution upon release programs that engage people during incarceration and provides harm reduction education, including how to prevent overdoses, how to respond to an overdose and how to access community resources.

 

"We know people recently released from our prisons and jails are 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose compared to the general population," said Kody H. Kinsley, NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary of Health. "We need to improve our ability to meet the needs of people involved in the justice system. It is critical to our opioid epidemic response and to help us achieve the goals outlined in our Opioid and Substance Use Action Plan. These strategies build a more resilient infrastructure for a stronger and healthier North Carolina."
 
NCDHHS currently partners with the NC Department of Public Safety, law enforcement agencies and counties across the state to address the needs of persons with behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders with several evidence-based practices, including Crisis Intervention Teams training for law enforcement, the Stepping Up Initiative, Sequential Intercept Mapping and Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health Partnerships.
  
These efforts are part of the state’s Opioid Action and Substance Use Plan to reduce overdoses in North Carolina. The plan lays out concrete strategies focusing on prevention, reducing harm and connecting people to care, which is more important now than ever before. While North Carolina saw a decline in unintentional overdose deaths in the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 this rate surged forward with nearly three thousand overdose deaths across the state.
 
In late 2020, NCDHHS released the Opioids & COVID: Supporting Justice-Involved Individuals with SUD during COVID’s request for applications, which was awarded to 17 local partnership-based programs delivering pre- and post-arrest diversion programs, opioid use disorder treatment at jails and re-entry planning programs.
 
Together these funding opportunities represent an $15 million investment by NCDHHS to build the capacity needed to improve access to care for people in the justice system. The NC Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based program will empower some existing programs to offer more services to more people, while also providing the necessary resources to bring many of these services to areas which previously lacked access to them.
 
The applications for funding under this program are available at www.ncdhhs.gov/about/grant-opportunities/mental-health-developmental-disabilities-and-substance-abuse-services-grant-opportunities.
 
Full details on the application and performance timeline, eligibility criteria for applying, and allowable uses of program funds can be found in the formal request. 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 October 2021 11:08
 
North Carolina Long-Term Care Facilities Data Show Dramatic Impact of COVID-19 Vaccination PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 13:02
As COVID-19 cases surged this summer fueled by the Delta variant, hospitalizations and deaths among residents in North Carolina long-term care facilities were significantly lower than during the winter surge, as shown in data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The decrease in cases and severe illness can be attributed to vaccination for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and to the work done by long-term care providers to implement measures to protect staff and residents from COVID-19.
 
While reported COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities increased during July through September of 2021, average weekly cases decreased by 89%, hospitalizations decreased by 93% and deaths decreased by 95% when compared to November and December of 2020, when most long-term care residents were not vaccinated. As of last week, more than 80% of long-term care facility residents have been fully vaccinated.
 
Additional data on outbreaks further demonstrate the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, outbreaks in long-term care facilities are smaller in size and have fewer associated deaths compared to any other time during the pandemic. Additionally, comparing those same time periods shows the duration of outbreaks in long-term care facilities has decreased. Summary case counts and long-term care facilities currently in outbreak status can be found in the weekly Outbreaks and Clusters report.
 
"This data from our long-term care facilities is more evidence that vaccines save lives," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get vaccinated to protect against COVID-19 and help your friends and loved ones to do the same."
 
Since the start of the pandemic, NCDHHS’ COVID-19 response included a comprehensive strategy for long-term care facilities, including prevention, staffing, testing, outbreak management, vaccination and oversight. The state created 10 regional infection prevention teams to support facilities and local health departments. These teams completed on-site infection prevention and control assessments and education in more than 1,600 long-term care facilities.
 
Additionally, the state provided personal protective equipment, helped fill staffing shortages, provided infection prevention and control training, targeted funding, mandated testing, facilitated vaccine administration and completed infection control inspections in North Carolina’s more than 400 nursing homes.
 
COVID-19 vaccines offer significant protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. People who are not fully vaccinated are 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who are fully vaccinated.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 13:04
 
Cooper Signs Energy Bill PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 15 October 2021 10:17
Governor Cooper made the following statement on HB 951:

 

"Today, North Carolina moves strongly into a reliable and affordable clean energy future. This new bipartisan law requires the North Carolina Utilities Commission to take steps needed to get North Carolina a 70% reduction in carbon emission by the year 2030 and to carbon neutrality by 2050," said Governor Cooper. "Making transformative change is often controversial and never easy, especially when there are different points of view on big, complex issues. But coming to the table to find common ground is how government should work."
 
Governor And Legislative Leaders Agree On Energy Bill PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 October 2021 17:22
Governor Roy Cooper, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue and House Democratic Leader Robert Reives have reached an agreement on key energy legislation. The bipartisan compromise is expected to move through the legislature next week. 
 
The leaders issued the following statements:
 
Governor Roy Cooper: “This bipartisan agreement sets a clean energy course for North Carolina’s future that is better for the economy, better for the environment, and better for the pocketbooks of everyday North Carolinians. I am encouraged that we have been able to reach across the aisle to find a way forward that will update our energy systems while saving people money and doing our part to slow climate change.”
 
Senate Leader Phil Berger: “North Carolina is a growing state, attracting businesses and families from all over. That growth depends on a stable supply of reliable and affordable energy. After months of policy negotiations, we reached an agreement that will signal to businesses and families here now or considering a move here that North Carolina’s leaders are committed to pro-growth energy policies.”
 
House Speaker Tim Moore: “We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our natural resources while also maintaining low costs for citizens and businesses, and this bill achieves each of those goals. It is absolutely crucial for our state and for our national security that we prioritize energy independence now.”
 
Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue: “I am proud of the work put forth in this energy bill. This legislation will put our clean energy aspirations into action. We need to continue working to protect our environment, and all rate payers, as we move North Carolina to a clean energy future.” 
 
House Democratic Leader Robert Reives: “I support this compromise that helps build a resilient North Carolina that combats climate change, creates green jobs, and helps consumers and businesses have predictable, fair prices.”
 
Among other things, the bipartisan energy compromise includes the following highlights:
 
Requires the NC Utilities Commission (Utilities Commission) to follow the least cost pathway in reducing carbon emissions by 70% by the year 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 without sacrificing reliability. The plan will be developed by the Utilities Commission with utility and stakeholder input and reviewed every two years to allow for improving and emerging technologies. 
 
Requires 45% of solar power to come from a competitive bidding process among Independent Power Producers (IPP) and 55% from Public Utilities, which will help reduce costs and encourage innovation.
 
Makes energy efficiency improvements more affordable for more North Carolinians, particularly those with low to moderate incomes. Consumers would benefit from access to low to zero interest capital and the ability to qualify based on factors beyond credit scores and collateral. They could also pay down the cost of these improvements through a monthly payment that is taken care of by the resulting savings on their lower cost electric bill. 
 
Requires Public Utilities to use securitization at 50% to retire coal-fired power plants resulting in lower cost to consumers. 
Provides for the Utilities Commission to develop multi-year rate plans and performance-based incentives on ratemaking. This provides the utility a better pathway to invest in what’s needed to make the clean energy transition and align more of their earnings to match energy efficient savings and other public interest goals. It also includes strong protections that limit the utility’s ability to over earn
 
Helps ensure reliable energy by maintaining the Public Utility vertical integration model with a Utilities Commission that retains robust regulatory authority and discretion.
 
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