Knox County Receives $1 Million Federal Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation Grant

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded Mental Health & Recovery for Licking and Knox Counties a Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation grant.  Knox County was one of 89 recipients nationally and one of two in Ohio.


Kay Spergel, Executive Director of Mental Health and Recovery for Licking and Knox Counties, says “we are very excited about the possibilities for our community.  This project has possibilities of providing hope and healing to so many while promoting health and wellness.”


The grant was a result of the collective planning efforts by the Knox Opioid Response and Recovery (KORR) team, a multi-sectoral consortium of 13 public and private organizations serving Knox County.

The project will utilize a collaborative and cross-system approach to target high-risk individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD) and the community at large.


“This award is the result of an exemplary collaboration and team work in Knox county during these unprecedented times,” said Afet Kilinc, Executive Director of the Freedom Center, “we are excited to work closely with our partners to implement the much needed programs and services in our community.”


The grant aims to advance efforts being put forth by the community to combat substance use disorders and opioid use disorders in Knox County.  This three-year grant will provide $1,000,000 in federal funding to prevent and reduce loss of life and illness caused by SUD/OUD in Knox County by improving access to evidence-based, integrated, and sustainable prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.


The project hopes to improve the public’s understanding of substance use disorders, increase screening and early identification of SUD/OUD, expand mediation-assisted treatment (MAT), increase the availability and distribution of overdose-reversing medications, increase screening for infectious diseases, implement SUD peer support and increase the number of providers to prescribe MAT and the number of patients treated for OUD.