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New Grant to Western Michigan University to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Washington, D.C., August 8, 2019 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, made the following statement after the Department of Health & Human Services announced a new grant to Western Michigan University for the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program.


“We have all seen the horrendous impact caused by the opioid epidemic. No family is immune and all too many of us have experienced the devastation and loss firsthand. We can all be encouraged that Western Michigan University is showing commitment to address this epidemic and that they will be given more resources to do so,” Upton said. “This grant will assist our communities as we battle this epidemic to make our district and state healthier and safer. The opioid crisis cuts through all demographics, races and socioeconomic statuses and we’re continuing to fight it every day.”


Congressman Upton wrote a letter to the Health Resources and Services Administration in April 2019 advocating for additional funding to go towards this program. The letter states, “The ultimate goal is the facilitation of lives of recovery and wellness for all those with or at risk of OUD/SUD in rural Southwest Michigan with the help of sufficient numbers of treatment providers who are thoroughly trained in interprofessional best practices.”


WMU College of Health and Human Services Dean Ron Cisler also made a statement regarding this matter, “It is a critical time to address the opioid epidemic in communities throughout Michigan. This grant presents WMU with an opportunity to make far-reaching impacts through health care workforce expansion in the state. Our students will participate in hands-on educational experiences that will guide them throughout their professional lives, while also meeting an immediate, crucial need for families in our region.” WMU Vice President for Research Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy added, “The work of Dr. Jennifer Harrison and the MY-PROUD team builds on existing relationships with community partners and the faculty expertise at WMU to create experiential training to help address critical issues in opioid abuse. WMU strives to have a public-impact focus to our research and training, and this new HRSA grant exemplifies and recognizes that mission.”



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