Hancock Health receives $75,000 substance abuse grant


HANCOCK COUNTY — Hancock Health has received a $75,000, one-year grant to help the hospital system combat substance abuse and addiction.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s office this week announced a total of $750,000 will be granted to 10 coalitions across the state, including Hancock Health, to develop, improve and enhance their collaborative, evidence-based treatment and recovery initiatives.

Hancock Health is made up of Hancock Regional Hospital, the Hancock Wellness Centers, physicians’ offices, and Healthy 365, a holistic effort to improve the health of the county’s residents. A System of Care was first established by Hancock Health in 2016, when Amanda Everidge was hired as the System of Care coordinator, a position meant to help connect young county residents struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues to the services they need to get better.

The position, funded through a $50,000 grant from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, was created after six months of meetings among community nonprofit organizations and agencies who were working to implement new guidelines from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to improve the accessibility of mental health care in the state.

Hancock Health’s System of Care under Everidge created a governance board of community organizations supporting families and helping keep kids out of trouble, in an effort to promote better communication among the agencies.

The latest effort of the System of Care of care has been hiring Suzanne Clifford, founder and CEO of Inspiring Transformations, a consulting firm that works with communities to improve their health through collaborative efforts.

In the last six months, Clifford has worked to identify community stakeholders in the areas of mental health and meet with them to identify gaps in services. Clifford has also held a series of public meetings for citizens to share their needs.

The grants, which are effective March 1, will help coalitions identify gaps in services; measure outcomes; build capacity; and develop recovery-oriented systems of care, according to a news release. Everidge, who now serves as the Hancock Health healthy community coordinator, said the hospital system will work with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, a department of FSSA, to develop a scope of work for the grant in the next week.

Funds to support navigators who provide case management services and guide individuals and families through the recovery process will help communities coordinate public and private services.

Reducing barriers to treatment by funding services, including transportation, housing and child care, the grants will help people with substance use disorder who are engaged in treatment.

“Gov. Holcomb has called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to attack the drug crisis, and communities across the state are answering that call,” said Jim McClelland, Indiana executive director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. “The grants will help local coalitions develop stronger alliances and bolster initiatives to help more people recover from substance use disorder.”

Grant recipients were selected from applications received in response to a request for funding announcement from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

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Hancock Health’s System of Care learned this week it will be the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the office of Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb.

System of Care is an effort to address mental health, substance abuse and addiction needs in the community through the creation of a governance board, community surveys and free mental-health and addiction-based events called Rise Above It.

Hancock Health, made up of Hancock Regional Hospital, the Hancock Wellness Centers, physicians’ offices and Healthy 365, first established System of Care in 2016.