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San Benito
April 20, 2024

San Benito County Opioid Task Force making strides

Courtesy of San Benito County Public Health:

The San Benito County Opioid Task Force has been diligently working to address the opioid epidemic locally since its formation in late 2017.

The Opioid Task Force has grown into a cross-collaborative coalition comprised of over 50 members, representing more than 20 local agencies and community organizations. Coalition members strive to raise awareness of this tragic epidemic, and address the issue locally with the goal of preventing opioid overdose deaths. “The commitment and dedication of our task force members has brought us to a „tipping point‟ in our work, with recognition and rewards in return for our efforts. Several new grants have been awarded which will benefit our community greatly in our efforts to prevent and treat opioid misuse” stated Dr. Gail Newel, Health Officer for San Benito County Public Health Services.

The Task Force has recently made significant strides which will help further accelerate efforts to combat local opioid issues through increased services, prevention efforts, and selection for grant funding.

The SBC Opioid Task Force was given the unique opportunity to provide multiple panel presentations on the topic of opioid use/misuse to approximately 1400 students at San Benito High School over two days in May. The presentations covered everything from what opioids are and how they work on the brain to first-hand accounts from law enforcement about opioid use in our community, overdose deaths, and dangers of drugs laced with the potent opioid fentanyl.

Recently, the SBC Opioid Task Force was notified that it was one of four coalitions in California selected for the Community Partnerships Grant from the Center for Care Innovations (CCI), funded through the California Department of Health Care Services‟ State Opioid Response. The grant, in the amount of $75,000, will fund a 16-month learning collaborative, providing tailored technical assistance and funding to support SBC Opioid Task Force implementation of systems practice design techniques to further its efforts to address opioid use disorder in our community.

In addition, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital Emergency Department (ED), a member of the SBC Opioid Task Force, was awarded grant funding to establish an ED Bridge Program. The Bridge Program will help reduce health disparities among substance use disorder patients by creating access and delivery of evidence-based interventions for patients initially presenting to the ED.

Beginning July 1, 2019 San Benito County Behavioral Health Department will initiate the Drug Medi-Cal-Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS), a voluntary pilot program that offers Californiacounties the opportunity to expand access to high-quality care for Medi-Cal enrollees with substance use disorders (SUD). The goal of the DMC-ODS is to demonstrate how organized SUD care improves beneficiary health outcomes, while decreasing system-wide health care costs.

The DMC-ODS will improve access to quality care by expanding local networks, increasingcoordination and collaboration with other systems of care, and creatingquality assurance and utilization controls to promote efficient and effectiveuse of resources. DMC-ODS allows counties to cover an array of SUD services for Medi-Cal enrollees.

For more information on the program, follow the California Department of Public Health onFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest or call Public HealthServices at (831) 637-5367. Additional information can also be foundon our website at http://hhsa.cosb.us/, http://sbcopioidtaskforce.org, https://www.careinnovations.org/addiction-community-partnerships-2019/, or at http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/Pages/Drug-Medi-Cal-Organized-Delivery-System.aspx###