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Published on May 11, 2018

Cone Health Receives Grant to Battle Opioid Abuse

A peer-counseling program launches in select emergency departments Aug. 1.


Cone Health is one of six health networks in the state to receive grants to launch a pilot project combating opioid abuse. The North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA) and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the grants.

Cone Health will receive up to $180,000 for the one-year pilot. The money will pay for certified peer support specialists, each of whom have been in recovery for at least three years. The specialists will be placed in the emergency departments of The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and Wesley Long Hospital beginning Aug. 1.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center piloted the idea of putting peer support specialists in emergency rooms. Wake Forest Baptist will work with NCHA to provide technical assistance and training for pilot sites.

“Certified peer support specialists are a key resource in turning the tide on the opioid crisis in our state,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD. “Peer support specialists are instrumental in connecting individuals battling the chronic disease of addiction to support services, including treatment and harm reduction.”

Other selected sites for grants include Carolinas Healthcare System Northeast (part of Atrium Health), Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Southeastern Regional Medical Center, UNC Hospital and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

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