Rural Communities Opioid Response Program

New York State consistently has higher opioid overdose rates than the national average. Rural communities are continuously identified to be at high risk for opioid misuse. This program is designed to reduce substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), in rural communities by strengthening and expanding prevention, treatment, and recovery service delivery in high-risk rural communities.

We are working to strengthen and expand prevention, treatment, and recovery service delivery in Wyoming County by hosting two multi session webinars that focus on hope. Several speakers will present on the topics listed in the goals below.

Our program will assemble a consortium of direct care providers, local county health agencies, and community organizations to accomplish each of the project objectives listed below. Together, the consortium will (a) identify and implement comprehensive OUD screening, treatment, tracking, and recovery services; and (b) develop and provide extensive trainings related to substance use prevention, community and family education, professional development, and provider/local community resources and services.

We have partnered with Spectrum Health and Human Services, and are collaborating with Wyoming County Community Health Services and the Wyoming County Health Department to develop the webinar content and invite presenters. Included on the agenda are speakers discussing OUD screenings and a panel speaking to prevention and treatment services.

Program Activities

The Choosing Hope webinar series is focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery of Substance and Opioid Use Disorders (SUD/OUD). Topics in this webinar series include mental health connections, stigma, billing/coding related topics, and understanding addiction.  Webinar recordings are available here.



Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Training is designed to give physicians and physician assistants the instruction needed to apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to patients who would benefit from treatment for opioid use disorders (OUD).

Opioid Overdose Reversal (Naloxone) Training is designed to give healthcare providers, emergency services personnel, educational staff or any community member the instruction needed to administer a lifesaving dose of Naloxone to someone who has overdosed on an opiate such as heroin, morphine, or prescription opioid.

The activities outlined in the following work plan align with the four overarching goals highlighted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA).

Goal 1: Prevention
Reduce the occurrence and associated risk of opioid use disorder (OUD) among new and at-risk users (including polysubstance users), as well as fatal opioid-related overdoses, and promote infectious disease detection through activities such as community and provider education, harm reduction strategies, and referral to treatment and recovery support services.
– The material being presented at the webinar is designed to educate community members, emergency response services providers, and healthcare providers in Wyoming County about what they can do to identify OUD, communicate treatment options, and support all involved in the process. Reducing stigma is a main presentation topic, along with finding alternatives to pain medication. 

Goal 2: Treatment
Implement or expand access to evidence-based practices, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with psychosocial intervention, and eliminate or reduce treatment costs for underinsured patients.
– We have invited Dr. Collins to speak about the importance of MAT and will offer the opportunity to sign up for a MAT waiver training event at one of the tables. During the panel discussion, the availability and effectiveness of counseling will be discussed.

Goal 3: Recovery
Implement or expand access to recovery and treatment options that help people battling OUD to start and stay in recovery, including ensuring access to support services such as transportation, housing, peer recovery, case management, employment assistance, and child care.
– Rural AHEC staff invited the members of the interagency meetings for Wyoming County to display materials promoting their community support services so that not only community members but healthcare providers would be more aware of what is available locally to support OUD sufferers.

Goal 4: Sustainability
Support efforts for achieving financial and programmatic sustainability beyond period of performance.
– Still working on this piece…

Please contact Lisa at 585-786-6275 or if you would like to partner with us and/or participate in this community program.