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 a five-week webinar series that focuses on HOPE. Several speakers will present on the topics listed in the goals below.

In  Year 2 of RCORP, we will again assemble a consortium of direct care providers, local county health agencies, and community organizations to accomplish each of the following project objectives: (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 our Choosing Hope II Webinar Series and a possible conference day. Included on the agenda for both the series and the conference day are speakers discussing OUD screenings and a panel speaking to prevention and treatment services.

Program Activities

The Choosing Hope II Webinar Series is focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery of Substance and Opioid Use Disorders (SUD/OUD). Topics in this webinar series include alternatives to pain medication, issues regarding stigma, billing/coding related topics, and developing a greater understanding of addiction.  Choosing Hope (Year 1) webinar recordings are available here. Recordings of Year 2 events will be posted as available.



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 US Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) has identified four overarching goals related to the program:

Goal 1: Prevention
Reduce the occurrence and associated risk of opioid use disorder among new and at-risk 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. Our webinar discussions are 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. Joshua Lynch to speak about the importance of MAT and will offer the opportunity to sign up for a MAT virtual waiver training. 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 addiction 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 Wyoming County Interagency Committee 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 addiction sufferers.

Goal 4: Sustainability
Support efforts for achieving financial and programmatic sustainability beyond period of performance.
Rural AHEC and Spectrum Health and Human Services have formed a lasting partnership through which we plan to develop future collaborative events and programs.

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