Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pence, health secretary visit Manchester to announce grants to fight opioid epidemic and praise Gov. Matt Bevin for fighting it

Photo by Ryan Hermens, Lexington Herald-Leader
Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar came to Clay County Aug. 8 to announce federal grants of $10 million to fight opioid abuse in Kentucky and boost Gov. Matt Bevin.

One grant is part of a $400 million program of the Department of Health and Human Services for rural areas, through community health centers, schools and universities to expand access to treatment.

"Kentucky’s portion will help fund roughly $750,000 in training programs through the University of Pikeville and payments of up to $167,000 for prevention and treatment services at Eastern Kentucky University, the faith-based Grace Community Health Center, as well as treatment facilities in Whitesburg, Hazard, Prestonsburg and Beattyville," Alex Acquisto reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Pence heaped praise on Bevin, who is running for re-election and lost Clay and surrounding counties in the Republican primary election in May. He gave Bevin credit for the 15 percent reduction in deaths from opioid overdoses in Kentucky in 2018.

Bevin told the invitation-only crowd of about 200 at EKU's Manchester campus that mitigating the opioid epidemic “has been a focus of mine ... from the moment I was elected, I said, we’ve got to tackle this head on.”

U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers of Somerset "credited the people of Manchester for their initial stand against the epidemic over 20 years ago," Nita Johnson reports for The Times Tribune in Corbin. (The Manchester Enterprise sent a photographer but no reporter after a dispute about credentials.)

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