Appalachian Recovery Project 

In March 2018, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation (DRC) closed the Hocking Correctional Unit in Nelsonville, Ohio, resulting in the relocation of 110 jobs to nearby facilities. A coalition of local organizations, led by OAPH, submitted a proposal to DRC to turn the 93,000 square-foot campus into an opioid addiction recovery model. The facility will include jail space for up to 210 women and residential space for accommodating a model similar to a community-based correction facility for 100 women.

The vision is to provide opioid recovery services on one campus including incarceration, diversion programs, crisis housing, medically assisted treatment, inpatient and outpatient therapy, GED programs, job training and placement, and mentoring programs upon release.

The State of Ohio has backed the project with a $12 million capital appropriation. The Hocking County will operate the facility, STAR Community Justice Centers and local partners will provide services and OAPH researchers will determine best practices and program effectiveness. (Contact: Rick Hodges, Tracy Plouck)

School-Based Health Initiative

School-based health can mean anything from a school nurse or behavioral health counsellor all the way up to a full outpatient clinic that serves the entire community from the school facility- and everything in between. The Alliance partners, including Ohio University, Wright State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio Association of Community Health Centers, will be providing a proven, year- long series of 5 full day workshops to help schools, community groups, public health departments and providers determine what kind of school-based health program is best for their school districts. Currently, 16 school districts and approximately 100 participants are enrolled in the sessions. Topics will include conducting a community needs assessment, judging provider capacity, integrating programming into the facility and school day, and identifying funding and technical support. (Contact: Rick Hodges, Michal Searls)


Community Health Assessments

Alliance partners including Ohio University, University of Toledo, and the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio (HCNWO) will be teaming up to offer regional Community Health Assessments (CHAs), Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPS) and Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAS) in Southeast Ohio. HCNWO already performs these services in 54 counties and 3 states.  The service will be a proven strategy for producing quality, cost effective plans that meet Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and IRS requirements.  The Alliance is currently working with Genesis Health Systems and local health departments in Muskingum, Perry, Noble, Coshocton, Morgan, and Hocking counties for the first project. (Contact: Rick Hodges, Michal Searls, Melissa Kimmel)

HEALing Communities Study

Through a $65.9 million federal research study to address the opioid epidemic, a consortium of academic partners (including OAIPH partners Ohio University, Wright State University and the University of Toledo) aims to reduce overdose deaths by 40% over four years in 18 Ohio counties. The HEALing Communities Study will use evidence based approaches to improve access to treatment and recovery supports. (Contact: Tracy Plouck)


The Alliance is facilitating interdisciplinary research on underlying illness that complicate COVID-19 infections. Initial research will focus on identifying mortality patterns through vital statistics records with emphasis on quantifying mortality risk for key demographic groups and communities throughout Ohio. Alliance staff are also producing statistical summaries of the COVID-19 infection and death rates for Ohio and the nation.

(Contact: Orman Hall)



Southeastern Ohio Older Adult Coalition

In collaboration with AAA7, AAA8, 04A, Leading Age Ohio, the Alzheimer’s Association and others, the Alliance is identifying regional responses to issues impacting older adults in southeastern Ohio. The Coalition has been focused on meeting the needs of older adults around COVID and social isolation as well as providing supporting system for staff during this difficult time. (Contact: Melissa Kimmel)

Greater Ohio Workforce Board Training

The Alliance is providing customized training to staff at OhioMeansJobs centers in 43 counties. Training topics are identified by the Greater Ohio Workforce Board (GOWB), and seminar-style courses are developed and facilitated by Alliance staff and contracted experts. Each seminar listed below is 1.5 hours in duration and includes approximately 50-60 minutes of didactic instruction and 30-40 minutes of small group discussion and role play. In order to foster group discussion, attendance is limited to 32 participants per session, and each session has been offered ten times. Continuing education units for each seminar were provided for all participating social workers who completed both the seminar and related evaluation. Seminar topics include:
    -Building Trust and Rapport with Difficult to Serve Clients
    -Motivational Interviewing
    -Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution
    -Coaching and Mentoring
    -Matching Employment Strategies to Individuals’ Circumstances

Ohio University manages all registration, training, evaluation, and learning management system activities associated with this training series. GOWB circulates the registration fliers and provides consultation and feedback as necessary regarding content development and process improvement.
(Contact: Tracy Plouck, Michal Searls)

Case Manager Certification Training

In collaboration with ProMedica and University of Toledo, Ohio University and The Alliance are developing five courses to prepare prospective Case Managers for the certification exam. Subject matter experts are developing relevant content related to each aspect of case management. Each course will offer continuing education opportunities for licensed professionals as well as preparation for certification. (Contact: Michal Searls)

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