bottle of opioids open on a counter

$1 million in federal funding awarded to implement substance use disorder recovery, outreach program

Three-year implementation grant seeks to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance abuse in rural gulf-bend region of Texas
September 25, 2020

Since June 2019, needs assessments and the development of plans to initiate sustainable prevention, treatment and recovery interventions related to opioid use disorder in seven counties along the Texas gulf bend—referred to as the Golden Crescent region—have been underway as part of an initial Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) planning grant. The interdisciplinary team has led and facilitated a community coalition to pinpoint opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, recovery and workforce needs, and identify existing gaps in Gonzales, Lavaca, DeWitt, Jackson, Calhoun, Karnes, Goliad and Victoria counties.

A team of researchers at Texas A&M University College of Nursing recently received a $1 million, three-year federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that extends ongoing efforts to address the challenges of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in the rural Golden Crescent Region of Texas.

The HRSA Rural Opioid Prevention Implementation Grant announcement solidifies the opportunity for those plans to be realized by establishing a Golden Crescent Region Recovery Oriented Community Collaborative (GC-ROCC). As an interprofessional collaboration among the Texas A&M colleges of nursing, medicine and pharmacy, and the School of Public Health and Coastal Bend Health Education Center as well as regionally located health care providers, the research team will initiate steps to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance abuse disorder through improved prevention, treatment and recovery services.

“Rural and underserved communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to addressing the complex problems associated with substance use disorder,” said Jane Bolin, PhD, JD, BSN, associate dean for research at the College of Nursing and lead principal investigator on the grant. “We have learned how important it is for rural and underserved communities to build recovery capitol, the resources and people skilled at addressing this complex problem. GC-ROCC will work to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance abuse disorder, including opioid use disorder, with a long-term goal of reducing morbidity and mortality by improving prevention, treatment and/or recovery services.”

Implementation goals of the GC-ROCC include strategic, tailored efforts that meet community needs, address gaps identified from needs assessments and cultivate a long-term, sustainable model of care provision by:

  • Increasing awareness of SUD/OUD and the associated stigma
  • Providing SUD/OUD resources for prevention, treatment and recovery
  • Increasing and leveraging the capacity for prevention, treatment and recovery services for SUD/OUD
  • Cultivating a peer recovery support specialist program for SUD/OUD prevention, treatment and recovery

The project team includes:

Principal investigators

  • Jane Bolin, PhD, JD, BSN, Associate Dean for Research, Texas A&M College of Nursing
  • Jodie Gary, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M College of Nursing
  • Nancy Downing, PhD, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FAAN, Associate Professor, Texas A&M College of Nursing

Co-principal investigators

  • Alison Pittman, PhD, RN, CPN, CNE, CHSE, Clinical Assistant Professor, Texas A&M College of Nursing
  • Carly McCord, PhD, Director of Telebehavioral Health and Clinical Assistant Professor, Texas A&M College of Medicine
  • Sidney Ontai, MD, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M College of Medicine DeTAR Family Practice Residency Program
  • Joy Alonzo, ME, PharmD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Texas A&M College of Pharmacy


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award 1GA1RH39607 totaling $1,000,000 with 100% percentage funded by HRSA/HHS and $0.00 and 0% percentage funded by nongovernment source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.


Kala McCain Author

— Kala McCain

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