(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced that Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital has received an AmeriCorps grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. The grant is specifically aimed at combating the opioid epidemic. AmeriCorps members will serve as community health workers and help those struggling with substance use disorders and behavioral health needs resolve non-clinical barriers to care such as housing, literacy and transportation.
“AmeriCorps members are an indispensable resource for nonprofits, communities, and the individuals they serve,” said Senator Shaheen. “The opioid epidemic is an all hands on deck moment for our state and this grant will enlist AmeriCorps members in this effort. In the Senate, I’ll continue to fight back against the Trump administration’s budget proposal that would eliminate the AmeriCorps program.”
“The heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis is devastating communities across New Hampshire and affecting Granite Staters from all walks of life, and this AmeriCorps grant will help support our efforts to stem – and ultimately reverse – the tide of this deadly epidemic,” Senator Hassan said. “AmeriCorps members help strengthen the health and well-being of our people and state, and I will continue standing up against any attempt to slash funding for this vital program, while continuing to work to ensure that those on the front lines of the opioid epidemic have the resources they need to combat this crisis and help save lives.”
“Dartmouth-Hitchcock is committed to addressing a health and safety threat that touches countless families in our region,” said Sally Kraft, Vice President of Population Health at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “Dartmouth-Hitchcock is honored to be selected by the Corporation for National and Community Service to train and support 16 AmeriCorps team members to become part of newly created community-wide networks dedicated to caring for people with mental health and substance use disorders.”
“Volunteer NH is proud to provide AmeriCorps resources to such an important and pressing issue for the state of New Hampshire,” said Gretchen Berger, Executive Director at Volunteer NH. “We firmly believe that Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital’s program will change lives – not only the lives of those being served, but the ones who serve as well.”
The federal investment totals approximately $315,000, with Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital leveraging an additional $240,000 in matching support and other resources. A total of 16 AmeriCorps members will assist 480 people struggling with substance use and behavioral health needs. Individuals helped by AmeriCorps members will increase their utilization of preventive services, primary health care and behavioral health services.