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BEND, OR -- Oregon Congressman Greg Walden met with officials from Mosaic Medical Thursday, in Bend, to celebrate a new grant aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic. "These health centers do amazing work for people in the community to provide great access to health care; and now," says Walden "Really, are doing more and more in providing services for mental health services, as well as for substance abuse treatment."


Walden says the $212,750 grant is part of a larger $17 million coming to Oregon to help caregivers in rural populations, "They serve a quarter million people in Oregon, and it helps them enhance their efforts to bring behavioral health together with physical health, and then help people who have addiction or mental health issues get access to the care they need. So, it's an important, important program."

Mosaic's Director of Behavioral Health Kim Swanson says the funds will improve access and save time, "It offers one stop shopping for our patients. That's where they want to receive services, so the more robust resources we have in primary care, and the more comprehensive, the more patients are going to engage in care." She says the money will allow patients to have better access "to medication assisted treatment by hiring a full-time physician in primary care and implementation of telepsychiatry to increase access to psychiatric services."

Nationwide, $396 million has been awarded by Health and Human Services for community health centers and rural health programs through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). At Thursday's round table, Walden said the money will help rural communities where specialty care may be scarce, "We're trying to build resiliency around the healthcare framework in our communities, and these community health centers are a big part of that," adding, "For me, it's important to know that, when we appropriate this money, does it actually get to the ground? To the people that are on the front lines? So that's kind of exciting." 

Oregon will receive $6.7 million in HRSA funding, including $2.2 million for Oregon’s Second Congressional District. Some of the money will also go to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), for 10 years.  

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