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DeKalb County Board of Health Awarded $450,000 to Address Substance Use by the National Association of County and City Health Officials

— Local health departments and community-based organizations in Dearborn, MI; Lancaster, PA; Lorain County, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Columbia, SC; Taos Co., NM; and Tooele Co., UT to also Receive Awards —

Washington, DC, February 14, 2022 — The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the voice of the country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments, announced seven sites awarded funding and technical assistance as part of its Comprehensive Community Approaches to Preventing Substance Use (CCAPS) program. The awards, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be used to decrease substance use, substance use disorders and overdose while simultaneously preventing adverse childhood events in children and youth.  

The CCAPS program supports the implementation or expansion of programs that prevent substance use disorders or overdose that also have the potential to simultaneously prevent adverse childhood events within the selected communities and populations of focus.  Adverse childhood experiences as defined by the CDC are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years).  They include experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect; witnessing violence in the home or community; or having a family member attempt or die by suicide. It may also refer to aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding, such as growing up in a household with substance use problems; mental health problems; or instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison.

Grant awardees will use a multi-generational approach to address these issues with a focus on groups that have been marginalized or disproportionately affected populations.  The awarded sites are:

  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS); Dearborn, MI ($431,708)
  • DeKalb County Board of Health; Dekalb County, GA ($450,000)
  • Gaudenzia, Inc.; Lancaster, PA ($129,393)
  • Lorain County Public Health; Lorain County, OH ($450,000)
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health; Oklahoma City, OK ($450,000)
  • South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control; Columbia, SC ($450,000)
  • Taos Alive; Taos County, NM ($227,088)
  • Utah State University; Tooele County, UT ($448,156)

ARAB COMMUNITY CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SERVICES (ACCESS) DEARBORN, MI — ($431,708).  The ACCESS project serves a marginalized population that has been historically understudied, overlooked, undercounted, and has had their health needs and risks poorly documented. The goals of this project are to:

  • rapidly identify and reach individuals in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights who have recently survived a non-fatal drug overdose and are at risk for future overdose and other challenges;
  • ensure consenting survivors receive accurate information and warm handoffs to evidence-based treatment and harm reduction services; and
  • concurrently prevent or reduce adverse childhood experience exposure among youth living in homes where substance use disorders and/or overdose are present and refer individuals to treatment to prevent problem behavior and future involvement in violence and/or lessen the harms of adverse childhood experiences.

DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH, DEKALB COUNTY, GA — ($450,000).  DeKalb County Board of Health’s Project SAFE aims to provide families affected by substance use disorders and adverse childhood experiences in DeKalb County with a safe, judgement-free environment in order to confer and implement evidence-based interventions. Such a multi-generational approach will address the significant health disparities in these communities, decrease substance use and overdoses, while simultaneously preventing adverse childhood experiences in children and youth. This funding will be critical to the program and build upon the DeKalb County Board of Health’s federally funded Overdose 2 Action (OD2A) program that addresses substance use disorder in adults. 

GAUDENZIA, INC., LANCASTER, PA— ($129,393).  Gaudenzia, Inc. aims to staff and implement an evidence-based, family-centered treatment approach at the agency’s Vantage House facility: a 24-bed residential treatment program for pregnant and parenting women who are caring for up to two school-aged children. Gaudenzia, Inc.’s goal in implementing evidence-based, family-centered treatment is to improve parent and child outcomes related to substance use disorders and adverse childhood experiences and strengthen family functioning and stability by attending to the needs of the family as a unit, not just the individual presenting with a substance use disorder. 

LORAIN COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH, LORAIN COUNTY, OH — ($450,000).  Lorain County Public Health will implement a program with a three-pronged approach.  It will address individual, environmental, and systemic challenges related to substance use disorders and adverse childhood experiences in three age groups: zero to three (0-3), three to five (3-5), and five to nine (5-9). The first group of strategies will address families with children zero to three (0-3) years old by implementing a referral system, notification, and data sharing process among partners to effectively provide supportive services to at-risk families. The second set of strategies will address children ages three to five (3-5) by supporting early childcare education centers in enrolling low-income families and increasing center support for parents with substance use disorders.  The final strategies will focus on children ages five to nine (5-9) by providing coordinated school wellness in elementary schools, with a focus on implementing programs that support children with adverse childhood experiences related to substance use disorders. These strategies will utilize a multi-generational and socio-ecological model with a focus on health disparities and social determinants of health in the populations most disproportionately affected in Lorain County. 

OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHOKLAHOMA CITY, OK — ($450,000).  The Injury Prevention Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health seeks to promote social norms that protect against violence and adversity, specifically adverse childhood experiences and drug overdose, as a means of reducing barriers, advancing prevention, and empowering individuals to make safer choices. Social norms that embrace shared responsibility (as opposed to rugged individualism) provide a foundational support upon which all other prevention strategies can build and potentially find success. Using drug overdose prevention coordinators based in county health departments and a communications campaign targeting rural and other marginalized populations, the Injury Prevention Service proposes to reframe Oklahoma’s current narrative in an effort to root the idea that communities must care for their children, support parents, and embrace individuals and families impacted by substance use. As a result, stigma will be reduced; linkage to and utilization of treatment and social services, parenting supports, and skill-building resources will increase; and ultimately, substance use disorder, drug overdose, trauma, and adverse childhood experiences will be prevented. 

SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, COLUMBIA, SC — ($450,000).  In South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control’s proposed project, data-driven, evidence-based approaches will be implemented in the Upstate region to include:

  • Partnering with the Western Piedmont Education Consortium to implement the Handle with Care model and Adverse Childhood Experiences training in 6 of the 13 school districts;

    Targeting evidence-based prevention efforts in Greenwood and Union counties to include the Botvin Lifeskills Parenting Curriculum and Strengthening Families Program; and
  • Hiring two regional health educators to examine system-level substance use disorders and adverse childhood experiences processes as well as ensure the completion of activities one and two.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control’s substance use disorders prevention strategy is an adverse childhood experience prevention strategy and will use a shared risk and protective factor lens to address generational cycles of adverse childhood experiences and substance use disorders to prevent further opioid misuse and death. 

TAOS ALIVE, TOAS COUNTY, NM — ($227,088).  Taos Alive, a project of Holy Cross Hospital, will continue its systems-level coalition-based work to address overdose, substance use, and misuse directly, while expanding programming to support youth with positive, pro-social experiences and increase access to protective factors. By increasing opportunities for healthy social connection and deepening education around substance use, Taos Alive is moving to get out ahead of adverse childhood experiences, increase positive childhood experiences, decrease stigma surrounding substance use disorders, and build a community culture that allows every child to thrive. Within the Taos community, there are major challenges in connecting youth to opportunities for positive experiences like athletics, mentorship programs, or services.  Barriers to access range from lack of knowledge of the opportunities to lack of resources or transportation to support participation. It is not enough to “say no to drugs” — people must also be offered positive opportunities to say YES to. 

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, TOOELE COUNTY, UT — ($448,156).  The Tooele Rural Opioid Healthcare Consortium Multi-Pronged Community Approach to Minimizing Adverse Childhood Experiences addresses substance use disorders and health inequities in marginalized communities in Tooele County, UT. The USU-backed program will enhance parental supports in parental education and home visiting programs and continue harm reduction outreach to marginalized populations. It will increase the para-professional workforce serving people in crisis through the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team.  The program will also provide training to increase understanding and awareness of the impact of trauma among first responders, paraprofessionals, and other health and social service professionals. 


The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit