UMN College of Pharmacy and Consortium Partners Receive $1M Grant to Provide Substance Use Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Services on the Bois Forte Reservation
The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and its consortium partners Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, University of Minnesota - Extension, Recovery Alliance Duluth, Rural AIDS Action Network, Northeast Minnesota Region 2 Community Health Board, St. Louis County Public Health & Human Services, and the International Falls School District have received a $1 million Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) grant for substance use prevention, intervention, recovery and harm reduction for the Bois Forte Nation. The project will serve the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, a rural Minnesota Tribal Nation where 52% of the Bois Forte Reservation population identifies as Native American.
College of Pharmacy associate professor Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT, AE-C, who serves as the principal investigator and will coordinate the grant’s activities, sees tremendous opportunity in the work ahead. “The overarching objective of this project is to build the capacity of the Bois Forte Tribal Nation to provide their own culturally-relevant and evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery services and programming for opioid use disorder and overlapping substance use disorder.” The group hopes to achieve this using a community-partnership framework, building on existing resources in the Bois Forte community and expanding current partnerships.
According to the HRSA website, the grant is part of HRSA’s “Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) a multi-year initiative aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder (OUD), in high risk rural communities.”
The three-year project started September 1, 2020, and complements the federally-funded work currently taking place in northeastern Minnesota by the Bois Forte Nation and this diverse group of consortium members.
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The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, the only school of pharmacy in Minnesota, offers its program on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Founded in 1892, the College of Pharmacy educates pharmacists and scientists, and engages in research and practice to improve the health of the people of Minnesota and society. The college is part of the health sciences, which are home to the University of Minnesota’s six health professional schools and colleges as well as several health-related centers and institutes.