New York will expand access to health care in hard-to-reach communities

More than $10 million in federal money will be sent by New York to assist health care initiatives for underserved populations in the state, including funds to enhance mobile pharmaceutical units and street outreach workers.

The goals of the initiatives are to help people who don’t have easy access to health care and to stop the rise in overdoses during the COVID-19 epidemic.

“My administration will continue using every tool at our disposal to help individuals impacted by addiction and address the heart-wrenching toll overdoses have taken on communities across our state,” Hochul said.

“The $10.25 million announced today will help fund these critical services and help connect New Yorkers to the support and resources they need to break the vicious cycle of addiction.”

The combined efforts are intended to extend the state’s fight against opioid addiction and overdoses in the wake of a surge of fatalities in New York over the last two years. The state health department just told pharmacists that they have to keep naloxone on hand, which can stop an opioid overdose.

The funds include $5.75 million for mobile pharmaceutical units and $4.5 million for 15 street outreach program providers.

Induction, drug delivery, and monitoring are some of the services that mobile medicine units offer. Toxicological testing and other services are also available.

In addition to Harlem, the Lower East Side, and the Bronx, the street units will be deployed in the Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley. In addition to giving out and prescribing naloxone, workers will go to parks and other places where homeless people hang out to talk about overdoses and how to avoid them.

“Every individual has different needs and goals related to their recovery, and at OASAS, we are dedicated to meeting them wherever they are and offering any help they require to reach their goals,” New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said. “These new mobile medication units and street outreach efforts will allow us to connect with high-risk populations, engage more people, and link them to lifesaving assistance and support.”

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