News Release

Fairbanks Native Association

Fairbanks Native Association has received a $3.9 million grant to provide early screening and intervention for anyone within the Fairbanks area accessing Fairbanks Native Association’s Behavioral Health Services.

The new tool is called Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, or SBIRT. It is used to quickly assess the severity of substance use and identifies appropriate levels of treatment, according to grantor Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently awarded $123 million in grants to combat the national overdose epidemic, including Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment funding, and Fairbanks Native Association is one of eleven Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment grantees nationwide.

“Fairbanks Native Association has been offering substance use disorders treatment in the Fairbanks North Star Borough for 50 years, and during two of those decades was the only SUD treatment provider in the borough,” said Perry Ahsogeak, Director of Fairbanks Native Association Behavioral Health Services.

“The Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment award will grow and boost our care for all those who are struggling with mental health issues and substance use.”

Trained staff will give the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment assessment to those first seeking services at Fairbanks Native Association Behavioral Health, and should take about 5-10 minutes. The screening is standard across primary care, hospitals, trauma centers and other behavioral health agencies, according to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Fairbanks Native Association will partner with the Interior Aids Association, ThrivAlaska and Effie Kokrine Charter School over the life of the five-year grant. The goal of the partnership is to enhance prevention efforts with early screening, and to provide the necessary resources within the Fairbanks community. An end-of-grant outcome is that staff positions will be sustained: 100% with Fairbanks Native Association, and 50% at the partner sites.

Fairbanks Native Association will work closely with the Interagency Transition Council, an 18-member group with people from substance abuse, mental health, juvenile and criminal justice, child welfare, Head Start, education, employment, spiritual/religious, housing, and social services fields, that will provide leadership in meeting the goals of the project.

“We are happy to add another tool to help people with substance abuse and mental health concerns in the Fairbanks area,” said Steve Ginnis, Fairbanks Native Association executive director.

Fairbanks Native Association - logo